4 out of 4 stars
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Book two of the Dragon Born series, Child of Fire by Ela Lourenco, picks up right where the first book left off; teenage Lara has just found out she is a dragon-the last dragon. The planet of Azmantium occupies another universe and another time. It is a land of blue grasses, lilac skies, and green seas. It is a land of magic, vampires, oracles, shapeshifters, and dragons.
Like many teens, Lara has a posse of super close friends with whom she shares all of her deepest secrets. Only they and a select few know that Lara is actually a shape-shifting dragon prophesized to come at a time of need to save the world. Politically, the dragons were considered dangerous, and they were all hunted and killed long ago. Because of this, the awakening of Lara’s duality couldn’t have come at a worse time. She and her friends are engaged in a magical tournament to help their friend, the prince, win the throne to his kingdom. Not only is she now under extreme stress, but she is also being watched with intense scrutiny; watched by those waiting to see if she is the dragon.
There were many aspects to this fantasy that I enjoyed. The realistic youthful comradery, teasing, and puppy love seemed authentic, and the hesitance between Lara and her newly discovered dragon-self seemed believable. Lara is scared to let her dragon show lest she be persecuted or even killed, thus, she is unwilling to accept the dragon as one with her fully. She continually refers to it as a separate entity saying things like: “she just took over!” The friction within Lara to understand and accept her truth made for an exciting plot.
Lara also employs a myriad of magical objects sure to pique the interest of any fantasy lover. She had a shapeshifting staff she was able to wear secretly as a necklace and a magical orb able to transport her to other planes of existence for special dragon teachings. If there were something I did not like, it would be the lack of detail surrounding the training sessions with her mystical dragon guide. Readers would like to see and hear how she learns to shapeshift, fly, and breathe fire. Sadly, Lourenco only summarizes.
This book was beautifully edited, and the words flowed gracefully with the ease befitting a noble dragon. For all of my complaints about lack of detail, the book was not compromised because of it. There was still detail enough to complete thought-provoking scenes; I just longed for more. This book is perfect for any young adult. There is no unsightly violence or inappropriate sex. The plot is not intense, but it's still satisfying as a quick read for adults. The magical tournament will continue into the next book, so the plot is sure to continue at its current pace. I can find no flaws with Child of Fire, and for that reason, I am rating it 4 out of 4 stars.
Child of Fire
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