Book Review: THE DOOMFIRE SECRET by Annaliese Avery (Middle Grade Monday)

Title in white on turquoise with gold star tracks
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: MG
Star Rating: 5 stars
Series: yes - second book



Book cover for THE DOOMFIRE SECRET: title in gold on white below roundel of two kids running

Having escaped the clutched of the Dark Dragon, Paisley Fitzwilliam must travel to the icy Northern Realms to find her brother, Dax. He has been taken prisoner by the fierce and mysterious dragon riders, the Krigare, and Paisley and her friends must rescue him before his dragon-touch secret is discovered.

Paisley knows her track is unique, but her stars have even more surprises in store for her. And with both the Dark Dragon and the King’s Guard on her trail, she faces danger at every turn.

Blurb taken from back of book. Add to your Goodreads shelves here.


THE DOOMFIRE SECRET is the second book in the Celestial Mechanics series, a UKMG series that is fast becoming a secret. I mean, THE NIGHSILVER PROMISE was even more of a joy to read the second time around.

The world is just such a delight – an alternative universe that has dragons and is the electric version of steampunk. There are so many things that made me smile when they were introduced. I think my favourite was that the king’s title is “The George” (after George of George and the Dragon fame who is said to be the first king of Albion) and so the correct honorific is “your Georgeness.” It’s little things like that, different from our world, steeped in lore, and just so much inventive fun that make this world a joy to be in.

Also, Paisley et al find themselves in York, so naturally I squealed at seeing my university city come to life here, with all the quirky fun (there are no fewer than three exclamation points in my review notes.) The old city! The fact the Minster is now the Mechster!

The book is dual POV again, with Paisley having the most to say and Roach as the other narrator. He had more page time this book, and I’ve really liked seeing his journey over the two books – he’s not quite a villain, but he also isn’t on their side (I’m thinking he might end up fighting with them in the final book, given he gave a lot of help this time.) He was certainly conflicted, but deciding to forge ahead as “this was his path,” though his final revelation might tip that mindset…

There is also a lot more on-page dragons in this book. I mean, it does head northward where dragon riders dwell, but there’s one dragon we spend a lot of time with (beyond the Dark Dragon, who doesn’t really count as she’s always in human form.) It was nice to see them in this book, and possibly get to see even more of them in books to come.

Also, that ending! How could the author kill that character?!? That was such a sad moment, and so many set up pieces clicked into place making the act feel so inevitably heroic (and also tragic.) Because of all the time with that character, and having just had time with Paisley and Dax starting the journey to coming to terms with grief, it hit much harder than the death at the end of the first book.

Read my reviews of other books by Annaliese Avery:

Celestial Mechanics (this series):

3 thoughts on “Book Review: THE DOOMFIRE SECRET by Annaliese Avery (Middle Grade Monday)

  1. This sounds like a fun read and I’ve always been a sucker for dragons! I’ve been reading some rather dense hard-going prose recently so this sounds like it could provide a little light relief. Great review, anyway!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s