Title: Blazewrath Games
Author: Amparo Ortiz
Publishing date: October 6th 2020
Published by: Page Street Kids
Genre: YA Fantasy
Lana Torres has always preferred dragons to people. In a few weeks, sixteen countries will compete in the Blazewrath World Cup, a tournament where dragons and their riders fight for glory in a dangerous relay. Lana longs to represent her native Puerto Rico in their first ever World Cup appearance, and when Puerto Rico’s Runner—the only player without a dragon steed—is kicked off the team, she’s given the chance.
But when she discovers that a former Blazewrath superstar has teamed up with the Sire—a legendary dragon who’s cursed into human form—the safety of the Cup is jeopardized. The pair are burning down dragon sanctuaries around the world and refuse to stop unless the Cup gets cancelled. All Lana wanted was to represent her country. Now, to do that, she’ll have to navigate an international conspiracy that’s deadlier than her beloved sport.
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CW: Allusions to domestic abuse, homophobia, murder, physical violence and mind invasion.
This book is SO GOOD! It’s action-packed, it’s entertaining and it has such a cool concept.
The world-building in Blazewrath Games is fantastic. This book is set in our world but there are wizards and dragons too, and Amparo Ortiz does an amazing job of sharing the history of the cohabitation of these three groups. An element that adds complexity to the world-building is the fact taht there are so many different types of dragons and they have different appearances and abilities, which is so cool. The author shares so much information about the dragons while at the same time it’s clear that people only know what dragons want them to know, they keep a lot of secrets so there is a lot of mystery surrounding them.
One of the coolest aspects of this book is Blazewrath as a sport which is played by teams of dragons and humans, and the Blazewrath games, which is an international sports tournament. The way Amparo Ortiz writes the matches is so incredible, I was at the edge of my seat the entire time while the matches took place, cheering the Puerto Rican team.
The plot revolves around a conspiracy surrounding the Blazewrath Games and it’s very engaging with a lot of moving pieces and interesting twists and turns, the characters are amazing, there’s a found family element that’s heartwarming, and it includes diversity in an effortless and organic way (most of the main characters are POC, and there’s also queer, trans and disabled characters).
The only issue I had is that a lot of convenient things happened and even some unrealistic things like the fact that the main character learns to fight in a few days and she fights well enough to beat people that have been training for a lot longer.
Overall, Blzewrath Games is a fun, gripping book that you won’t want to put down, full of characters you will root for and a cool and unique take on dragons.