Book Review | Fireborn @WriteReadsTours

I am happy to switch up genres this week and with a book that made for some exciting weekend reading.

Aisling Fowler

Lyra. Lucy. Percy. Once in a generation, a hero emerges whose story enthralls readers worldwide.

Fireborn is an epic quest, perfect for fans of the His Dark Materials and The School for Good and Evil series, that will spin readers into a magical world like no other–and introduce them to an unforgettable new heroine named Twelve.

Ember is full of monsters.

Twelve gave up her name and identity to train in the art of hunting them–so she says. The truth is much more deadly: she trains to take revenge on those who took her family from her.

But when Twelve’s new home is attacked, she’ll find herself on an unexpected journey, where her hidden past is inescapably intertwined with her destiny–and the very fate of her world.

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Fireborn will be published on the 30th September 2021

I’m sure I’ve commented here before about not usually reading middle-grade books and then being unsure as to why that is but I think it is worth repeating because I think sometimes I forget that books written for younger readers can still have a lasting impact and be just as engrossing and relevant for (ahem) an older reader. Fireborn is a book I have thoroughly enjoyed and found quite surprising, it is action and adventure but it also deals with grief and self-discovery.

The world-building was great I felt like I could visualise the settings easily, the chilling atmosphere of the forest and the danger lurking at every stage of the journey from the monsters that all really jumped off the page, although I was trying with all my might not to think too long and hard about the deathspinner, but they were all really quite terrifying. The writing flowed really well and the pace of the book was brilliant, I flew through the story but it never felt rushed, I would have liked to have explored even more about this world and the clans because the little that has been revealed in this story definitely has me wanting more.

I think what really stands out about this novel though is its characters, Twelve is just fascinating she stands out from the rest of the huntlings and from the start you can tell she carries a lot of anger and determination but there is a question about what it is that is fuelling her. She was at times unpredictable but I found myself firmly in her corner and rooting for her to succeed in her mission, I really enjoyed getting to see her history through her flashbacks and they spurred on a growth in her character that made her all the more endearing. 

The relationship between Twelve, Six, and Five was fantastic, I liked that they were constantly sparring and bickering but slowly started to appreciate each other, it was great to see their uneasy start blossom into something that could stand up even in the worst of situations. Of course, I couldn’t talk about the characters without mentioning Dog the guardian or Widge the squirrel, I mean Widge seemed like the most unlikely of companions but actually made me smile so much and I loved how Dog was so exasperated by Twelve and her friends but still tried to protect them at all costs, I just have so much love for them both.

Fireborn is an exciting and gripping book, it has its dark moments and there is a lot that the characters have to face but ultimately it is a really enjoyable story and I can’t wait to see what will happen next.

Aisling was born in 1985 and wishes that she had grown up in a magical, mountainous kingdom, but was actually raised in Surrey on a diet of books and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Her early ‘adventure’ stories involved surprisingly little action and her first novel (3 pages long) was politely declined by publishers at age 11. After earning a BSc in Biology and working as a support worker and then a nurse, the idea for her debut novel, Fireborn, came to her as she moved back and forth between London and the US. Now based in Hackney, when she is not reading or writing, Aisling loves cooking and plotting adventures (for herself as well as her fictional characters). Fireborn will be published by HarperCollins in 2021.

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