#20BooksOfSummer is an annual event hosted by Cathy Brown of 746 Books and runs from 3rd June until 3rd September With the aim to clearing a target of 5, 10 or 20 books from your TBR but with very relaxed and fun rules.
Here is my joining post & List!
I’ve been sent using these books for a while, I missed this when it came out in 2017, but am glad to have had the opportunity to read it now!
There are hints of a Regency- Fantasy setting of Joanne Harris’ Chocolat for children with the wondrous food magic, unfriendly Mayor trying to close the chocolaterie down, and the task of persuading the locals to embrace the chocolate helped by the outcasts BUT this is with DRAGONS!!!!! And she’s not a ‘witch’ she’s a Dragon turned into a girl!
This book of a proud dragon called Aventurine sick of being told what to do and being underestimated who sneaks out of her family cave one day. Upon finding a human making chocolate she decided to eat the chocolate first then the human.. but oh dear he is a food mage and a spell is cast into the chocolate.
This book details Aventurine’s efforts to make her way as a human travelling to the city, becoming an apprentice to the fiery Marina and doing her best to save the chocolaterie from the predation of the Lord Mayor.
Finding your Passion
Dragons. I do love dragons. This book is a little different though as it’s not high fantasy but it’s not contemporary as in there’s a dragon in the garden or Library (which I ADORE too by the way-hooray for dragons).
You can see Burgis’ background writing Regency-set historical fiction with a magical twist as Aventurine reads a little of the pomposity Pride & Prejudice in her attitudes about herself and humans which change by the end of the book and the world in which this fantasy inhabits has flavours of Regency history from dress to decorum.
As I looked into her eyes I realised something that I’d almost forgotten on our long journey: even without any claws or scales, humans had always been predators too.
The book read in places delightfully like a Disney-Pixar film with the magic and sweeping the plot along with an outer transformation/change, a journey and an internal transformation as our heroine learns a skill or something about herself. The growth that Aventurine undergoes as she finds something she is passionate about and wants to be good at is Wonderful and very inspiring for children whether they have found a calling or passion or not yet too.
There were also times I was feeling Kiki’s Delivery Service but with a Regency Twist and it being Chocolatier Apprentice not delivery girl and Dragons not Witches that exist! This was felt especially through the whimsy, the antique chocolate making equipment reminding me of the traditional techniques of the bakery and pausing moments of thought and self doubt as Aventurine struggles with the prospect of being a human and not being good enough hit home.
All these things are HUGE compliments to find comparison with in my opinion!! It made a book that I was delighted reading throughout and will definitely pick up the other two books in the series.
I’m the fiercest thing in this city.
What I love especially is that Stephanie notes in the back she wrote this story for her son, but she packed the story full of fierce, strong indomitable women of various ages, experience and even species! This directly confronts the misconception of Boys not wanting to read stories about girls and gives fabulous Seth and diversity to each females strengths and talents showing women don’t have to be one thing to be successful or happy.
Basically this is such a wonderful read for those who love a magical world, Dragons and something of a historical edge but with plenty of heart- oh and this book may make you crave chocolate (and I’m not really a Chocolate person!!)
The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis is published by Bloomsbury