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The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart Hardcover – May 30, 2017
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"Chocolate and dragons, together at last! Like sipping hot cocoa on a cold day, reading this book was an absolute delight. And by the end I felt like a dragon sitting on a pile of gold, knowing I'd found a treasure. Readers of all ages will love this deliciously charming adventure and its feisty dragon-transformed-into-a-girl main character, Aventurine!" - Sheila Grau, author of the Dr. Critchlore's School for Minions series
"In The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart, Aventurine is turned into a girl, but inside she remains ALL dragon, every fierce, lovable inch of her. This story is a delightfully delicious blend of magic spiced with adventure and a heart as sweet and warm as molten chocolate. I completely adored this book!" - Sarah Prineas, author of THE MAGIC THIEF and Winterling series
"The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart is a perfect confection: rich, satisfying, and remarkably delicious." - Caroline Carlson, author of the Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates series
"A gloriously fresh story to be read with a steaming cup of chocolate at hand." - starred review, Kirkus Reviews
"Burgis creates a feisty protagonist with a temper that suits her dragon heritage. . . . Readers will be rooting for Adventurine throughout this well-paced, colorful narrative. An appealing chapter book for young fantasy fans." - Booklist
"Aventurine’s fiery spirit is immediately endearing, and a diverse cast of fully realized supporting characters fill out a fantasy world that readers will love to inhabit. Pair with chocolate for maximum enjoyment . . . will satisfy readers who hunger for feel-good tales that pack a girl-power punch, like Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted or the movie Moana." - School Library Journal
"Burgis’ debut title rides on its swift pace and the delightfully feisty Kat, whose fearless and frequently impulsive actions will have readers cheering her on." - Booklist on KAT, INCORRIGIBLE
"Regency romance and fantasy adventure all in one, this is a satisfying read and a promising beginning to a trilogy that is sure to be popular." - School Library Journal on KAT, INCORRIGIBLE
"Romance, humor and magic mark this brisk debut novel." - Kirkus Reviews on KAT, INCORRIGIBLE
About the Author
Stephanie Burgis grew up in East Lansing, Michigan, but now lives in Wales with her husband and two sons, surrounded by mountains, castles and coffee shops. She is the author of the tween fantasy trilogy, Kat, Incorrigible and the forthcoming historical fantasy adult title, Masks and Shadows.
Top customer reviews
Like those of us for whom waiting is not something we do well, Aventurine takes it upon herself to speed up the process.
With exhilaration flooding through me, I folded my wings tightly against my sides and lunged for the outside world and freedom.
It was harder than I'd expected to squeeze out of the hole ... Finally, finally, I forced myself free with an explosive pop! It sent me tumbling on to the ground outside ... and whimpering with pain. My folded wings had scraped so hard against the rough, craggy edges of the rocks that there were ragged tears, now, in my silver and crimson scales. (p. 7)
So begins Aventurine's new life outside the safety of her family's cavern. However, when she discovers a food mage and chocolate, her world changes forever. The mage turns Aventurine into one of the worst beings possible: a human. Her beautiful scales become the cloth that covers her frail form and she is forced to fend for herself in a community of beings that not too long ago were a food source.
But her attraction to chocolate drives her dream. Her refusal to quit enables her to escape the clutches of Greta, a selfish townswoman bent on securing free labor so she can live like a noblewoman and through a twist of fate secures a position as an apprentice in (you guessed it!) a chocolate house.
'I don't care what your name is. You're not setting to work in my kitchen without food in your belly. Hunger leads to distraction, which leads to carelessness -- and you'd better learn right now that I don't tolerate carelessness in my chocolate house, not now, not ever. So ...' She scooped up one of the glasses full of sweet-smelling darkness and handed it to me with a long silver spoon. 'Here. The people who ordered these ran away liked frightened bunnies five minutes ago. You might as well eat one instead of letting them all go to waste.'
Dragons could go for days without food when they needed to, and I didn't need to be treated as if I was weak. Still, as the scent drifted up from the glass in my hands, I lost the will to argue. 'Fine,' I muttered, and dug in. (p. 84)
Aventurine encounters humans of all sorts -- kind, crafty, narcissistic, funny, and most surprising to her and her dragon family, loving. Marina, the chocolatier and her partner, Horst, and Silke, the girl whose handbills save the day show Aventurine that human hoards are worth protecting just as much (if not more!) than dragons. They teach her that she has a special gift and once she manages to harness it, she makes all her dreams come true.
Although targeted to a middle grade audience, The Dragon with the Chocolate Heart is a story for all ages. It is possible to see people we've encountered in each of the characters, from Aventurine's dragon relatives to the king and crown princess.
Check it out. You'll be glad you did.
Aventurine is a young dragon eager to prove herself, so she slips out of the family lair to take on the wider world. The first thing she encounters is a human brewing a concoction unlike anything she's ever tasted--chocolate! She demands a taste, but what Aventurine doesn't know is that the human is a food mage, and he bespells the chocolate to transform her into a human.
Weak and defenseless as she's never been before, Aventurine travels on to a human town. There, she discovers chocolatiers and determines to apprentice herself to one. Now she has to navigate human relationships as well as learning the craft of chocolate making.
Aventurine is an utter delight, fierce--as she'd be the first to tell you--and determined, impulsive and funny. Watching her figure out humans and friendship is such fun. Silke, a girl who uses handbills to advertise the chocolate house, and Marina and Horst, the chocolatier and maitre d', respectively, start as allies and become more to Aventurine as the book progresses. And there are some humans who seem determined to watch Aventurine for the slightest misstep, any excuse to throw her out of the city. She feel s like a fish out of water, stuck in a body not her own, but her determination to find--or make-- her place now that she's discovered her passion for chocolate.
This is such a warm, funny book; the mere plot description doesn't convey how wonderful it is. It is a middle grade book, but the themes will speak to an older audience as well. Be prepared to have some chocolate on hand if you have a sweet tooth at all.
I really loved this charming story. Stephanie Burgis has created a world of fantastic characters in this tale, with Aventurine, the feisty dragon/girl, at the heart. I think the message that our mistakes do not define us is one that will resonate with people of all ages.
It was funny and inspirational, rather than dull and depressing like most "transformed into X horrible thing so now I can't go home AND must fend for myself" stories. It seems like most characters who are transformed into something else spend a very large percentage of the story moping about it. While Adventurine IS bothered by her impromptu transformation, she doesn't let it keep her down for long. She keeps her "dragonish spirit" and does her best to not only survive, but thrive.
And the side-characters were interesting too.
Most recent customer reviews
I received copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Read more
Just finished reading this with my 8 and 11 year olds. (Girl & Boy) We loved it so much!!Read more