#BookReview | Fireborn: Twelve and the Frozen Forest by Aisling Fowler @HarperCollinsCh @TinaMories #Fireborn #damppebbles

“Set in the snowy northern forests of an imagined prehistoric world, Fireborn is the middle-grade debut of the decade. At turns exciting, funny and heart wrenchingly sad, it marks the introduction of an unstoppable new voice in children’s storytelling.

Twelve has spoken the Pledge and now she is a Huntling. She has given up her name to train in the art of fighting monsters and keeping the peace, and she won’t get to choose a new one until she has earned it.

But when the Lodge’s walls are breached for the first time, and a little girl is taken, Twelve is the only one interested in going after a child . . .

Teaming up with Dog, the Stone Guardian of the Lodge, Twelve ends up on an epic adventure that will change her life, her name – and her entire world.”

Hello and welcome to damppebbles. Today I am delighted to share my review of Fireborn: Twelve and the Frozen Forest by Aisling Fowler. Fireborn: Twelve and the Frozen Forest is published by HarperCollins Children’s Books in hardcover, audio and digital formats today (that’s Thursday 30th September 2021). I chose to read and review a free ARC of Fireborn: Twelve and the Frozen Forest but that has in no way influenced my review. My grateful thanks to Tina at HarperCollins Children’s Books for sending me a proof copy.

Well, I say ‘me’ but if I’m being truthful, Tina didn’t send a copy to me. She sent it to my 10 year old daughter who saw the book on my Twitter feed and fell in love. She was so excited to read it. It went to school with her, she showed it to her class and told them all about Twelve. It was a complete and utter joy to see how much she enjoyed reading this book. So I had to give it a read myself! I’ll share my thoughts in a tick but first of all, here’s what G thought…

Fireborn is a brilliant book about persevering, courage and friendship. I love how the Frozen Forest challenges Twelve because it keeps on changing and moving around her. The book had a lot of twists and turns. My favourite character is Widge, Twelve’s pet squirrel because he’s really cute, friendly and loyal. The book made me feel excited and nervous for Twelve. I love how there are so many flashbacks from Twelve’s life before she joined the Hunting Lodge. It made me feel as though I knew Twelve really well. I would recommend this book to people who enjoy magical fantasy. I really enjoyed Fireborn by Aisling Fowler and hope for more adventures with Twelve and her friends soon!

What a rip-roaring adventure the author has created for her wonderful lead character! There is so much to love about Fireborn. First of all, it’s perfectly pitched at its young audience with so many thrills and spills along the way. The author’s world building hit all the right notes providing stunning spectacles of magic and fantasy which even I, as a more mature reader *ahem*, found exciting and thoroughly engaging. I couldn’t help but like Twelve. She’s a renegade, a fighter and she’ll do what she thinks is right – no matter what the consequences. I loved her fire. Driven by the loss of her family and a thirst for revenge, she’s exactly the kind of hero I wanted to read about as a kid.

I really enjoyed how the author paired Twelve with characters who were her opposite and then dropped them into scenarios where their individual strengths shone. Enabling the characters to see the best in their counterparts. I enjoyed watching Twelve slowly thaw towards the other characters in the book. Realising over time that the people she disliked the most could, in fact, become friends. There are some truly wonderful twists along the way which I didn’t see coming. Twelve, alongside Dog, the magical, invincible guardian of the Hunting Lodge meet a host of well-drawn magical creatures in the forest who are out to put an end to their quest.

Would I recommend this book? I would, yes. Fireborn: Twelve and the Frozen Forest is an exciting, tension filled read which my daughter and I both loved. This thrilling middle grade fantasy whisks its readers away to another world, full of magical creatures and dark delights. Wonderful characters, brilliant twists and some very impressive world building with a strong female lead at the helm. Absolutely marvellous and we can’t wait to catch up with Twelve again soon 🔥. Highly recommended.

I chose to read and review a free ARC of Fireborn: Twelve and the Frozen Forest. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

Fireborn: Twelve and the Frozen Forest by Aisling Fowler was published in the UK by HarperCollins Children’s Books on 30th September 2021 and is available in hardcover, audio and digital formats (please note, the following links are affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.uk | Waterstones | Foyles | Book Depository | bookshop.org | Goodreads | damppebbles bookshop.org shop |

ⓒ Claire Bradshaw

Aisling 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.

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