Reviews,  SJardine

The Fireborne Blade by Charlotte Bond : Review


Kill the dragon. Find the blade. Reclaim your honor.
It’s that, or end up like countless knights before her, as a puddle of gore and molten armor.

Maddileh is a knight. There aren’t many women in her line of work, and it often feels like the sneering and contempt from her peers is harder to stomach than the actual dragon slaying. But she’s a knight, and made of sterner stuff.

A minor infraction forces her to redeem her honor in the most dramatic way possible, she must retrieve the fabled Fireborne Blade from its keeper, legendary dragon the White Lady, or die trying. If history tells us anything, it’s that “die trying” is where to wager your coin.

Maddileh’s tale contains a rich history of dragons, ill-fated knights, scheming squires, and sapphic love, with deceptions and double-crosses that will keep you guessing right up to its dramatic conclusion. Ultimately, The Fireborne Blade is about the roles we refuse to accept, and of the place we make for ourselves in the world.

This is a book that I read a while ago when I received my copy but have been slow to review it because my feelings about it are a little mixed. Reviewing this book was honestly a no-brainer for me as soon as I saw it was about knights and dragons. As a long-time fan of fantasy, especially stories about knights, squires, and their fiery adversaries dragons, I was immediately intrigued by the premise of Maddileh’s quest. The story was engaging enough to capture my attention with its promise of dragon-slaying action and its complex character dynamics. However, despite its interesting setup and themes, the book didn’t particularly stand out in the crowded genre of fantasy novels about dragons.

I can say that I loved the characters in The Fireborne Blade and found them undeniably interesting, especially Maddileh, whose struggle for acceptance and to regain her honor in a male-dominated field is the most interesting aspect of the book for me. The relationship between the knights, squires, and various other characters adds layers of intrigue and personal conflict that I really enjoyed. My main gripe is that I do feel like the worldbuilding was somewhat lacking. The setting has a lot of potential but honestly felt a bit underdeveloped to me, leaving much about the background and lore of dragons and that of the world itself largely unexplored. It honestly made it a bit more difficult to immerse myself fully in the story.

Despite the parts of the aspects of the book I thought could have been better I still thoroughly enjoyed The Fireborne Blade and will be getting the next book in the series. I won’t hesitate to recommend this book to anyone looking for something new to read, though I think it would be of particular interest to anyone who has a soft spot for classic dragon fantasy. Its blend of action, personal struggle, and the presence of dragons make this the perfect book for fans of traditional fantasy.

I received a free copy of this  book in return for an honest review.

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