Sunday, 7 August 2011

Firelight - Sophie Jordan

Book details:
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: OUP Oxford (3 Mar 2011)
ISBN-10: 0192756508
ISBN-13: 978-0192756503

Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. She longs for the freedom to make her own choices, but when she breaks the 'no flying' rule, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki, a descendant of dragons whose greatest defence is her secret ability to shift into human form. And her rare ability to breathe fire makes her desirable, and important, to the survival of the draki. Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. There she meets gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: he and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slipping away, and if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.

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My review:
I didn’t think that a book about Dragons would drag me in like this one did, but oh so wrong I was and I’m glad I was proved wrong! Thanks to Oxford Uni Press for sending me this amazing book by the way, *waves to them* This was definitely one book that had me hooked from beginning to end and I’m glad I gave it a chance. The cover looks beautiful too, especially the detail to the eyes, it’s gorgeous and the book was even better. Safe to say, I now love dragons. Rawr.

Analysis of plot:
The book follows the journey of a young, 16 year old teenage girl who’s our main character, Jacinda, who lives with her Mum and twin sister Tamara as part of a “pride” which is like a clan, made up of dragons. What sets Jacinda apart is her attributes as a Draki (as they are called) is that she can breathe fire – something the pride haven’t encountered in many generations and so they are protective in more ways than one to keep her and have plans on creating a breed like her. Despite feeling trapped and controlled, Jacinda feels like she belongs with this group even though her mother and sister don’t, and when uprooted by her mother to move elsewhere, we start to feel the pain Jacinda experiences.

Jordan’s writing and flow in this novel is exquisite, as she allows us to feel sympathy and empathy for not only Jacinda as we take on her struggles to fit in, but in her twin sister Tamara. We see how someone who didn’t fit in with the dragon pride, has found refuge in normality, which shows us the mirror opposite lives these twin sister s live despite being bonded by blood. We see depth in both their sufferings and turmoil which is further heightened when the character of Will makes an entrance and Jacinda falls for him, creating a perfect balance of tension, romance, and a climax.

The author then takes us on another journey, a romantic one this one, as a connection forges instantly between Jacinda and Will and again how they are unable to be together due to circumstances. The waiting, the forbidden-esque feel of it all reminds me unabashedly of Twilight, as Edward who would wait for Bella outside class, would try to get to know her and this is similar in Firelight, the same anxiety and new feelings that come with love. Yet Jordan doesn’t portray this in a teenage, typical romance type novel, instead she gives it a deeper and darker edge as we come to realise that Jacinda and Will can’t be together and the ultimate separation and cliff hanger that keeps us on edge once the novel finishes. I was hooked, and on edge by the time I finished this and I’m anxious to read the next book!

Analysis of characters:
I especially loved how Jordan built up the character of Jacinda and Will, they are my favourites. Jacinda is a headstrong, but courageous character who we can feel passion in, to be who she is. Despite the idea of her trying to fit in with humans while she is a Darki, there is a struggle, of retaining who you are when everyone’s trying to conform you, which can resonate with many youngsters today as they question “who they are”. Similarly, the character of Will, who is again strong, both physically and mentally, shows us how people can accept you for who you truly are in the face of such  a challenge and through these 2 characters, Jordan shows the readers how being who you are is important and there are people out there who will take you as you are. It may not be the deepest embedded message but it shows a deeper side to the novel and a moral that readers can take from it (: Add in the fact that it’s about a book about Dragons and love, loyalty, betrayal and family, then you’ve got a mix to keep any reader happy.

Do not be sceptical about this book – I was wary to read this based on the idea of dragons but I was delightedly proved wrong and I finished this book in just hours, I sat around midnight to read this and had it finished by early morning and was buzzing once I did finish! Those who read this, will surely love it, so props to Jordan for this great read.

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