Goodmorning fellow booknerds!
How are you all? I am currently in another lockdown here in Melbourne, so I am feeling incredibly unmotivated to do any sort of work! Whoops.
But what I am slightly more motivated to do is read all of the books. All of them. Ones that I’m not even reading!!!!!
Please tell me I’m not the only one!
But I digress. Today I am coming to you with a review for 𝓕𝓲𝓻𝓮𝓫𝓸𝓻𝓷: 𝓣𝔀𝓮𝓵𝓿𝓮 𝓪𝓷𝓭 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝓕𝓻𝓸𝔃𝓮𝓷 𝓕𝓻𝓸𝓼𝓽 𝓫𝔂 𝓐𝓲𝓼𝓵𝓲𝓷𝓰 𝓕𝓸𝔀𝓵𝓮𝓻. I literally finished this last night and I had so much fun reading it! Before I begin my review, here is the synopsis:
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.
𝓕𝓲𝓻𝓮𝓫𝓸𝓻𝓷: 𝓣𝔀𝓮𝓵𝓿𝓮 𝓪𝓷𝓭 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝓕𝓻𝓸𝔃𝓮𝓷 𝓕𝓻𝓸𝓼𝓽 is a wonderfully engaging story about a young girl named Twelve, in training to be a Hunter. In this world, a Hunter is one who keeps the peace of the realm, by slaying in monsters who work to do harm. Twelve, a Huntling, is plagued by the memories of her life prior to coming to the Lodge (the Hunter training Academy, essentially) and is determined to seek vengeance on those who did her family wrong.
But nothing is what it seems.
I slightly consider this book to be a fantasy coming of age story in that, Twelve really grows as a character across the span of the entire book. It is a naturally occuring type of development – it doesn’t happen immediately, but we see Twelve grow as her perspective grows of the world, of her tightly held prejudices.
If I sound vague it is deliberate! Purely because so many things that I want to say about the plot are incredibly spoilery! So, vague it must be.
Reading this book, I had a lot of fun. I don’t typically read middle grade but this sounded like the pure escapism I wanted. Action-packed with an unpredictable plot, it literally has everything you could ever want in a story. I found that the writing was wonderful and the care that was taken to showcase Twelve’s character as she is. She is not perfect at all. She is flawed, traumatised and lonely and I adored that Aisling Fowler did not run away from portraying a young main character in this way.
Can we also appreciate that one of the side characters, Five, is queer? I smiled so hard when I realised because representation in a middle grade is so freaking fantastic and something that I wished I had when I was growing up!
In terms of the story, when I say it was unpredictable, I am not even exaggerating. I did not expect the twist and turns of this story, when Twelve and the gang were surprised, I was surprised! It was as if I was with them, finding out betrayals and realising how everything links. Also learning about the world and the different types of monsters, as well as starting to find out more information about the different clans and the way that this world is governed, was quite interesting. I think the monsters were so imaginative and exciting as well as terrifying!
When reading this however, I knew that I was not the target demographic so the small issues that I had was mainly me. I found the exerpts from the beastiary slightly annoying and information dumpy as these excerpts interspersed throughout the story was the only way we really got information about the monsters which felt clunky to me. However, for younger readers, this is fantastic. See? These issues stem from me being me. I also thought that the way that some of the Elders of the Hunting Lodge would just bow to the demands and strategy of Twelve. Twelve I believe is 13 years old with very little actual Hunting experience, only that which occurred throughout the story. So we have these Elders who have years upon years of battle experience, listening to a 13 year old girl. It was one of the only aspects of the story that I was a bit doutbful about.
But other than that, I really enjoyed it. I highly, highly recommend it for lovers of middle grade! I gave it 4 stars.
And that’s it for today, friends! Make sure to check out the other stops on the blog tour!
Until next time, happy reading!
All the love,
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.