Publisher: Keira Gillett
Number of Pages: 300
Date Published: July 1st 2016
Source: In exchange for an honest review, an ebook was provided by the author for free.
In the first book of the Zaria Fierce trilogy, Zaria was tricked by a river troll and endangered the Stag King's son, Hart. In order to save him, Zaria and her friends Geirr, Filip, Aleks, and Christoffer traveled through various Norwegian realms to the underground kingdom of Jerndor to retrieve the Drakeland sword. A sword so strong that it is the only thing that can cut through the bonds holding Hart, who's time is quickly running out. Unfortunately, Zaria was once again tricked, this time into using the sword to release Koll, a fierce dragon from his chains. Once released, Koll began to gather together an army of dragons to wreck havoc. Now Zaria not only needs to find Hart, but she must also stop a dragon invasion. Zaria has also been battling her own demons or the trollish specter that haunted her thoughts, making her doubt herself, toying with and manipulating her emotions. Zaria spent much of the first two books wanting to be courageous but filled with such horrible self-doubts. Every time she gained a little ground, things would once again go horribly wrong. For instance, when she finds out that she has magical abilities, she still struggles to figure out how they work and to gain control over them. Which becomes even more important when the groups path forward is blocked by a water-wyvern. Yet Zaria is able to fall on her friends for support and their continual encouragement give her just the confidence she needs to keep trying, to persevere. They never hold her mistakes against her and won't allow Zaria to take the blame for being tricked. For me, it's one of my favorite parts in reading this series, well that and the unique qualities that each character brings to the story. I also adore the wonderfully detailed world that Gillett has created, filled with all the sights and food. Glorious details about “warm, rich cinnamon,... gooey, slightly tart apple slices with a hint of powder sugar on top to dust the lips.” Mmm, wouldn't it be fun to get lost in a world like this? I think the Zaria Fierce series mixes together all the things that I love about reading fantasy books, there is a sense of good versus evil, strong friendships, dragons, gorgeous illustrations, a captivating world, a perfect middle-grade book for someone looking for an action packed story filled with Norse mythology.