Cover Image: Blazewrath Games

Blazewrath Games

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Member Reviews

“In a nonstop, dragon-roaring adventure, this mash-up of magical realism and coming-of-age story will keep readers enthralled until the last page.”
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I want to start by saying I think the cover for this book is amazing! I am such a cover buyer and this one deserves lots of attention and praise! The story within the pages, holds lots of competition and dragons! Two things that are always a fun read for me.
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Blazewrath Games has a fantastic premise and some really engaging moments but there is so much going on in the book that the core of the story often gets lost. Regardless, reading it was an enjoyable experience and I'd love to see more from this author and this world.
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I enjoyed the books premise the most:  a modern world full dragons and an olympic like sport played with them. I think readers who are fans of Harry Potter and Maze Runner. A good book to suggest to youth who enjoy sports and fantasy elements,.
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GAH. I'm SUCH a sucker for magical competitions.
It's no surprise, then, that I absolutely LOVED this title.

Fast, fun, and with a hearty dose of magical adventure, BLAZEWRATH GAMES is everything great about the 4th book in that ~wizard series that shall not be named~...just more diverse, inclusive, and reflective of the modern world.

Plus, there's DRAGONS. What more needs to be said? :)
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It was definitely a 3 star 3.5 star!
I enjoyed this book overall and I would recommend it if you're a fan of Warcross by Maire Lu, but with DRAGONS! I the only things that held me back was that I personally was interested in continuing the series. The overall action was cool, but I didn't care for the characters. I'm definitely more of a character driven person. I didn't enjoy a lot of the side characters either and some of the relationships to feel forced.

Overall a solid read!
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This book was adventurous and so compelling.  If the Goblet of Fire is your favorite Harry Potter book, this is 100% the book for you,  With dragons, athleticism, diverse representation, and a fast pace, this is a great book for those looking for fresh YA contemporary fantasy.
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This story was ok. Based on a limited budget for our library, this is not a title I purchased because I don't think it was engaging enough.
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Dragons and sports, what else needs to be said? The book was full of energy and I can see this being an easy read for some teens.
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Really enjoyed this book! Super adventurous, I loved the representation. I was really able to see myself in this novel.
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This book is all over the place.

The magical system is so close to that famous wizard series that it sounds ridiculous, and it’s not even that necessary to the plot. The author could’ve included dragons without a magic system and it would have been much better.

The actual plot goes in all directions with the games and the Sire and who’s controlled by whom... It made my head spin.

While I applaud the inclusivity present in this book, it bothers me that the author stopped at LGBT. It’s great that you have lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans rep, but there’s more to the community than those 4 orientations and it’s harmful to the rest of us when you only use the first 4 letters in the acronym. There was such good rep about everything else that I was seriously disappointed about that one.

The only reason I kept reading was Lana’s feelings about Puerto Rico and how being born in a country and raised in another can play into a person’s identity, but that ended up being a side plot swept under the rug in favour of the silly magic. The rest just didn’t hold my attention enough to keep to it.
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A fast and fun romp through our world if dragons and magic were real. Focuses around the high-action sport of Blazewrath, where dragons and their riders compete in a very quidditch-like fashion. This was a fun enough read but the character development just didn't feel real enough to me (and there were a lot of characters), and some of the plot devices felt a little wishy washy. I was reading an eARC, so it is possible some of these issues got ironed out in the final book? Good enough to be on library shelves as a quick pleasure read,
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When a competitor from her country is removed from the team, Lana is is invited to participate in the Blazewrath Games. The games are a competition with sixteen countries competing for the World Cup. Think Hunger Games, mixed with Harry Potter's Quidditch, with dragons. As the games are about to start, Lana learns that one of her competitors and his dragon, who has been changed to human form, have been burning down dragon sanctuaries. They won't stop until they know the Blazewrath Games have been cancelled.  

Lana's strength as a fighter and her devotion to her dragon make this a book many teens and preteens would love. This book is a fantasy, YA adventure with a strong female Puerto Rican protagonist. The other teams favor diverse ethnicities and races and the author uses several Spanish phrases throughout.  While I'm not much of a fantasy lover, I thought the writing was fun and ferocious.
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Really loved this unique and high octane YA fantasy! I'm also really looking forward to the sequel. The worldbuilding was engaging and made me want to continue on, and the main character was fun to follow!
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This book was mind-blowing, so exciting, fun, and wonderful. Contemporary fantasy with sports, a story about identity, found family, and magic. Lana’s biggest dream has always been playing in the Blazewrath World Cup with Team Puerto Rico. When she gets a spot as the team’s Runner, she couldn’t be more excited to represent her country. But as Sire, a mysterious dragon cursed to human form, makes an appearance, Lana finds herself in a big conspiracy that could jeopardize the cup and her team’s lives. It one of my most anticipated releases of 2020 and I was not disappointed. Blazewrath Games have so many elements I enjoy; dragons, friendship, and celebration of identity. With a fascinating world-building and great cast of characters, this book won me over in the first chapter. Lana’s mother is white and her father Puerto Rican and throughout the book, Amparo explores her complicated feelings about identity, as she doesn’t feel Puerto Rican enough. And what does it mean? and why it’s so wrong to think about identity in terms of performing or accomplishing something? This book was so smart, fun, and such a delight. The friendship and found family aspect were one of my favorite things, my favorite being the dragons, of course. Lana makes such deep connections with her team and my heart feels so happy for her. Plus rivals to friends? The best trope on the planet. Amparo doesn’t shy away from throwing some punches, tho, and that ending me cried a little. Why am I lying? I cried okay! I can’t wait to come back to this wonderful world and for more of Amparo’s stories.
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<p>Although I received an e-arc from the publisher through NetGalley, it wasn't until I purchased the audiobook that I started reading this book. I'm very glad that I listened to (most of) this book as the narrator did a fabulous job and I definitely would not have been pronouncing some of the names correctly if just reading the words on paper. Also, I loved hearing the Spanish phrases in the dialogue. I did say I only listened to most of the book and that's because toward the end I couldn't wait for my commute to make time to listen to the audiobook and pulled up the e-arc to finish reading on my lunch break at work. That's how sucked in I was by the end.</p>

<p>That being said, I do think the author did a great job with pacing throughout the whole story. There were few to no areas where I thought the slowness bogged the story down. We were given just enough space to breathe as readers while the characters took time to connect the dots before we were rushing into another scene full of action or fraught with emotional turmoil. I also think that the twists at the end had enough support that the reader could accept them as the final outcome without them being too obvious.</p>

<p>I hope we get more YA fantasy stories that explore other cultures that aren't just typical US white teenagers. I enjoyed the latinx element to this story as it defined our main character but didn't dominate the story. And I appreciated the inclusion of LGBTQA+ relationships at various age levels as normal. Quite refreshing!
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It had some great elements to it, but there was too much going all at once. The main character arc wasn't realistic in some ways and the villain was unimpressive as the book continued. Subplots needed to be removed, there needed to be more world building, and I felt like her mom did what she did for the sake of a message and plot than what made sense for her character. A lot of things didn't connect or make sense, a lot of new writer mistakes were made, so this book was a disappointment for me because I really enjoyed the beginning. With that said, I may pick up another book by this author because I can see them become amazing with each novel they write.
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Like almost everyone else, I first picked up BLAZEWRATH GAMES because of the dragons — and while it absolutely *more* than delivered the dragon content we were all holding our breath for, I found myself left with a bitter taste of disappointment upon finishing.

I want to start with what I didn't like — because there's only one thing: the main character, Lana Torres. It feels strange to admit this, but, truly? I just didn't vibe with her. Lana's voice is grating and obnoxious, and I found myself simply... not caring about the events in the book because of her narration. Part of this is my personal bias against the trope in which a young teen, for whatever reason, feels like it's their responsibility to go out of their way and solve the conflict in the book, and go against every single thing adults more qualified and aware than them suggest, simply because they think they know better. If that sounds oddly specific, it's because that's *exactly* how I viewed Lana and her actions throughout the book. 
I don't think Lana was supposed to come off like that — I think, instead, she was supposed to be the badass heroine who had a strong moral compass, and acted on it. Unfortunately, due to an almost obnoxious voice, Ortiz misses the mark with Lana. With a weird angle of saying the "woke" thing, having a moral superiority complex, an overdramatic mental monologue, and a vague woe-be-me attitude whenever something even slightly goes wrong, Lana became disgenuine to me. Her hurt and fears seemed pretentious and overreactions, and I just, truly, did not care — not about Lana, not about her dreams, and not about what would become of either of them.

That being said, nearly everything else is phenomenal. The rest of the cast of characters are all so much more likeable than Lana, and I found myself getting ridiculously attached and in love with every one of them. They're all genuinely family, and while things go awry once in a while, they're love and care for each other felt so palpable and sweet.

The worldbuilding and magic system itself is incredibly fun. There was something irresistably exciting about Blazewrath — it promises an adventure, and it more than delivers. At the start of my review, I said that BLAZEWRATH GAMES fulfilled all my dragon-related desires in my heart, and I wholly stand by that. And, paired with magic that's genuinely interesting — the concept of an "other place" and the idea of the "Black Island" still gets me excited like none other — BLAZEWRATH GAMES is *fun!* 

While the pacing was off a little — I had a hard time getting through the first half — the second half makes up for it with plot twist and unraveling threads and so. much. action. The gradual unveiling of the villain, and the way the book plays out is captivating in the second half, and I found myself devouring it all in one sitting.

And of course, as a diaspora teen, the conversation on what it means to be diaspora hit all the right notes.

So, as you can see, there is a LOT to love in BLAZEWRATH GAMES. I cannot emphasize enough that while my problems with BLAZEWRATH GAMES are aplenty — namely, the main character, and the writing, which gets old fast — I would still recommend it to every one else. I feel like my issues with the book are very me-things, and I hope that this review does not hinder anyone from picking BLAZEWRATH GAMES.

I'll be excited to pick up BLOODBATH RING, the sequel, come release date, and maybe, just maybe? I'll like Lana more?
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Blazewrath Games is a story about Lana Torres who’s dream is to compete in the competition and represent her country, Puerto Rico. The story is so much more than just that though. It takes you on a journey and it’s full of twists and fun moments and it is truly such a fun experience reading this book. It discusses many important themes and at the same time keeps it a story about a fun sports tournament and honestly, its amazing.

A Fictional Sports Tournament
Reading this book made me realise that I have not read many YA books based around sports and this one was so good! It was like watching a movie and I love books which make you feel that experience. I loved reading about Blazewrath Games and everything in this book is so detailed and at the same time not being too dense and keeping it interesting. It’s truly such a solid debut and I will definitely be looking forward to more of the author’s books after this.

Amazing Writing
The writing in this book is simple, effective and amazing right from page one. It goes well with the pace of the book and I feel the writing just tends to bring everything together really well, giving it the complete awesome feel. And in such happening books with action and sports, writing plays an important part and this one really does it well. There isn’t any info dump of any kind. I also loved how the start of every chapter started with a snippet about the history, moments or news about the Blazewrath Games.

Fast-Paced with lots of Action
As I mentioned before, that this book reads a lot like a movie. Its fast paced and there’s always something happening so there’s never a dull moment. I love fast paced books a lot and for this book especially the fast pace works well with the story and vibes of the book.

Diverse Set of Characters
The main character of this book is Lana, who lived in Puerto Rica and was whisked to the US by her white mother and we read about how she yearns for Puerto Rico and wants to represent the country. She is a character who goes through a lot of changes and as we get to know her more, you can’t help but like her.

This book also has a many amazing supporting characters and we get to see fleshed out relationships too. The supporting include trans woman, a bisexual girl, two gay boys, two gay men (married), the Russian Blazewrath team is entirely comprised of queer players.

Stunning World Building
The world building is stunning in this book. It has a magical world with a tournament and there’s history given about the tournaments and the world and its so intriguing. It also has magic and I love the magic system a lot as well. It was intricate while also not being too heavy at any point and this was amazing.

Honestly saved the best for the last. I love dragons and books featuring dragons are simply awesome! This book does an amazing job and the way dragons and portrayed and written about? Simply stunning. There are different types and all I kept thinking was how amazing it would be to see this on screen.

Overall, Blazewrath Games is a book I truly enjoyed and I highly recommend to all fans of contemporary fantasy with magic, sports tournaments, dragons and an enjoyable story. I definitely recommend this book!!

Thank you to Caffeine Book Tours and Page Street Publishing for making me a part of the tour and for providing me with a physical arc of the book. All opinions are my own.

Trigger Warnings: violence, murder, illness, alcoholism, mentions of homophobia
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***4 STARS***
Review go live date: 1/8/2021 at 8AM EST

The 411...

“𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑎𝑏𝑜𝑢𝑡 𝑝𝑒𝑜𝑝𝑙𝑒 𝑖𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑦 𝑡𝑒𝑛𝑑 𝑡𝑜 𝑙𝑜𝑣𝑒 𝑢𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑖𝑟 𝑤𝑎𝑦, 𝑛𝑜𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑤𝑎𝑦 𝑤𝑒’𝑑 𝑤𝑎𝑛𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑚 𝑡𝑜 𝑙𝑜𝑣𝑒 𝑢𝑠. 𝑊𝑒 𝑐𝑎𝑛 𝑡𝑒𝑙𝑙 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑚 𝑙𝑜𝑎𝑑𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑡𝑖𝑚𝑒𝑠. 𝑊𝑒 𝑐𝑎𝑛 𝑑𝑟𝑎𝑤 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑚 𝑎 𝑏𝑙𝑜𝑜𝑑𝑦 𝑚𝑎𝑝. 𝑆𝑜𝑚𝑒𝑡𝑖𝑚𝑒𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑖𝑟 𝑤𝑎𝑦 𝑖𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑜𝑛𝑙𝑦 𝑤𝑎𝑦 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑚𝑎𝑘𝑒𝑠 𝑠𝑒𝑛𝑠𝑒 𝑡𝑜 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑚. 𝑂𝑢𝑟 𝑣𝑜𝑖𝑐𝑒𝑠 𝑎𝑟𝑒 𝑗𝑢𝑠𝑡 𝑤ℎ𝑖𝑡𝑒 𝑛𝑜𝑖𝑠𝑒"

Blazewrath Games is described as “How to Train Your Dragons” meets “Quidditch through the Ages” and I’d say that’s about right with the exception that this book actually brings forth a ton of representation. It is the first Young Adult Fantasy I’ve seen hit the shelves with Latinx characters straight from the island of Puerto-Rico. The Spanish language is used all throughout, bringing the terms of endearment we use for one another as well as the pride we have for our Island to the page. The Blazewrath Games themselves are sort of like the Olympics with representation from all countries. One of the countries introduced has a team made up of ALL members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Within team Puerto-Rico we also have Queer rep which made my little heart very happy to see! Our MC Lana faces some challenges getting chosen as a Runner for the team since she has spent many years away from the island. She feels displaced & is met with some opposition along the way. Lana is passionate about Blazewrath & Puerto Rico, she sets out to prove she’s worthy of her place on the team. In this world dragons bond with the humans they choose to participate in the Blazewrath Games. The Dragons are full of personality & love for their Riders but there are also Unbonded Dragons. These dragons are deemed volatile to civilians and our villain who was a former dragon cursed into human form sees an opportunity to gain control. Dragon sanctuaries are being burned down in protest of the Blazewrath Games. Lana and her teammates are thrust into solving a complex conspiracy while also trying to win the Cup for their Island of Puerto Rico. If you’re looking to discover new diverse YA Fantasy with dragons, wizards, witches and adventure this is one worth giving a shot.

Content Warning: Mention of domestic violence, Cancer, death of a parent


Blazewrath Games is Amparo Ortiz debut YA Fantasy, one that I was heavily looking forward to since seeing Ortiz speak on a panel earlier this year for Diversity in YA. Our MC Lana who was born in Puerto-Rico but has since relocated with her mother after their parents separation is experiencing a sense of displacement. She yearns to reconnect with her roots and also with her father who she maintains a close long distance relationship with. I've always had a soft spot for father/daughter stories since they take me back to my own and so I was hoping to see Lana's more fleshed out. Her dad seems to be someone she has a deep bond with but for the majority of the story he's M.I.A. Although his absence is explained on the page, I wished we'd seen more of him and less of what seemed to be a very tense relationship with her mom. Blazewrath is a fast paced adventure with a conspiracy at its core, if you're a fan of dragons and magical settings this is a solid read. Team Puerto-Rico is a tight knit crew we get to know as Lana interacts with them in her training. More focus however is placed on the dragons, their abilities which are developing and their personalities. I LOVED all of the dragons with a special place in my heart for Daga the youngest and easily excited of them all. I'm very curious to see where Ortiz takes this story next in Bloodbath Ring (Blazewrath Games #2) which doesn't have a release date yet but I've already added to my TBR.
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