Firelight by Sophie Jordan, published by Oxford University Press on 3rd March 2011
Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki—a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.
Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away—if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.
Mythical powers and breathtaking romance ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide.
'Firelight' was a breathtaking read! I got hooked into the story from the very first page and I didn't want the book to end. I'm so relieved that Sophie Jordan has planned this series as a trilogy because I need more of Jacinda and Will. I'm a huge fan of the paranormal romance genre and I've read a lot of these books recently but very few have gripped me like 'Firelight' did. The narrative fairly flew along and the story was utterly compulsive. This is a book that I'm going to be recommending a lot!
Jacinda is a draki - a descendant of dragons. Her Pride have the power to shift into human form but Jacinda also has a special ability in that she can breathe fire. When Jacinda breaks the rules of the draki, she is made to flee with her mother and twin sister Tamra. Her mother wants nothing more than for Jacinda to embrace her human form but Jacinda won't deny who she truly is. When Jacinda encounters Will, whose family hunt draki, she feels an unquestionable attraction for him but they stand on opposite sides of a great divide. Can they ever be together or will their families come between them?
I honestly could gush all day about this book. It's an incredible YA debut and a brilliant opening to a trilogy which I'm sure is only going to get better and better (if that's possible!). It has a great love story at it's heart with the romance between Jacinda and Will. The pull they feel towards each other is impossible for them to deny and there's a great deal of longing looks, shared glances and tingling touches shared between them. Will makes Jacinda come alive in a way that no one else can and I'm going to enjoy seeing how they overcome all the obstacles that have been placed in their path.
I loved Jacinda and I sympathised with the situation she found herself in. She has to give up what makes her whole when she leaves the Pride and although she wants her family to be happy, she risks her own happiness by staying with them. I also liked the family angle with her twin sister who never manifested. Although they're twins, they have different lives and vastly different longings and it's interesting seeing how the two try to connect. Tamra just wants a normal high school experience and is desperate for Jacinda to try and fit in too but Jacinda won't conform to other peoples' expectations and tries to stay true to herself.
I found the unravelling of the history of the draki absolutely fascinating. They have a system whereby the alpha makes the rules and leads the Pride and this hierarchy has to be rigidly adhered to. Many of the draki have special abilities and a great deal of attention was paid to building up a picture of them and their lives.
I adored this book! The concept is really original and the plot is brilliantly executed. I never thought I was particularly a fan of stories about dragons but 'Firelight' has definitely won me over. I'm counting down the days now until 'Vanish', the next book in the trilogy, is published.