Book Review: FIRESONG by Vashti Hardy (Middle Grade Monday)

I received a review copy from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. It has not affected my opinions.

Title in blue on skyship on orange background

*SPOILER ALERT: contains SPOILERS for BRIGHTSTORM and DARKWHISPERS*

Genre: Fantasy (Action and Adventure)
Age Range: Middle Grade
Star Rating: 5 stars
Series: yes - final book of trilogy

Synopsis:

Book cover for FIRESONG: title in black on a skyship balloon on orange skies and a fire bear on dark rocks

Arthur and Maudie Brightstorm are back home in Lontown and finally settling in after their exhilarating—and secret—adventures in Erythea. Maudie’s sky-ak invention is a hit, and Harriet has just announced that she will share her sky-ship’s hydroelectric technology.

But tensions are brewing. Pitch is becoming more and more difficult to mine, and the existence of super-sapient creatures on other continents threatens how the Explorers see themselves in the natural order of the world. When Arthur and Maudie begin hearing a strange song summoning them north—a song only they can hear—they know there’s an adventure waiting for them that may change the lives of everyone in the Wide. As the crew of the Aurora prepares for their trip, they’re joined by new members and old friends. But they’re not the only sky-ship journeying northward to uncover the region’s secrets. . . . 

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


Review:

FIRESONG is the triumphant finale to this exploration-based trilogy full of flying ships, devious explorers (and good one!), and a world in need of protecting. Having headed south and east in previous books, this time we head to the volcanic north, where ice and fire meet! There’s adventure, danger, and more of the fabulous world to explore.

The series has slowly focused more and more on protecting the world, exploring it to learn more to help conservation – and that theme is very apparent here. Illegal pitch mining is causing damage and a pro-human/anti-sapient animal group is gaining prominence. The Brightstorm twins aren’t just in personal danger, but have to convince well-endowed groups to put aside their personal preferences and short-term gains for the good of all.

After being separated for a fair chunk of DARKWHISPERS, the twins are back together for all of this book, but life it pulling them apart. I liked seeing this aspect of sibling relationships, how life can physically take you in different directions and the ways you can react that make it better or worse for the relationship overall.

We have a new travelling companion for the Brightstorms and their crew, who stays with them much of the book. The niece of briefly appearing kings from BRIGHTSTORM make their exploratory duo a trio, a princess who’d much rather be exploring than learning to rule. It was so nice to have a new character join for a long stretch, add a new layer to the well-established dynamics.

We also spent more time in Lonton (the explorers, capital.) There is still plenty of exploration to be had, new locations to see (and lots of peril!) but the city got to shine (or rather, not!) this time around. To the point that we got a city map in addition to the continent maps!

While this is the final book of the trilogy, the ending (and author’s note) hint that there might be space for more books in this world focused on other characters. Fingers crossed for more stories set in this world!


Read my reviews of other books by Vashti Hardy:

Sky Ship (this series):

The Griffin Gate:

Ghost Machine:

Harley Hitch:

Standalones:

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