Fireborn: A Dragonborn Novel

Fireborn: A Dragonborn Novel

4.3 3
by Toby Forward

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If magic sets the world on fire, something new is born from the flames.

When an old, dying wizard steals magic from his young apprentice, Bee, he changes his own life and nearly destroys hers. But he also releases something new into the world - a wild magic that turns fields to flames and upsets the order of the world. It will take another apprentice,See more details below


If magic sets the world on fire, something new is born from the flames.

When an old, dying wizard steals magic from his young apprentice, Bee, he changes his own life and nearly destroys hers. But he also releases something new into the world - a wild magic that turns fields to flames and upsets the order of the world. It will take another apprentice, Cabbage, to find Bee and try to set the world right again.

Remarkable for its deft, dramatic prose and thrilling magical adventure, Toby Forward's Dragonborn delighted critics and fans. This companion novel, set in the same world in a different time, is a breathtaking work of magic and suffering, friendship and transformation - and the new power that rises from the ashes of a terrible deed.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Bee is apprenticed at a young age to a weak and evil magician named Slowin, who steals her true name on her 12th birthday and awakens a wild and malevolent magic that transforms Slowin and his minions into fearsome creatures who invade a castle and devour its inhabitants. Bee is saved from the sorceror's wrath by Cabbage, an apprentice to the great wizard Flaxfield. Together they must figure out how to stop the evil man from growing even more powerful. This stand-alone prequel to Dragonborn (Bloomsbury, 2012) is distinguished by its vivid cast of characters and multilayered relationships. Magical elements are rather intense: a nasty bit of sludge coughed up by Bee becomes a vile, slurpy, shape-shifting carnivore; a river of beetles strips the flesh from every living thing it encounters; Cabbage dribbles tiny stars from his fingers when he's distracted. The fine writing and compelling plot are sure to enthrall readers of high fantasy. Give to fans of Tamora Pierce's "Circle of Magic" (Scholastic) series and Angie Sage's "Septimus Heap" (HarperCollins) series.—Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library
VOYA, February 2014 (Vol. 36, No. 6) - Deena Viviani
Twelve-year-old Bee is a powerful magician who is just growing into her abilities, and Slowin, the wizard to whom she is apprenticed, wants to harness her magic for himself. He tricks Bee into helping him cast a spell, which sparks a fire and makes magic throughout the land dangerous and unpredictable. The spell also badly burns Bee and Slowin, and the latter transforms into a dark beast whose hunger for magic grows. Bee is nursed back to health by magicians who believe she is the key to making magic safe again, and they work together to restore the land. The juxtapositions between the young characters and their juvenile situations, and the adult characters battling dark villains make this novel difficult to sell to a particular age. This may be attributed to the fact that Fireborn is a British import and a high fantasy. Those same dark elements, however, are what make this book compelling: the evil beetles, the slime creature, and the wild fires to name a few. Confusion may come from the vague rules and uses of magic, the numerous characters and their similar sounding names, and the lack of descriptions for some creatures. Fans of high fantasy may look beyond these issues and simply immerse themselves in the adventures and friendships and enjoy the read. Reviewer: Deena Viviani; Ages 11 to 18.
VOYA, February 2014 (Vol. 36, No. 6) - Maia Raynor
Fireborn is a book full of magic, friendships, and transformations. When a new wild magic is released into the world, a young girl, Bee, and her friends must try to set everything right again. Although the plot can get a little complex, the action and surprises keep the reader turning the pages. Those who enjoy books with magic and adventure will like reading about Bee and her quest to right the world’s magic. Reviewer: Maia Raynor, Teen Reviewer; Ages 11 to 18.
Children's Literature - Joella Peterson
Told in alternating perspectives this is a story of two apprentice wizards who are trying to not only figure out the art of magic but are trying to figure out who they are as well. Bee is apprenticed to Slowin, a sneaky wizard who is out to steal Bee’s true name so he can use all the magic that comes with it. Cabbage is under the tutelage of Flaxfield, a master who has good intentions at heart even if Cabbage doesn’t always agree with the methods. When Slowin steals Bee’s name the magic in the world starts escaping and causing havoc and mayhem in even the most unlikely of places. Throw into the mix Cabbage’s friend, Perry, and the magic really takes a crazy turn. This high-fantasy tale celebrates the power of the young and unexperienced taking their place in making the world better. Readers who enjoy fantasy and the complex worlds and traits of magic will enjoy seeing these young heroes work toward saving the world; however, though those who balk at the length or high fantasy might find this a bit much. Reviewer: Joella Peterson; Ages 10 to 14.
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2013-10-09
Prequel to Dragonborn (2012), this haunting fable interweaves stories about magic with the magic of stories. When even the simplest spells turn feral, wizard apprentice Cabbage and his master, Flaxfield, search for the origin of this deadly "wild magic." Their hunt leads to Bee, an apprentice whose immense potential has been secretly leeched for years by her abusive master, distorting the natural order of magic. When he steals her wizard name, the explosive blowback looses a terrible evil, and it's up to the pair of apprentices to seal it. Despite the cataclysmic stakes, this is no standard epic adventure, all quests and derring-do. There are dread abominations and ghastly slaughters (all the more nightmarish for their elliptical portrayal), but nothing is more monstrous than human selfishness, cowardice and vanity. Against these, no heroic exploit stands more valiant and glorious than the small acts of kindness, loyalty and trust that take place within a quiet library, a humble inn and a wounded spirit. Lyrical prose of lapidary precision and restraint etches a character-driven narrative of intimate enchantments, evoking terrible beauty from blazing infernos, subtle whimsy from nonsensical banter, bone-chilling horror from slithering beetles, and soul-piercing wonder from a simple "Yes." Although it stands fully on its own, knowledge of the companion novel will enrich appreciation of this tale, and the revelations here will cast new light upon the former; readers of both will long for the story's resolution. Terrifying, moving, inspiring and enthralling. (Fantasy. 12 & up)

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Bloomsbury USA
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