“The world you know is a lie … The world that’s coming, that’s the one you should believe in.” So says a Dragon Knight who serves the Sire, a dragon-turned-human who’s targeting the Blazewrath World Cup. But this year, seventeen-year-old Lana is going to fulfill her life’s purpose and play as Team Puerto Rico’s Runner, the only player without a dragon steed. Lana will race to the top of a magically conjured mountain without getting blown away by fireballs or beaten to a pulp. Between the danger of Blazewrath’s world stage and the nearer world of her family, Lana has to figure out what it means to take a stand for all the competing parts of herself.
For Lana, Blazewrath goes deeper than just a love of dragons and sport. She hasn’t been to Puerto Rico for twelve years, ever since her Puerto Rican father and white American mother divorced. Lana’s complex family configuration highlights the personal toll of the United States and Puerto Rico’s unequal relationship.
There is so much that the novel does with ease, not least of all acknowledging the multitudinous natures of individual and cultural identities. It excels at establishing Puerto Rico as proud and fractured: not only are the people of Puerto Rico white, Black, and multiracial, straight and queer, cis and transgender, rich and poor, but the people of the larger world are also, and all are worth claiming and celebrating as central parts of this story.
Filled with the thrill of magical sports, international intrigue, dragons, and an unlikely team of teenagers who band together to save the world and each other, Blazewrath Games manipulates contemporary young adult fantasy conventions to tell a fantastic story that feels both familiar and all its own.
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