*Thank you Hear Our Voice Blog Tours and Page Street Kids for the opportunity to be a part of this tour!*
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.
I came for Puerto Rican Dragons and I left the book with so much more. Blazewrath Games was such a good unique young adult fantasy read. It gave such a fresh new perspective to the genre and was overall masterfully written. Amparo Ortiz gives us a diverse set of characters that you feel invested in caring for. All of the character are pivotal to Lana’s [main character] story arc that you couldn’t help but also want to see them flourish and have their stories known. Ortiz’s writing is so descriptive, but it leaves room for the mind to fill in the blanks. The author also paid great attention to different parts of the story, especially when discussing the tournaments Let’s just say, if Dragons existed, I would 100% believe everything they wrote.
In regards to characters, Lana is such a strongly and well written protagonist. She is also someone you can relate to because she makes mistakes, has some doubts and keeps trying. Born in Puerto Rico, Lana is moved by her mother to the United states where she struggles to figure out if she is Boricua enough. As someone who has and sometimes still goes through that struggle, I felt the struggle was so well reflected in Lana. It resonated a lot with me and I felt more compelled to this book as I turned each page. The author did not only deliver such a great relatable protagonist, she also graced us with some really good supporting characters. As mentioned earlier, each supporting character like Lana’s best friend Samira who is just full of life. She created supporting characters that I could visualize having their own rich story, and that is something that I usually do not see often in books.
I appreciated that this story did not have a formulated focus on romance and focused more on the dragons and the sport itself. I was here for the dragons and I got the dragons and good friendship and just a fantastic storyline. She took the unconventional route by not adding a strong romance and it kept me reading. To be clear, I love romance, but I also love when an author takes a different approach and doesn’t have the story focus on a romance.
If you want a story full or originality, good Latinx representation as well as other identity representations, page turning storyline – then this is the book for you!
About the Author
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. Her debut novel, BLAZEWRATH GAMES, hits shelves on October 6, 2020 from Page Street Kids.