New York Times bestselling author Amie Kaufman is a master at creating large scale drama and balancing this with the minute and intricate detail of the alternate worlds that fantasy readers demand.
Hot on the heels of The Ice Wolves, the first in her highly praised Elementals series, is the just released Scorch Dragons and the good news is, it’s every bit as good. After the dramatic battle between the Wolves and the Dragons in the last book, the two clans are understandably wary of one another. For Anders and his twin sister Rayna things have progressively become more complicated when in an unprecedented turn of events, Anders is able to transform into a wolf and Rayna a dragon. So, where does their allegiance lie?
Anders and his Wolf friend Lisabet have found themselves in Drekhelm, the mountain home of the Dragons after the battle. At the end of the last book Anders was forced to fight against his own Wolf family to stop irreparable damage between the two sides. But now his own people feel betrayed by him and the Dragons are highly suspicious. No one it seems ,can really understand why Anders and Lisabet put the greater good before their own personal allegiances.
At least when they are at Drekhelm, Anders can be with his twin Rayna. Wolves however, are not usually welcome in the home headquarters of the Dragons and there are many who don’t want Anders and Lisabet to stay. When they find out that Wolves have stolen an artefact called the Snowstone from the Dragons, Anders and Lisabet become alarmed. The Snowstone can alter the weather and the one way that the Wolves can overcome the Dragons is by significantly decreasing the temperature of their homeland.
Now it seems both sides are getting ready for an attack that will succeed in separating the two worlds permanently. Anders, Lisabet, Rayna and friends Ellukka, Mikkel and Theo along with the helping hands of Haydn (Wolf) and Leif (Dragon) set off on a mission to make sure that there is an even playing field between the two sides. But with suspicions rife and tensions high it’s far from easy to save the Wolves and the Dragons from themselves. That is until they are given a helping hand via a secret family map.
This leads the small group on some wonderful adventures to find the Sun Sceptre. That it’s scattered across several places and the map that is anything but straightforward, makes things that bit more exciting!
Australian Kaufman apparently spent her childhood summers at the library and acting out stories with her sister, and this immersion in the world of stories growing up seems to have resulted in the very rich and complex world she has created. Surprisingly, Kaufman also manages to fill Scorch Dragons with the warmth of humanity. The action-filled plot is peppered with quiet moments when readers can take a minute to rummage through rooms of forgotten artefacts at Drekhlem, roam around with wolves at twilight or fly across the land bareback on a dragon. Themes of belonging and identity are strong, along with loyalty and acceptance of diversity.
Scorch Dragons will be a book your kids read once at breakneck speed and then come back to, time and time again.
Amie Kaufman is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of young adult and middle grade fiction, including Unearthed and the Starbound trilogy with Meagan Spooner and the Illuminae Files with Jay Kristoff. Ice Wolves is her first solo novel, and her favourite part of the writing process was taking howling lessons from a wolf expert.
Her multi-award-winning work has been described as ‘a game-changer’ (Shelf Awareness) and ‘out-of-this-world awesome’ (Kirkus Reviews). Amie lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, their rescue dog, and an extremely large personal library.
Read more at www.amiekaufman.com