Review of Fireborn: Twelve and the Frozen Forest by Aisling Fowler

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.

Fireborn is a fantastic middle grade fantasy that ticks all the right boxes.  It is full of adventure and just the right amount of peril along with a good old battle between good and evil.

Twelve is a great protagonist and as we explore her story we discover that it’s not surprising that she has built up such a tough exterior, although underneath she has a great loss to deal with and explains her arrival at the Lodge.  When a child goes missing it’s understandable that because of her loss, Twelve wants to be the one who goes out to find them. Whats unexpected are  her travelling companions. Dog, a powerful lodge guardian having their first feeling of freedom for many years, and a few others like her but who have very different reasons for tagging along.

As the reluctant allies journey on, they are confronted with all sorts of magical and monster filled challenges, like they are going through trials and at each turn they must learn to trust just a little more, even when confronted with their most terrible truths. I really loved this way of writing their quest and it gave them all the opportunity to shine in their own way.

The action was brilliantly written, so fast paced and filled with great imagery as the young team put into action all they have learnt about their craft and each other. I think I probably read the last half of the book non stop, it was so exciting!

I loved how wholesome the book felt though, despite the often grim surroundings the friendships shone through in a beautiful depiction of found family, forgiveness and acceptance. I would highly recommend Fireborn to any young reader or indeed any reader, including those like myself who are perhaps quite wide of the target audience! I’m passing this onto my 10 year old daughter to read next and I hope she loves it as much as I did!

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