My absolute favourite name for a male is Will. Not William or Bill or anything like that, just Will. And I’ve been incredibly lucky lately that a lot of YA authors have been naming their lead males Will. One of those authors is Sophie Jordan in debut YA1 novel Firelight.
I loved this book. I loved the relationships, the mythology, the characters, the beautiful, beautiful cover. I loved almost everything about this book. Jacinda is a draki. A descendant of dragons. She appears to be a human teenager but her heart, her soul, is a draki. An amber coloured fire-breather who needs to be connected to the earth and nature to survive. And her mother is trying kill that part of her. For her own good. Grrrrrrr.
This is probably why I connected with Jacinda so much. My relationship with my mother is very similar to hers. Not that mine ever had to secret me away from our *pack* in the dead of night and me in the desert, which would kill my inner dragon. But Jacinda’s mother is one of those “do this because I said so” parents. No explanation, no understanding, then is surprised when her teenage daughter does things behind her back. This brought up all these feelings I had left over from my own teenager-dom and I found myself unreasonably hating Jacinda’s mother. Which just made me love Jacinda all the more. I loved her fire (pun totally intended) and passion and need to be herself and not what her mother and sister demand she be.
And her sister. I felt so bad for Tamra. Despite being twins, and despite Jacinda never trying to outshine her sister, Tamra always seemed to get left out, or left behind, or used to get at Jacinda. I am desperate for her to have a happy ending. Almost more than Jacinda. Not that she was perfect, or anything. She didn’t try very hard to understand how her sister felt. But neither did Jacinda. And I felt that they were both equally selfish as befitting teenage siblings. Especially twins. It must be hard to be so similar yet so different.
Now we come full circle and get to talk about Will. Again. He was just amazing. And not just because of his name. Although, as I said, that helped. But mostly what I loved about Will was his choices. There is nothing I detest more than someone who is evil just because they were raised by evil people. Will isn’t that. He was raised by disturbingly evil people but is still fully capable of exercising his free will and being his own person. Plus there is a dark mystery about him. Oh, oh! Also! I loved that he and Jacinda had that instant connection thing seen so much in YA fiction, but there was an actual explanation for it. There was a reason for the physical connection that drew them together so they could have an emotional one.
There was one thing that I didn’t really like. Let me preface this by saying that I’ve been reading a lot of books that start a series recently, so you might not have the same issue as I do. I’ve read a lot of cliffhangers recently. And, well, I was just hoping for a bit more of an ending. Obviously, this is the first in a trilogy and I was expecting some things to be left open-ended. But a lot was left open-ended. Things I didn’t expect to be left open-ended.
But, as I said, this was a very personal reaction and you might not mind at all. Very good book and I’m excited to read the rest of the series and see where things go.
1 Sophie Jordan has published many adult romance books previous to this.