Book Review: Baptism of Fire by Stephanie Constante

This book is the first in the Draconi Series. It follows a young woman named Leito, daughter of a dragon hunter. Her mother was killed by a dragon, but at a young age, Leito rescued a young dragon, exchanging a lock of her hair for one of his scales as a gesture of friendship. She learns a secret about dragons that no one else seems to know: dragons can take human form. When Leito grows up, the dragons are angry about her father’s actions, and the village acquiesces to the dragons’ demands: Leito will be sacrificed for them. A partial spoiler follows in the next paragraph.

Leito makes her way to the cave where she will meet her fate, but when she arrives she realizes she knows the dragon who intends to kill her: she had saved his life years earlier. As it turns out Leito and the dragon, Aiden, fall in love; but things get muddied when the dragon’s intended mate becomes jealous, demanding either Leito’s death, or her Aiden’s captivity. I won’t give away any more of the plot because this book will make you flip through the pages quickly, and I don’t want to spoil it.

I enjoyed the tension developed between Leito and Aiden. There was sexual tension, love, mystery, and fear mixed in. I turned the pages quickly until I was about 70 percent through. After that, I thought things happened too quickly. I was enjoying the story so much, I actually wanted more details (no, not more racy stuff—there is sex, but it isn’t graphic, and that’s fine with me): I wanted more interactions and examples to justify character actions. I thought that once they decided on a relationship, Leito and Aiden made decisions too quickly. I wanted less movement around the room (making food, cleaning up, choosing a dress) and more details that would bring me into the strange and intriguing world in which dragons take human form—smells, sights, etc.

The best part of the story is the plot. It was an intriguing plot that kept me awake longer than I should have been! The ending is very abrupt, ending at a high point to transition right into the second book—so don’t expect a resolution, but do expect to want to run out and read the next book immediately!

One minor picky point: there were grammatical errors repeated throughout—dialogue tags being inconsistently punctuated and comma splices throughout. But they weren’t generally enough to distract from the reading.

I received a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

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