Reading level: Ages 13 and up
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins; 1 edition (September 7, 2010)
From the author's website:
A HIDDEN TRUTH
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 of her kind, she nearly pays with her life, only to be spared by a beautiful stranger sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki--a descendant of dragons whose ability to shift into human form is her best defense.
Forced to flee into the mortal world, Jacinda struggles to adapt. The one 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 a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.
Mythical powers and irresistible passion ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide ...
Firelight is the story of Jacinda, a fire-breathing dragon. As the story opens, she is preparing to fly at dawn - flying during the daytime is forbidden by her pride, because there are Hunters who hunt the Draki, dragons who can take human form. As she flies into the sunrise, she is surprised by Hunters, who trap her and her friend. Jacinta provides a distraction so her friend can escape. While she is hiding in a cave, one of the hunters finds her...and tells the other Hunters she's not there. Then he disappears.
That night, Jacinta's mother takes her and her twin sister and flees the pride. Her mother knows the elders want to mate Jacinta with Cassian, a powerful young dragon, to ensure more fire-breathers in the pride. Her twin's dragon never manifested, and her mother's dragon died from not shifting. Jacinta's mother is determined to let Jacinta's dragon die, and they will live as humans. Jacinta is miserable, until she sees him. And he makes her feel alive again.
But can she fall in love with a Hunter? Or will Cassian find her and bring her back? Can she go back to life with the pride after she's felt true love?
Complete honesty? I thought this book was going to be about werewolves. Then, when I saw the cover, I was confused because the girl on the cover has scales so I thought she was a mermaid. WRONG.
Here's what happened: I received the next book in the series, Vanish, for review. Because I have BOCD (book obsessive compulsive disorder), I had to read Firelight before I read Vanish. But I guess I didn't read the blurb very carefully for Vanish because I could swear it said werewolves... So to say I was surprised once I started reading is an understatement.
That being said - I loved it! The worldbuilding is fabulous and I liked the heroine. She's a bit impulsive but hey - she's a teenager. She's special to her dragon pride - the first fire breather in about a hundred years, so she's been treated well. When her mother takes her away - she's miserable; not only does she miss her friends, her dragon is dying and she physically needs to go back to the pride. The author's use of the character's physical surroundings to emphasize her feelings makes the book come to life.
Then, Jacinta sees Will. He was the Hunter who let her go, and he goes to her school! He's attracted to her, even though he only saw her in dragon form. To say sparks fly is putting it mildly - Jacinta's dragon wants to come out and play :) But Cassian isn't out of the picture...he kinda stole my heart a little bit...
The Hunters are scary dudes - the scene when she walks into the room full of dragon hides - Oh! Poor Jacinta, I felt a little faint myself. I'm curious about the Enkros - the creatures the Hunters sell the Draki to - what do they use them for?
To summarize: Great world, interesting characters, intriguing storyline. I read it in a day. So, even though I started out a bit confused, I really enjoyed Firelight! I couldn't put it down and as soon as I did I ran right over and picked up book 2 in the series, Vanish. Fair warning: it ends on a cliffhanger, you will definitely be left wanting to know what happens next.