Firelight by Sophie Jordan

Posted On 29 December 2010

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Firelight tells the story of Jacinda, a female draki.  The drakis are descendants from dragons who have the ability to take human form.  Over the years the drakis have lost some of their abilities and in fact some of them never manifest into draki form at all (for example Jacinda’s sister Tamra).  Jacinda, however, has become the main centre of attention for her pride and they are pinning all their hopes on her because she is the first draki for hundreds of years who can breathe fire.  As such Jacinda has been chosen to marry the alpha males son Cassian in order to breed more fire breathers.  After breaking one of the pride’s firm rules about flying in daylight Jacinda and her mother and sister are forced to run away from their home to avoid reprisals.

I thought this was a very enjoyable and entertaining read, well written and based on an intriguing idea.  I liked the idea of the dragons and in my own mind didn’t picture them as the dragons of  old but much more ‘human’ looking.  The draki have done a magnificent job of hiding their existence and this is probably the reason why they are losing some of their abilities as the need for protection is no longer as strong.

I liked the way that in running from their pride the family’s ‘position’ in society was completely reversed.  Whilst living amongst the pride Jacinda was prized above all others – a position that she didn’t relish – and her mother and sister were treated with disdain yet once they start living amongst the humans Tamra is instantly popular at school while Jacinda takes a more subdued role.  I felt sorry for Jacinda to a certain degree.  She definitely has an unenviable positon.  Living amongst her own kind she is held in awe but all decisions are made for her and living amongst humans the position remains much the same.  Jacinda doesn’t enjoy living in her human form and is unhappy about letting her inner Draki die – I guess it would be easy to blame Jacinda herself for the positon that she is in because her own disregard for the rules have landed her there – but really this is much the same as any other teenager flaunting the rules.   Apparently, breaking the rules is something that all teenagers have in common – with or without supernatural powers!

I also liked the romance element to the story and the fact that there are still secrets to be revealed.  Frankly I think there is more to Will than meets the eye – maybe even something that he’s not totally aware of himself – and I’m not buying into the ‘he was sick’ element.  I think there is another reason why he is such a good tracker and why he and Jacinda felt an instant attraction to each other but I suppose time (and the next novel in the series) will tell us more.  Will and Jacinda’s relationship was well paced and gripping and I look forward to reading more in the next novel – not to mention finding out more about Cassian and whether or not he will try to help Jacinda (I know he comes across as a bit domineering – not to mention something of a stalker – but I still think he could turn out okay)!!

I suppose my only criticisms would be I don’t really understand the whole ‘hunter’ element to the story – but perhaps that will be explained more fully in the future.  I don’t see how we have these creatures that nobody knows about at all – except a whole pack of other humans who hunt them.  The element for secrecy becomes a bit stretched when you have full families of hunters – surely there would be slips, cats out of bags, etc, (I understand that to let everyone know about the existence of drakis would not be a good thing for the hunters because many more people would probably hunt them.  I just don’t think it would be possible to keep it quite this secret).  And the only other thing I would mention is that given the whole need for secrecy I was totally gobsmacked by Jacinda’s actions in the final scenes – what was she thinking!!  I know she’s a teenager, and in love, but, hello, try to remember where you are and in whose company!  Anyway, don’t really want to give any more of that away.

I would totally recommend reading Firelight – it was a fantastic bit of escapism, mytholody, adventure and romance all rolled up together.  I’m looking forward to the next book – although there’s a bit of a wait!!

Rating: A

Firebrand

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