I am so excited to get a chance to be a part of this book tour hosted by Caffeine Book Tours . Make sure you check out the rest of the posts that are a part of this tour by looking at the schedule for the tour found here.
Amparo Ortiz was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and currently lives on the island’s northeastern coast. Her short story comic, “What Remains in The Dark,” appears in the Eisner Award-winning anthology Puerto Rico Strong (Lion Forge, 2018), and SAVING CHUPIE, her middle grade graphic novel, comes out with HarperCollins in Winter 2022. She holds an M.A. in English and a B.A. in Psychology from the UPR’s Río Piedras campus. When she’s not teaching ESL to her college students, she’s teaching herself Korean, devouring as much young adult fiction as she can, and writing about Latinx characters in worlds both contemporary and fantastical.
Title: Blazewrath Games
Author: Amparo Ortiz
Publisher: Page Street Publishing
Publication date: 06 October 2020
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Experience the World Cup with dragons in this debut fantasy, set in an alternate contemporary world, in which riders and their steeds compete in an international sports tournament.
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.
You can find the book at:
Thoughts and Themes: The first thing that I thought when I saw this book and read the first few lines was this reminds me so much of How to Train Your Dragon which I love. Once I made that connection I was not able to put this book down even when I had to because sleep is something I need. This book also reminded me of the soccer world cup that comes every 4 years and while I don’t really watch it my family does so I have fond memories of the game.
I really enjoyed the world building that is not just done through the story but also in the passages that are included in between chapters. I loved getting to see how so many different countries were involved throughout this book and how their dragons were all unique. I thought it was great to see all of their differences and how these dragons would only bond with those that were from that country. All of the dragons included were amazing and you never got the sense that one of these countries was greater than the other, just that they all had their advantages.
I was quite shocked with how quickly an important aspect to the story is revealed to us all and was a bit worried that this revelation would make the rest of the story fall flat but I am glad I was wrong. I think this revelation coming early on really sets the stage for the rest of the story and makes it so that everything else that happens is more interesting.
Characters: I loved getting to know all of the characters throughout this book even if they are all shown through Lana’s perspective. I thought it was great that we not only get to meet her team mates but other team mates, and people from her life prior to joining the team. I thought watching her be torn between those two worlds really adds to the story and her background as a character.
Some of the other characters I was glad that were included were all of the political people that we met throughout. I was worried that the political storyline would be too much but I actually really enjoyed that being tied up with everything. I think that it made good commentary about athletics and politics and how everything we do is inherently political.
I also loved that there were so many queer characters in this story and how they were all amazing characters. This really added to my love for this book because I love seeing queer characters just living their lives and in this case being athletes and riding dragons. Seeing queer characters in fantasy books is always a plus for me because then I can see a little bit of me in a different world, one in which I could be among dragons.
Writing Style: This story is told through Lana’s perspective and while I would have liked to see what the others thoughts were throughout I liked that we didn’t. Us being given only her perspective added to the mystery of what was happening and made me feel worried for her at all times.