Title: Blazewrath Games
Author: Amparo Ortiz
Genre/s and tags: Young Adult, Fantasy, Contemporary Fantasy, Adventure, Sports Fiction, LGBTQ+, POC reads, Latinx rep
Publisher: Page Street Kids
Publication date: October 6, 2020
Content warnings: Violence, murder/mentions of murder, manipulation, animal violence (dragons)
How to Train Your Dragon meets Quidditch through the Ages in this debut fantasy, set in an alternate contemporary world, in which dragons and their riders compete in an international sports tournament
Lana Torres has always preferred dragons to people. In a few weeks, sixteen countries will compete in the Blazewrath World Cup, a tournament where dragons and their riders fight for glory in a dangerous relay. Lana longs to represent her native Puerto Rico in their first ever World Cup appearance, and when Puerto Rico’s Runner—the only player without a dragon steed—is kicked off the team, she’s given the chance.
But when she discovers that a former Blazewrath superstar has teamed up with the Sire—a legendary dragon who’s cursed into human form—the safety of the Cup is jeopardized. The pair are burning down dragon sanctuaries around the world and refuse to stop unless the Cup gets cancelled. All Lana wanted was to represent her country. Now, to do that, she’ll have to navigate an international conspiracy that’s deadlier than her beloved sport.
I received an e-arc from Page Street via NetGalley in exchange
for honest review. Thank you Page Street!
First of all, HAPPY RELEASE DAY TO BLAZEWRATH GAMES! I remember seeing this book the first time on Instagram. I was so excited for it! I mean, dragons? magic? a sports tournament? Hell yes! I already knew it was going to be good, and so it was one of my most anticipated reads for 2020! (It didn’t prepare me for how it was going to play with my emotions though.)
With great character arcs, exciting plot twists, remarkable world-building, and queer rep, Blazewrath Games is a fantastic debut fantasy to watch out for!
My thoughts on Blazewrath Games
Right from the get-go, this book gave me action and thrill! The story was easy to follow through Lana’s perspective. There was also just the right amount adoration and frustration in Lana’s perspective that made me so attentive to the events in the story and how she reacted to it.
Probably my favorite things in this book are the character and their arcs. All the characters here in Blazewrath Games were so fascinating, especially when you add in their back stories and arcs. Not one character in this book felt the same, not one! (Seriously, I applaud the author for this). They were all so original and their individual arcs truly set them apart from others—Lana, Takeshi, Andrew, Victoria, Samira, President Turner, the Sire, hell even Todd. I love that they have their own voices and stories that helped shape this book.
Lana, was far from the perfect main character, but I love that she’s got flaws, too. Andrew, oh gosh, I have so much love for Andrew. As well as Samira, Hector, and all members of the Puerto Rico team. (They’re all so precious, okay.)
When it comes to the plot, oh it was such a journey! There were a lot of plot twists, and breadcrumbs, dead ends, revelations, and more. I love that this book was just full of magic and action from start to finish. I just know other readers will love the thrill of this book. Also, I have to applaud the author for playing with my emotions just like that! I was left feeling sad, yet satisfied (yet sad!) at the end of the book. (You’re going to have to read the book to know what I mean *wink*)
The world-building in this book is just incredible. From the species of the dragons, to the magic and the witches and wizards, to the foundation of their sport. It was all so interesting and absolutely immersive. At the beginning of very chapter, there were also excerpts from books and bits and pieces from interviews, which for me, just made the world-building and storyline more detailed. That was great!
I absolutely loved that this book has so much queer rep. I mean, there are bi characters, trans characters, gay characters, and probably so much more. It was so wonderful seeing a contemporary fantasy novel that has so many LGBTQ+ characters, and not just the usual token gay character.
Overall, Blazewrath Games was such a great read. It never lacked thrill and magic and it’s one of my favorite reads this year for sure!