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Reviewed by Kayti Nika Raet for Readers' Favorite
The Firedragon: A Flynn Nightsider tale by Mary Fan is a fast paced dystopian novella centered around Aurelia Sun. She is a fourteen-year-old 'Norm' determined to prove elitist 'Enchanters' wrong by being the first Norm to win the Challenge and show the world that they aren't helpless and weak. Cocky, Aurelia has only one goal and she is sure that she can handle any monsters The Triumvirate throw her way. But what she doesn't realize is that The Challenge is more than just a way to recruit new Defenders. It's a means for The Triumvirate to cow the masses into sacrificing their freedoms for propagandized safety. Once Aurelia realizes that, nothing will stop her from going after the real monsters.
The Firedragon was an enjoyable read. I've read Fan's other novel, Artificial Absolutes, and loved it as well. Mary Fan has a way of creating unique and interesting worlds and in The Firedragon it's no different, with creepy creatures sent from the underworld, leaving the Earth a desolate and dangerous place to live. Aurelia is the type of female character one doesn't often find in YA; she's cocky and arrogant, very certain about her abilities as a fighter, but she's also vulnerable and unsure when it comes to things outside the training grounds. Yet when she sets her mind on something... watch out! Some parts in The Firedragon seemed a little sudden as things progressed very quickly, but all in all, it was an enjoyable read and a great addition to the Nightsider series.