Firelight is the first book in the trilogy of the same name by Sophie Jordan and it is her debut YA novel. It was released in hardback on 7th September in the US by Harper Teen and will be published in paperback in March 2011 by OUP. The paperback is 336 pages long.
From an early age, Jacinda knew she wasn’t like other girls, not even like her twin sister. Being a draki, a descendent of dragons, Jacinda knows that her every move is being watched and not always by her own kind. Hunters are constantly trying to get rid of the draki race and Jacinda knows that one wrong move could mean a whole lot of trouble. Not really thinking before she acts, Jacinda breaks the biggest rule and puts her life in extreme danger. A danger that a strange, beautiful draki hunter saves her from. Jacinda’s mother knows what kind of punishment the ‘pride’ are planning and decides that it would be best for the whole family to move away where Jacinda can begin to be 100% human.
Struggling to adapt to her new surroundings and deny everything she has ever known, Jacinda feels dejected. Then she meets Will, one of the hottest and most elusive guys in school. Will stirs something inside her and makes her feel more alive than she ever has done before. Jacinda knows she should stay away from Will because of how he makes her feel but she just can’t help herself. Something keeps drawing her to him. Unfortunately, Will has a massive secret that could threaten everything.
What I thought
As soon as I heard about this book, I was desperate to read it. After reading so many books this year on vampires and werewolves, I was ready for a change. I had never seen a YA book about dragons/ draki before so the initial plot summery drew me in immediately. Also, the cover is stunning and I’m a sucker for things like that when shopping for books.
I loved, loved, loved the protagonist, Jacinda. Very early on in the story, she is forced to abandon everything she has ever known to move away to the desert. Her mother doesn’t want her to be draki anymore but Jacinda refuses to let who and what she really is die. She really knew herself and I loved how sure she was of what she wanted and how she wasn’t going to let anyone get in the way of that. Jacinda had a lot of tough decisions to make and was often torn picking which way that she should go in. I felt like this was a pretty real way of dealing with things. I was thinking about what I would have done in her situation and I realised how hard it would have been to try to pick between being yourself and doing what you mum told you to. I don’t know if I would have been able to make the right choice either way.
Everyone who reads my book reviews know how much I love a bad boy or a boy who shows that he could be a bad boy. For Jacinda, Will is possibly the closest to bad boy that she is ever going to be able to get close to. If there is one person that she should be staying away from, then it should be him. I really enjoyed the twist on him, his family and made him different from everyone else. Upon meeting him early on in the book, I instantly knew that I was going to like him and that feeling didn’t go away throughout. It was made clear that Will had plenty of secrets and I thought that they were revealed at well paced intervals. I also liked how clear he was about his feelings towards Jacinda. He knew straight away that they shouldn’t be together and even warned her against coming near him but you know how things go in these books, the guy and the girl will nearly always end up together no matter what.
Secondary characters Cassian and Jacinda’s twin sister Tamra were just as fantastic. There was something about Cassian that I couldn’t quite put my finger on and I was never quite sure whether or not he had Jacinda’s best interests at heart. On one hand, I wanted to believe that he really did like her but then I also thought that he was just doing what the pride was telling him to. Tamra was interesting because she was the complete opposite to Jacinda in so many ways. Where Jacinda wanted to shy away and hide, Tamra wanted to excel at school and have a normal life for once. Although me and my sister are not twins, I could similarities to our own relationship.
Sophie Jordan completely transported me into the world of the draki straight from chapter one. I found it really interesting to see a mix of traditional dragon lore mixed in with this new draki race which I had never heard anything about. I loved finding out about why draki were so connected to the earth and why they did certain other things. A lot of effort and detail was clearly put into the origins of this story and race and that was plain to see in the writing. As Jacinda and her family move quite early in the story, not much time is spent with the pride. I would love to know more about how they operate and how their hierarchy system works. Maybe this will be something that will be explored in further books in the trilogy.
Firelight left me at a fantastic cliff-hanger and one that left me wanting a lot more. I am excited to see where Jordan will take the story next and how Jacinda, her family and Will can overcome all of the events from book one. I was slightly disappointed to see the action end quite so suddenly after it had begun but I think there is a lot more of that to come. Sophie Jordan had me hooked from page one and left me eagerly waiting for book two. If you fancy a change from the slightly overplayed vampire and werewolf novels then give this one a go.