Raised to be fierce dragon slayers, two sisters end up on opposite sides of the impending war when one sister forms an unlikely, magical bond with a dragon in this standalone YA contemporary fantasy that’s perfect for fans of Slayer and Sorcery of Thorns.Dani and Eden Rivera were both born to kill dragons, but the sisters couldn’t be more different. For Dani, dragon slaying takes a back seat to … For Dani, dragon slaying takes a back seat to normal high school life, while Eden prioritizes training above everything else. Yet they both agree on one thing: it’s kill or be killed where dragons are concerned.
Until Dani comes face-to-face with one and forges a rare and magical bond with him. As she gets to know Nox, she realizes that everything she thought she knew about dragons is wrong. With Dani lost to the dragons, Eden turns to mysterious and alluring sorcerers to help save her sister. Now on opposite sides of the conflict, each sister will do whatever it takes to save the other. But the two are playing with magic that is more dangerous than they know, and there is another, more powerful enemy waiting for them both in the shadows.
This book was everything. It has been a long time since I found a fantasy that has kept me so captivated. The world-building was immense and the characters relatable and endearing. The storyline was fantasy at its best. I haven’t been a big fantasy fan, but I found this so easy and comfortable to read. If you’re looking for a book to be a starter for the fantasy genre this is it for you. Absolutely perfect.
YA Fantasy? Dragons? Representation of bisexuality and mental health topics? Yes please! Fire with Fire by Destiny Soria has everything that I’m looking for in a book!
As of the start, I was drawn into the story. Both main characters feel very “real”. I felt especially close with Eden, as her perfectionism and anxiety really struck home with me. I also loved the switching point of view. I had not expected that when I read the first chapter, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the narrative shifts between the two sisters. It helped a lot to get to know and empathise with both Eden and Dani, and it also lets you explore the changing power dynamics between the two in more depth. Really nice choice!
The characters are also very diverse and a lot of interesting topics are addressed like mixed heritages, bisexuality, anxiety etc. I also LOVED that one of the love interests in the novel is described as “pretty and fat”. Being a larger girl myself, I applaud any and all positive representation of “non-supermodel sized” characters.
And then there’s the Dragon. God I love myself a good dragon, especially one that is as sarcastic and as rude as this one. *chef’s kiss* He gave the story distinct Merlin vibes, which is still, according to me anyway, one of the best Arthurian retellings available. The dragon concept used in this book is very interesting, as they are described to have all the knowledge of their entire species. I know I’ve come across that idea before, but I cannot remember where. Furthermore, the human-dragon relationship as well as the source of all magic are very cool concepts that are well written and described. Nicely done.
Like for many young adult novels, “finding your own place in life” is one of the main themes and thanks to the changing point of view, the reader gets to explore this from different angles. And then there’s Aunt Frankie, a colourful supporting character who embodies this theme to the fullest as she stepped away from the family profession…and is still very much accepted.
: Fire with Fire
: Destiny Soria
I was so surprised by how much I enjoyed reading this YA Fantasy with dragons!! I was just such a fun read. I thought the characters were complex and interesting and I loved how one of the MC’s is bisexual. The character development was a big part of the book for me which I really enjoyed…. Even though I sometimes wanted to shake them and tell them to do things differently lol. The pace was good, but it could have been better at certain points of the book. For example, I loved the beginning of the book, however, after a couple of chapters I found myself losing interest and I really had to push through. That said, I think somewhere half way the pace started to pick up and from that moment on I did not want to stop reading. I also loved some of the references is in the book and how it was set in today’s society. Recommending this book to those who love a good YA fantasy with dragons.
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Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Destiny Soria, Netgalley, and HMH Books for Young Readers for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.
This may have taken longer than I wanted but my friends, I am SO glad that I was able to read this when I did! Thank you again so much for this opportunity.
First of all, just the dragon aspect alone sold me as something I wanted to read. I’ve been loving dragons forever, and I’m so glad that there have been more books about dragons showing up again, especially in YA. Then Soria combined having a legendary family of slayers to the mix? I’m double sold! Yes, the slayer part totally reminded me of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, even though they were slightly different, but honestly that’s what made me so excited to read this! I wanted to see how Soria would make this legacy apparent and legendary in her novel. She did an amazing job with it.
I’m looking back through my kindle to see what kind of notes that I saved, and apparently I didn’t save as many notes as I thought I did! It’s okay though, because the ones that I did save pretty much work for what I need to say.
One of the main aspects of this novel that I both enjoyed and hurt for was the relationship between sisters Eden and Dani. Eden is the eldest sister, the one that is a “by the book” kind of person, making sure that her technique is perfect and making sure Dani does the same. She is dedicated to her life as a slayer 100%, to the point that some people at her old high school started a rumor that she was part of a cult. It wasn’t her fault that she took her legacy very seriously and wanted to dedicate whatever time she had to ensuring that she would continue that legacy of being a Rivera. In fact, Dani is quite the opposite, wanting a regular life without having to be a slayer 24/7, which I totally understand. Dani would be Buffy, and Eden would be Kendra if I’m continuing with the BTVS comparison.
That doesn’t mean that Dani doesn’t take her life as a slayer seriously. She just doesn’t want it to consume her entire life. Dani is a great fighter, and even if technique isn’t her thing, she still is a force to be reckoned with. This ends up being something that Eden gets jealous of, and the more the book goes along you can see just how resentful Eden is of Dani and her behavior and actions regarding being a slayer. Quite frankly, to me this is one of the saddest aspects to the novel because you’ll see just how much that resentment of Dani ends up affecting Eden’s choices in the future. And it’s even more sad because Dani looks up to Eden so much.
“She liked to compete, and she loved to win, but more than anything – and this was a secret she intended to take to her grave – she loved to watch her sister kick ass.”
Dani about Eden, Chapter One
I’m glad that Soria was able to explore this relationship as sisters but also on opposite sides of a centuries long war between dragons and slayers. I won’t go more into that part since it may be a spoiler, but definitely pay attention to the dynamics between Dani and Eden from the beginning to the end. It gets pretty emotional really quickly, and I’m so happy that I got to experience it.
Soria does an amazing job exploring different kinds of relationships in this novel, even when things hit the fan and one would think there’s no time to even think about them. Not only do we get to see Dani’s relationship with her best friend Tomás, and how secrets could end up breaking those relationships down, but we also get to see Dani develop a brand new relationship with Nox, who just so happens to be a dragon. On a more serious note, we also see how Eden was manipulated by the high sorcerer to change her very essence because it would “fix what was broken” with her. Broken? Was Eden really broken, or was she dealing with anxiety and panic attacks like other people in the world do? That hurt me the most, seeing that Eden allowed someone who truly didn’t even show true concern over Eden’s wellbeing and mental health influence her to make such drastic decisions.
“She was supposed to be beyond all that now. Magic was supposed to fix what was broken. She didn’t need her old coping mechanisms. She didn’t.”
Eden, Chapter Sixteen
I wish that Eden was able to hear this before everything changed, but maybe it needed to happen in order to understand where she was and where she needs to be.
Learning more about the history of dragons, and seeing them from their own perspectives rather than from a slayer’s or a sorcerer’s perspective was really important to me. I don’t think this book would have been as powerful if Soria didn’t include this, and honestly I don’t think there was any way that she wouldn’t include that. Dani having the opportunity to learn the real truth about dragons, what they are and what they have gone through was such a humbling experience. It was so different from what she grew up learning from her family, and it was something that Dani had to unlearn everything that she knew before and understand that maybe her family wasn’t always 100% correct. It’s so hard to unlearn what you grew up learning, like it’s been ingrained into your personality and your person, and I felt it was so important to show that struggle in Dani.
I really enjoyed this novel as you can tell. I highly recommend this one!
Fire with Fire by Destiny Soria is an urban fantasy story about two sisters who come from a family of dragon slayers. And this sounded great, so I just had to read it and this book surprised me in the best way because it is amazing.
The book is set in our world with the exception that there are dragons and sorcerers. The Rivera family was always part of this and they are the one’s protecting the world from the dragons. So the sisters Dani and Eden train to follow in their families steps and responsibility.
While Dani just wants a normal life and to hang out with her friends and to have a good time in highschool, she has immense talent in the dragon slaying. Her sister Eden contrariwise is dedicating everything to it and she feels like this isn’t enough. They always grew up with seeing dragons as something evil and bad until one day Dani is face to face with one and sees that maybe not everything is as she was taught. At the same time Eden approaches the sorcerers more and more.
The dragon aspect was also done phenomenally and I loved it. You got to see the perspective of one and also saw how people study these creatures.
Overall, this book completely captivated me and from the beginning I could connect to the characters. The story unfolded beautifully and I loved to follow this. Definitely one of the best books with dragons that I’ve ever read. 5 stars.
(ARC kindly provided via NetGalley in exchange for a review.)
Story Diary to come. If you loved Beneath the Citadel and dragons, you just might enjoy this one. It’s one hell of a punchy and heartfelt ride.