About the Book
Lyra. Lucy. Percy. Once in a generation, a hero emerges whose story enthralls readers worldwide.
Fireborn is an epic quest, perfect for fans of the His Dark Materials and The School for Good and Evil series, that will spin readers into a magical world like no other–and introduce them to an unforgettable new heroine named Twelve.
Ember is full of monsters.
Twelve gave up her name and identity to train in the art of hunting them–so she says. The truth is much more deadly: she trains to take revenge on those who took her family from her.
But when Twelve’s new home is attacked, she’ll find herself on an unexpected journey, where her hidden past is inescapably intertwined with her destiny–and the very fate of her world.
About the Author
Aisling was born in 1985 and wishes that she had grown up in a magical, mountainous kingdom, but was actually raised in Surrey on a diet of books and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Her early ‘adventure’ stories involved surprisingly little action and her first novel (3 pages long) was politely declined by publishers at age 11. After earning a BSc in Biology and working as a support worker and then a nurse, the idea for her debut novel, Fireborn, came to her as she moved back and forth between London and the US. Now based in Hackney, when she is not reading or writing, Aisling loves cooking and plotting adventures (for herself as well as her fictional characters). Fireborn will be published by HarperCollins in 2021.
What I Thought
Well. What a ride this book was.
When a book is this good it becomes tricky to write a review but here goes.
I love the magic and adventure of middle grade books and this is a world to get immediately engulfed in. Truly a case of starting In Media Res (in the middle of the action) and learning about the world as we read. There are early hints that Twelve is at the Hunting Lodge under false pretences, and based on unfortunate circumstances, and that is solidified in her position as an outsider, as one set apart from her fellow Huntlings, each named for a number until they pass their training and earn their place and the right to choose a new name. In their pledge they agree to forsake their previous lives in order to serve all seven clans in Ember and fight the monsters that threaten them all.
Of course monsters do not always come with fangs and fur but in all manner of guises, amongst those you know and even within yourself. Flashbacks in nightmares unwind the horror in Twelve’s past, but is her anger directed in the right way?
We have wolves, goblins, witches, talking trees, and new and untold horrors. Beware the deathspinners and The Croke!
But on side of light we have stone guardians and squirrels 🐿 as well as unexpected allies who help Twelve and some of her fellow Huntlings survive through the Frozen Forest way before they were ever meant to enter it. But do they all make it?
Warriors and Clans make this setting an imagined prehistoric world with added magic and myths. This was a truly gripping and pacy read and I loved the relationships between the Huntlings. It’s great when there is some animosity in the team, definitely adds to the tension. Twelve is also an internally conflicted character and her backstory is really quite chilling and it comes back to haunt her. Along the way she learns some lessons and even makes some friends because alone is not the way to win a war and it looks like one is coming.
There were some unexpected twists and turns and some things that I guessed at and it’s the mark of good writing when both are satisfying.
I definitely recommend getting your hands on a first edition because I think this is going to be big – 5,6,7…12 big!
Releases 30th September and will no doubt be the start of the next epic adventure series.
Thanks to Dave at The Write Reads and the publisher (Harper Collins Children) for the gifted copy for the purposes of this honest review. Do check out what everyone else thinks – spoiler, they are all loving it too.