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The Gift of Charms by Julia Suzuki

"This epic novel, first in this fantasy series, transports the reader to the magical Land of Dragor, where seven dragon clans live hidden from man having beaten off the evil dragsaur beasts. 

Their great wars with the humans are over and the dragons live peacefully among the smoking mud pools and around The Fire Which Must Never Go Out. But the terrible years when they were enslaved by humans have left a lasting scar, and they are told they can never soar above the mountains and leave their safe haven to explore the outside world. 

There is unease in the air of their mist-filled valley, and the coming of a strange egg heralds a new era. Unlike the normal delicate lilac, this shell is multi-coloured like the contents of a treasure chest. The newborn hatchling is called Yoshiko, but he is immediately treated with suspicion by the elders, and is lucky to survive. The last time a coloured egg was laid, legendary warrior leader Surion was born from a red shell, and with his gift of fire the dragons went to battle with the humans. Will Yoshiko bring a blessing to the clans, or a curse? Could Dragor be about to meet its saviour, or its destroyer?"

When Julia Suzuki asked me if I wanted to receive a review copy of her book I couldn’t possibly say no. I mean a book about Dragons? Count me in! And the best of all is that I was not disappointed with it.

First of all, this is a middle-grade fantasy book so obviously it is a quick and easy read but that does not mean an adult couldn’t love it because, and being honest, this book is a complete GEM. Julia makes you fall in love with the story as a whole. I particularly love her writing style, how she builds up the dragon world and explains how the different types of dragons live together as any society would do and also, I really enjoyed the dragons’ background history. The reader will find new things while reading the book which is always a plus since if the writer throws all the information at once the reader could get confused, even more if it is a kid. So to have that information rationed is much appreciated. What has really fascinated me though is Julia’s ability to transmit the story: while you are reading is impossible not to picture everything about this world perfectly in your head.  It’s really MESMERIZING!

The Gift of Charms follows Yoshiko, a dragon who has been born from a multi-coloured egg, a curse sign according to all dragons of Dragor, even though he grows without knowing any of this. When finally the time comes for him to start Fire School he does not put his best foot forward and consequently other dragons pick on him. In addition he discovers his scales can change colour, something that makes him even more insecure. However, Yoshiko does not break down and decides to do his best to be an extraordinary dragon and simultaneously he ignores when the others laugh at him and doesn’t respond back to the bullies at school. This is one of the most beautiful things about the book: that if we work hard enough and we don’t let our fears take over control we could achieve our goals. Yoshiko is a charming character with a magnificent strength and a lovely family and very good friends who defend him not matter what. The reader cannot help but fall at Yoshiko’s feet and fall completely in love with him.

In general, this is a fascinating and beautifully crafted start for a series; readers will devour and love this novel from the very beginning to the very last page. A gripping novel about love, friendship, courage and accepting oneself that will put a huge smile on your face and will make you eager to read more about this new world and its protagonists.

My rating:

If you would love to read The Gift of Charms it will come out September 4th and you can pre-order it now from Amazon (

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