Book Review: THE NIGHTSILVER PROMISE by Annalise Avery (Middle Grade Monday)

Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: MG
Star rating: 4 stars
Series: Yes - first book


Book cover for THE NIGHTSILVER PROMISE: title in silver and black on orange below a compass-like outline with cogs and dragons and two running children inside

London, the Empire of Albion. The Great Dragons of old are long-gone. Now the world is governed by the science of Celestial Physicists, and everyone’s life is foretold by the track on their wrist.

When thirteen-year-old Paisley discovers from her track that she is destined to die, the race is on to protect her dragon-touched brother and find her missing mother. But an ancient power stalks the sewers of London, and the Dark Dragon is rising, intent on restoring the Great Dragons and destroying Paisley’s family and her world forever.

In a world where science rules and dragons fear to tread, Paisley must trust her instincts and forge new friends, as she attempts to outrun fate itself.

Blurb taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


There’s no better way to describe this book than an absolute caper across a brilliant world. THE NIGHTSILVER PROMISE is a great debut and I look forwards to the other books in the series.

I knew basically nothing about this book when I picked it up – it was a UKMG debut with a great cover, and that’s pretty much all I needed to know. What I got was an action-packed adventure as factions war over who controls fate, a quest to save family, and a lot of dragons in a steampunk-y world.

The world is so much fun. I’m not sure if steampunk is the right word, as it’s more electricity driving the cogs than steam, and it felt like late Edwardian rather than Victorian (based off clothing and some of the inventions.) Either way, it was a so inventive, taking this common steampunk-y vibe and adding dragons and floating boroughs into the mix (yes – there are boroughs such as Kensington Above in this world’s London!)

Annaliese Avery’s take on dragons was a lot of fun. You don’t often see them alongside gears and magical inventions, but you have a whole new perspective on George and the Dragon, and the British’s colonisation of America. There are no dragons left, save the Dark Dragon – who is one of the Dragon Touched, humans with dragon scales and special abilities whose status varies according to location.

I liked the fate vs own choice theme too. Paisley has a pretty awful fate handed to her, and though it hangs over her, she still chooses to fight onward for those she loves. And to make her own fate, regardless. There is a prophecy (which looks like it will play out over the next two books) and I am very intrigued to see what happens when the choose your own fate idea meets the prophecy.

Read my reviews of other books by Annaliese Avery:

Celestial Mechanics (this series):

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