My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Before I even begin my review, I have to say it: I loved this book! Baptism of Fire immediately grabbed my interest with it's first pages and kept building from there! I loved the concept, the mythology, the characters, the story's progression and that killer ending - when can I get my hands on book 2??? Seriously, I need it...now!
Leito's father is the village dragon-hunter and has dedicated his life to this task after his wife was killed by a dragon when Leito was just a little girl. When her father & the other dragon hunters in the village are out hunting a huge dragon - Leito simultaneously discovers & saves an injured dragon child & helps him escape the hunters. Year later, when Leito has become a young women, she is faced with a cruel twist of fate when her village offer her up as a sacrifice as a sort of peace offering for her father's crimes against the dragons. Leito bravely agrees to go if it will save her village from the wrath of the dragons but this is just the beginning of an adventure that will forever change her...and her destiny.
I can't really reveal anything more about the plot, because early on there is something of an unexpected twist and the whole story's progression sort of starts at that point. When author Stephanie Constant reached out to me and offered me a chance to read this story in exchange for an honest review I said yes right away! I have this thing where I LOVE dragons! The idea of a girl having to face a dragon and prove herself worthy, or use her wits to survive against a dragon were instantly attractive to me. Speaking of attractive: that cover ♥ ! The way the colours play with the shimmering lights at the bottom of the beautiful girl's feet!? *dies of pretty* I'm thrilled to say that Baptism of Fire is just as pretty on the inside. As I mentioned above, I liked this story right away and the more I read the more delighted I became. The story really flows and I never once got bored throughout. It is a fairly quick read though but everything really develops and wraps up nicely (almost) ;)
Leito the main protagonist was likeable and easy to relate to. She's feisty, opinionated & brave. She's curious by nature & though it can get her into a bit of trouble at times, I still found it endearing & believable. What really made me love Leito though, was the compassion she shows that young dragon even after losing her own mother to a dragon. She understands her father's motives, she knows how miserable losing his only love has made him and that he seeks to avenge that loss by hunting dragons...but she has not learned to hate as he does. And Aiden? Oooh Aiden made me fall in love with him as well, and I wanted to know more,and the more I learned the more I wanted to learn! Everything about this boy was appealing to me: he's a dark, brooding bad boy with a heart. He's sweet and adventurous but he can be aggressive and knows how to fight. Yum, right? The build of romantic tension throughout was both adorable & exciting. Paired with the beautiful descriptions of dreamy scenery & settings, it's hard not to fall in love with this romance.
The pacing was consistent and I could feel it building as the story progressed. The plot felt tight & like I said, I never felt bored even when not much was happening...cause you just knew something else exciting was coming up soon! The dialogue felt a bit stiff to me at first, but I quickly got used to it and it seemed to fit the medieval setting...people spoke more formally in the olden days in any event so it gave the story a realistic feel, even in such a fantastical world. The further along a got in the story the more it captivated me and it held till the very last scene when I was completely spellbound....gah! And then it was over too quickly and I just wanted to keep reading but there was nothing left! All things considered this was a an exciting and fun romantic fantasy read!
Author Stephanie Constante generously offered up 3 e-copies for a giveaway! Isn't she awesome?! Remember her name guys, I have a feeling we'll be seeing a lot more of her soon! (I still can't believe that Baptism of Fire is her debut novel!)
About this author:
**GIVEAWAY DETAILS** - ONLY e-book copies are available, 3 winners will be drawn at random to each receive ONE (1) copy each.a Rafflecopter giveaway