Sophie Jordan's FIRELIGHT is about to do for dragons what Stephenie Meyer did for vampires. Dragons don't get a lot of love in the paranormal YA genre (Carrie Vaughn's recent Voices of Dragons is a rare exception) and I'm only just beginning to understand what a shame that is.
Jacinda is a draki, an evolved dragon who has the ability to Demanifest and appear human. Amongst her cult-like Pride, she is the only known fire draki, prized and guarded for a future she doesn't want but cannot escape. When she steals a moment of freedom and comes face to face with a draki hunter, her mother seizes the opportunity to flee with Jacinda and her twin sister in order give them a chance at a new life. In the human world. In high school.
Torn between a life amongst the controlling draki and one where her mother is forcing her to abandon that part of her forever, Jacinda begins to shut down. The metaphor of her draki self forced to remain hidden underneath her human skin coupled with the discomfort and alienation she feels from most of her peers is one that every teenager can relate to. And when her draki begins to whither inside her, it made perfect sense to me that Jacinda would be drawn to the one guy who brought that hidden part of her to life: Will, the hunter who saved her life.
The relationship between Jacinda and Will in FIRELIGHT reminded me a lot of the early relationship between Buffy and Angel except in the reverse where he is the hunter and she is the enemy. They are drawn to each other despite knowing that their families are mortal enemies. Their forbidden meetings, stolen kisses, and very real fear of discovery was a delicious drug that hooked me from the first chapter.
The FIRELIGHT mythology, while not as explored as I would have liked (I'm very curious to learn more about the nefarious enkros), was vivid and creative. The draki are broken in up by various talents from the common Verda draki (plants/herbs) to the rare Shader (mist)draki. I'm hoping that more will be divulged about the Pride in subsequent books.
The only bad thing about FIRELIGHT is the ending. The cliffhanger is a killer! I know that Sophie is planning more books in this series (see the video below) but so far info is scarce. For my sanity and yours, I hope we get a sequel very, very soon.
Sexual Content: Kissing.
What did you think of this review?
Fun to Read
About the reviewer
I am a 20-something book lover with an obsession for all things urban fantasy. I cut my teeth on the paranormal genre withBuffyandTwilightbefore discoveringPatricia Briggs and Ilona Andrews. Suffice … more
Consider the Source
Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.
Descended from dragons, the draki's ability to appear human protects them from hunters. Jacinda lives with her pride in the Cascades, but she chafes under her special status as the only fire-breather in hundreds of years. Recklessly breaking the “no-fly” rule, she attracts hunters; mercifully, one hunter, a beautiful boy who looks upon her with wonder, lets her escape. After this, the pride intends to hobble her rebelliousness, and Jacinda is forced to flee. But while twin sister Tamra, who never manifested and was shunned, is happy with the move, Jacinda feels only anguish within Nevada's desert climate. Then she meets Will and, despite recognizing him as the same draki hunter, feels herself come alive. Jordan's compelling addition to the supernatural star-crossed lovers theme is equal parts taut suspense and sensuous romance, with visceral writing and believable relationships among characters, particularly among Jacinda's family. A foreshadowed twist and a thrilling confrontation in the end pages leave Jacinda heartbroken and in trouble, and readers will howl for more. Grades 8-12. --Krista Hutley