I love me a good Middle Grade fantasy. And while it took me a while to get into Fireborn, once I got stuck in, I could not put it down! I adored Twelve and her quest to do the right thing and her desire to save her friends. This is a true Middle Grade gem, and I hope it finds its way into every (school) library and into the hands of as many children as possible.
Many thanks to Tina Mories and Harper Collins for the ARC, all opinions are my own as usual.
RELEASE DATE: 30/09/2021
STAR RATING: 4/5 ✶
SUMMARY: Twelve has spoken the Pledge and now she is a Huntling. She has given up her name to train in the art of fighting monsters and keeping the peace, and she won’t get to choose a new one until she has earned it.
But when the Lodge’s walls are breached for the first time, and a little girl is taken, Twelve is the only one interested in going after a child…
Teaming up with Dog, the Stone Guardian of the Lodge, Twelve ends up on an epic adventure that will change her life, her name – and her entire world. (from Harper Collins)
OPINIONS: Fireborn is a wonderful, complex, Middle Grade fantasy adventure. It takes a while to get going, and I think it took me about half the book to truly fall in love with the story (though that may well be because of my mood), but once I got stuck in properly, I couldn’t tear myself away from it. The story itself is fairly straight forward, though it addresses many complicated issues in a nuanced way – there are queer characters, the young characters deal with rejection, they have to overcome prejudices and deal with grief and loss. This makes Fireborn a suitable story for the entire range of Middle Grade readers – it is fine for younger readers, who can easily follow what is happening, but there is enough meat on those bones that older readers who are on the brink of switching to YA will still get a lot out of the story.
Harper Collins are marketing this as one of their lead titles for Autumn 2021 and with good reason. I can see the appeal of this series for a wide audience – and personally, I am very excited to read on and see where Twelve’s story and that of the Hunting Lodge continues. I adored Twelve, and found her to be a great main character. She underwent a huge growth arc over the course of the story, which I found wonderful to see – I love a good character development!
So, compelling story, great character development, and discussing deeper issues in an age-appropriate way. What more do you want from a Middle Grade fantasy? I especially appreciate that there is an openly queer character, which is often hard to add into a book for this age group! Highly recommended for both yourself and the kids in your life.