Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's Books
Number of Pages: 288
Published: November 6th, 2018
Opening Lines: "Once upon a time in a beautiful, dirty, exciting city full of people and chocolate and possibilities, there was a girl so fearless and daring..."
The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart was the Cybils 2017 Middle-Grade Speculative-Fiction winner. It featured Adventurine, a young dragon who was transformed into a human. I was really excited to see the second book in the series at my library and eager to read Silke's story.
From Goodreads: "Silke has always been good at spinning the truth and storytelling. So good that just years after arriving as a penniless orphan, she has found her way up to working for the most splendid chocolate makers in the city (oh, and becoming best friends with a dragon). Now her gift for weaving words has caught the eye of the royal family, who want to use her as a spy when the mysterious and dangerous fairy royal family announce they will visit the city. But Silke has her own dark, secret reasons for not trusting these visitors … Can Silke find out the truth about the fairies while keeping her own secrets hidden?"
Silke has started working for the Chocolate Heart as a waitress and delivering handbills to drum up sales. She's an adept salesperson and really knows how to entice people into coming to the store to sample their delectable chocolates. She's diplomatic, determined and perhaps a bit overly confident, but she knows what she wants. She has dreams and aspirations of one day having her own place to call home, one that can't be taken away from her. I quite enjoyed her desire to be in control of her story, to forge her own way in life. Adventurine is Silke's best friend, she's fierce, territorial and very protective of her friends and family. Having the ability to transform into a dragon when she's angry also makes her unpredictable and volatile, it's a good thing she has Silke. who usually can calm her down in these situations. The two girls really complement each other and would do anything to protect one another. Their friendship really shines in this story.
When Silke's storytelling draws the attention of the Crown Princess, and she's given the opportunity to spy on the visiting fairy delegation, Silke jumps at the chance. She has unfinished business with the fairies and questions about her parents that she hopes they might have the answers to. I love how the setting of the story moved from the Chocolate Heart shop to the Palace and the way Silke had to adjust to learning how to be a proper lady-in-waiting, to wear dresses with frills. She's quite entertaining. I adored her quick wit and ability to get out of almost any situation by telling a story. I also like the addition of Princess Sofia and hope she'll be featured in a future story in the Tales from the Chocolate Heart series. The Girl with the Dragon Heart has some pleasant surprises, lovely messaging and fierce strong female characters.