Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows

And here we go again with a new series…

Genre: YA fantasy

The synopsis


Mira Minkoba is the Hopebearer. Since the day she was born, she’s been told she’s special. Important. Perfect. She’s known across the Fallen Isles not just for her beauty, but for the Mira Treaty named after her, a peace agreement which united the seven islands against their enemies on the mainland.

But Mira has never felt as perfect as everyone says. She counts compulsively. She struggles with crippling anxiety. And she’s far too interested in dragons for a girl of her station.


Then Mira discovers an explosive secret that challenges everything she and the Treaty stand for. Betrayed by the very people she spent her life serving, Mira is sentenced to the Pit–the deadliest prison in the Fallen Isles. There, a cruel guard would do anything to discover the secret she would die to protect.

No longer beholden to those who betrayed her, Mira must learn to survive on her own and unearth the dark truths about the Fallen Isles–and herself–before her very world begins to collapse.

The review

When I heard this book had dragons in it I thought ‘well why not, that could be interesting’. I found a cheap copy on the internet and here I was beginning a new series (I really should stop buying books, it is becoming an addiction…). I did not expect much from this book since I had understood that it was the classic YA fantasy trope of fallen and rising kingdoms with the main character being at the centre of an uprising. And indeed the action lived up to this expectation.

We are following Mira in two timelines: past and present. I have to say that I was confused by that at first because I did not see the link between what had happened in the past and what was currently happening. I felt there were two parts in this book, the first one where we are discovering the world, the dragons, and why Mira is imprisoned (in a perfectly chilling prison by the way). Then, we have another part where she is trying to survive and free herself. The latter hardly kept my attention as I found it repetitive and dragging a bit.

As usual, there are some characters that I could not stand such as Mira’s mother and Altan that were real bullies. I wonder why the characters that die are always the nice ones… However, I liked the fact that the mother’s behaviour explained Mira’s. I think that without that I would have hated Mira, her passive attitude, and her lack of wit. People were particularly annoying too with their corruption and their way of considering Mira as an object.

In brief: This was a classic YA fantasy, not impressive but still enjoyable. I wish I had seen more magic and dragons though.

My rating: 3.5/5

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