Fireborn by Aisling Fowler.
Ultimate Tour - Harper Collins
Publisher: Harper Collins
Length: 384 Pages
Publishing: 30th September 2021Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56554614-fireborn
I pledge my life to the Hunting Lodge.
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.
So, I am writing this just as I have finished reading the book. Phew! Talk about cutting it fine there!
Fireborn is a middle grade fantasy that revolves around a flawed and friendless young girl, Twelve, who happens to be quite good with a pair of axes. In fact she is so good with them that no one wants to get too close to her, except unpopular Seven and her pet squirrel, Widge.
She is constantly in trouble and she gets a fair amount of stick from the others in the Hunting Lodge, a home for a group of fighters, called Hunters, that protect the land from the evils amd monsters that plague it. The main culprit for having a go at Twelve is too big for his boots, Five and his partner in crime, Six.
One evening, after hearing Five remonstrating that she is a bad apple, she pushes a crate of things near to Five that leads to changing her life forever.
I have to say that I really enjoyed Fireborn immensely and am so glad that I got the opportunity to read this charming and delightful book by Aisling Fowler.
I always point out when I am reading middle grade fantasy that whilst not being the target audience, the sign of a good book is that despite the fact that I am not the target audience, it is relatable to whoever is reading it. And in all honesty, my demands from a good book are exactly the same as what they were when I was a kid. In fact they haven’t changed at all. I want a well written story, with characters that have depth and are believable and a plot that is going to keep me reading until the very end.
And Fireborn has this in spades!
Aisling Fowler’s debut is a cracking book and meets all those demands that I have up there.. It’s full of magic, has endearing relationships and bags of action.
There were loads of things that I liked about this book. Aisling Fowler’s writing is fantastic. Her writing style is really easy to read and she maintains the pace all the way through the book.
Twelve is a fantastic character, and I really enjoyed her character arc. Twelve is complex, flawed,sometimes cruel, has aggressive outbursts and is completely socially incompetent, due to the fact that she cuts off those around her.
There are reasons that she behaves the way that she does and throughout the book we get some insight into the tragedy that she has experienced and has brought her to the Hunting Lodge.
On top of that. The side characters of Five, Six, and Seven are amazing too. Especially Five! I have to say that I liked him loads. He is annoying, he is a loud mouth and is insensitive to most things around him, but I did enjoy his arc.
Aisling Fowler mixes in some of my favorite fantasy tropes that I can’t help be drawn to. We have animal companions, in the form of ‘Dog’ the stone guardian of the Hunting Lodge who is let loose as events happen in the book. He is the parent in the story, always being the light of reason and keeping the party in line. And then there is Widge the Squirrel, who is cute as anything, despite my aversion to squirrels.
And just to make things that little bit better, there is the old found family trope, which I’m sorry, I can’t help but loving. I also like that the relationships are a little rocky and we get to see them develop, even though Twelve does make it rather difficult for the others to like her at times.
The plot revolves around a quest/mystery premise which works well, and I have to say. I didn’t guess what was coming at all. I am not going to go into the plot too much as I don’t wasnt to spoil the joy of discovering it for yourself.
The world building is solid, and we see the environment as the gang travel through it, although the story does centre on the monsters at times and there were some questions that I wanted answering.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone to read, adults or children and is a perfect starting point to anyone wanting to get into the fantasy genre.
About the Author
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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