Author: Destiny Soria
Publication date: June 8, 2021
Genre: YA fantasy
My rating: 4/5 stars
It seems like dragon books are making a comeback, and folks, I am here. for. it. Fire with Fire blends a contemporary setting in rural Tennessee (complete with usual teenage relationship difficulties) with a hidden world of dragons and sorcerers. With strong themes of sisterhood, loyalty, and defining yourself, this was a captivating read with a pair of compelling protagonists. In this post, you’ll find a review, some quality quotes, and–you guessed it–a giveaway for a copy of your own. Let’s go!
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 turns to 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.
Content Warnings: violence, torture, animal cruelty (a dragon), 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)
This was a solid read, one that I thoroughly enjoyed. In a market that tends to be full of excessive romantic focus, it was nice to see a book where the main emphasis was on sisterhood and family. That’s not to say we didn’t get a compelling romance–the dark, brooding Kieran is the sort of love interest YA fans tend to be suckers for (myself included)–but it never became overbearing. Dani and Eden were both wonderful protagonists, each strong in their own way–Dani, the younger sister who has natural physical aptitude, and Eden, the elder sister who is in a constant mental battle with her own anxiety and perfectionism. Neither sister is infallible, and while I did feel like the story unfairly favored Dani in some places, I appreciated that, in general, the two were just as likely to balance each other out as they were to butt heads. Sibling relationships are complicated, but Soria manages to render the Rivera sisters in a convincing and realistic way.
Speaking of anxiety–I appreciated the anxiety rep in this book. The story didn’t shy away from the oft-nasty effects of anxiety, from social difficulties to constant self-doubt, but it also did not paint Eden as some shrinking violet, incapable of dealing with it. The mentions of various therapy techniques for dealing with anxiety attacks, including medication, alongside a strong message that anxiety does not equate to weakness, made for an overall destigmatizing approach.
One other final note–setting this book in rural Tennessee was a great choice. The mountains and forests provided a plausible cover for the otherwise-way-too-noticeable dragons and sorcerers, while the characters were still able to drive (very long drives, might I add) to bigger cities, including Nashville. (Side note: the random scene at the Vanderbilt Central Library pleased me, especially in that they got the neighboring street names correct.) There were still some weird plot holes, but at least this one element managed to seal up most of them.
For anyone looking for a tale of sisters, family, and of course, dragons, this is a great choice, and I definitely recommend it!
Here are just a couple quotes I really enjoyed from this book! I did my best to keep them spoiler-free.
- “I’m not like you,” Dani said. “I fight to win.”
“So do I!”
“No, you fight to be perfect. It’s not the same.”
- How freeing it must be, to know that death and failure are only words, and that your destiny is as infinite as you are.
- She had more important things on her mind. Dragons, sorcerers, cats in trees. No time for dimples and raging hormones.
- “I’m sorry,” she said without slowing. “I think you’ve mistaken me for someone who cares what you think.”
- “I’m guessing you’re not the guy she stabbed, then?”
“Night’s still young,” Kieran replied.
- Apparently, she had a weakness for rude and sardonic and emotionally inaccessible. Kieran was attractive, at least. In a brooding, sharp, lethal kind of way. A girl had to have standards.
- Just because you want it to be true, doesn’t make it so.
Dani whirled to face him.
Just because you don’t know the answer, doesn’t mean there isn’t one.
- “I’m not broken. I’m human.”
The other hosts on this tour have been hard at work compiling reviews, interviews, quotes, cool pictures, and more. You can find the whole schedule HERE!
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.
One lucky winner will receive a finished copy of Fire with Fire. This giveaway runs from June 7th to June 14th and is open to US only (sorry, international friends).
You can enter HERE. Best of luck!
Huge thank you to the publisher and TBR and Beyond Tours for providing me with an eARC of this book via NetGalley as part of my participation in this tour!