Welcome to my tour stop for Fire With Fire! It has recently been released this week, and I hope that you can also get a chance to read it!
- Date of Publication: 8 June 2021
- Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
- Age Category: Young Adult
- Genre: Fantasy
- US Cover Art: Viv Tanner
- US Cover Design: Mary Claire Cruz
- UK Cover Art: Robert Ball
- UK Cover Design: Natalie Chen
- Book Links:
About the Book
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 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 turnsto the mysterious and alluring sorcerers to help save her sister. Now on opposite sides of the conflict, the sisters 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.
On-page representation: Author of color, BIPOC-led cast, Mexican American representation, biracial representation (Mexican Scottish main characters), LGBT representation (bisexual main character), mental health issues (anxiety/panic attacks)
Trigger/content warnings: violence, torture, animal cruelty, mentions of racism, descriptions of anxiety/panic attacks, character death, unwanted sexual advance on a minor–very brief and involves face/arm touching only (Chapter 17),
Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Review Copy (ARC) from the publisher and TBR and Beyond Tours as part of my participation in this blog tour. This does not affect my honest opinion of the book.
It is rare these days to have standalone fantasy books especially in the YA market. Fire with Fire not only fills in this gap but ushers the readers into an emotional and action-packed tale of family, legacy, dragon-slaying, and magic.
At the heart of this story are the Rivera sisters, who are raised as heirs to a secret legacy of being the finest dragon slayer family in the US. Dani, the younger sibling, is considered a prodigy but yearns for a normal high school life, while Eden, the older Rivera, is considered “first-born but second-best” despite the hard work she puts into training.
I love how the book portrays this complicated kind of sibling dynamics. Eden and Dani truly love each other, and dealing with their family secrets daily bind them even closer. However, their love doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and their perception of each other is constantly challenged and warped by the weight of family expectations and the unfair treatment they get within their circles.
The sibling arc didn’t go the route I expected, but it’s no less beautiful. It’s messy and raw, but it is held together by the undeniable love Eden and Dani have. It is interesting to see the paths they take to save each other from what they perceive to be ruin, and their rivalry, insecurities, and petty but deep-seated jealousies hit too close to home.
Despite some earlier misgivings about her character, I find myself more attached to Eden. She constantly fights to be recognized for all the hours she puts into training, and the lack of love takes her into pretty dark emotional spirals. This is further compounded by her anxiety disorder: Eden thinks that her medication and panic attacks make her a weak dragon-slayer. She’s pricklier and messier, but she’s so much more relatable. Reading her POV chapters can be quite uncomfortable at times, but I love seeing her arc through to its satisfying end. I do wish Eden got more action scenes and more moments where she alone shines, in contrast with Dani’s typical heroic acts.
Besides Eden, the dragon Nox is one of my favorite characters! He is very sweet and naïve, and he takes Dani’s throwaway comments very seriously. His comedic timing is also gold, especially during every time he asks if it is time to sing Kumbaya. He also has a dry and biting wit, and his observations on power, history, and greed make for a good discussion.
My one gripe with this book is that it switches POVs mid-chapter. It can be hard to tell who is who especially right after a very tense battle scene, and my excess adrenaline makes it hard to keep track of these changes. I hope that at least *** or any kind of simple separators will be included in the finished copy.
Overall, I really like this book! If you’re looking for an action-packed fantasy that values the characters at its core, then Fire with Fire may be the book for you.
About the Author
Destiny Soria is an author who writes novels featuring magic, mystery, and an excess of witty banter. She lives in Birmingham, AL, where she spends her time trying to come up with bios that make her sound kind of cool. She has yet to succeed.
That’s it for my stop! Don’t forget to check out the rest of the tour using this schedule