This was an absolutely exquisite read, full of adventure, incredibly likeable characters and heart-warming messages. And chocolate – lots of chocolate!
The aptly named Aventurine feels trapped by her rather too perfect and cautious dragon family, and craves nothing more than to be allowed to go on an adventure outside of the family cavern. Ignoring family advice, she wanders outside, ready to hunt. It is rather unfortunate for her that the first human she finds is a food mage, who entices her to drink some hot chocolate … and her life changes forever!
On the plus side, she has found her passion: chocolate! But, she has been transformed into a ‘puny’ girl. Luckily, she is still a fierce, powerful dragon on the inside. There are lots of humorous encounters and observations as Aventurine tries to fit into her human skin, and get to know the human world. She is one feisty and determined girl, and refuses to give up on landing her dream job: apprentice chocolatier.
Whilst resolutely pursuing her dream, she meets Silke who becomes the friend she never knew she needed. Silke is a fantastically clever, gregarious and resourceful girl, who suspects that her new friend may not be all she appears. Their friendship blossoms into one of trust, playfulness, warmth and loyalty which I found wonderfully heart-warming.
Of course, just when Aventurine finally fulfils her dream, trouble arrives in unexpected ways. Can she protect her new ‘hoard’? Will she have the courage and self-belief needed to unite age-old enemies?
There are many, many qualities I absolutely adored in Aventurine:
- she is feisty, quick-witted and brave, despite her hidden pain at the loss of her dragon family;
- she remains true to herself (“some things were more important than fitting in.”);
- she learns to build genuine friendships, despite her deep-rooted mistrust of humans;
- she follows her passion, no matter the obstacles in her way, and finds the inner strength to be whatever she wants to be; and,
- she defends the people she cares about with a strength and loyalty befitting a dragon.
The action is fast-paced, the events flow skilfully, and the character interactions are incredibly engaging, all helping to create a wonderfully enchanting story, with an ending that left me feeling as warm and cosy as if I’d drunk a glass of chilli-flavoured hot chocolate.
This book is full of magical chocolatey adventure for readers of 7+!