Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: Fanning the Flames
(Going Down in Flames #4) by Chris Cannon
Fanning the Flames is the fourth book in the Going Down in Flames series by Chris Cannon. Check out my review and be sure to enter the tour-wide giveaway! Thank you to Entangled Teen for an advance review copy which in no way affects my opinions on this review.
Bryn McKenna has it all, including her smoking-hot knight turned live-in boyfriend, Valmont. Even though she’s a hybrid dragon, she’s finally fitting into the new shape-shifting dragon world that’s become her own. But her grandparents want to ruin everything by making Bryn’s nightmare of an arranged marriage to Jaxon Westgate a reality. It doesn’t help that Jaxon’s father is on a witch hunt for Rebel sympathizers and Bryn finds herself in his line of fire.
If she doesn’t say, “I do,” she’ll lose everything. Good-bye flying. Good-bye best friends. Good-bye magic. But if she bends to her grandparents’ will and agrees to marry Jaxon, she’ll lose the love of her life—her knight.
Flying with Valmont made her feel at peace. Like all was right in her world.
Fanning the Flames is the fourth installment in Chris Cannon’s “Going Down in Flames” series, and I have to admit that I’m somewhat torn about the book. There was so much that I loved, but there were some things I didn’t like.
If you’re unfamiliar with the series, then you just need to know that Bryn is a hybrid, shape-shifting dragon who was forced to move in with her wealthy, powerful dragon grandparents after tragedy befell her parents. You also need to know that Bryn is smart, snarky, loyal, and a bit of a trailblazer. No pun intended. She has been doing nothing but shaking up Dragon society since she arrived at the Institute, which is one of her most redeeming qualities.
Fanning the Flames reunites us with the regular cast of characters: Valmont, Jaxon, Rhianna, Clint, Ivy, Bryn’s grandparents, Jaxon’s mom, Jaxon’s evil-incarnate father, and various teachers. They are still trying to figure out who is behind the attacks on their school, and new suspects are constantly thrown into the mix.
There were definitely many wonderful things about the book. I always enjoy the interactions between and among Bryn and her friends. They often make me laugh, or at least roll my eyes and grin. The settings are always well done, and I am right there in Dragon’s Bluff or the library or the tunnels with the characters. Bryn’s grandparents are always a delight. Ferrin is awful as usual and I can’t wait for his comeuppance—which I was hoping was in this book but alas, it appears I need to wait for one more book.
I can’t write in too much detail about the parts I didn’t enjoy because I don’t want to give away spoilers, but I will say some of my hesitancy about this book stems from the way Bryn reacts to certain situations. She didn’t seem like the Bryn of the previous books, who was true to herself and more concerned about protecting others than following Dragon society’s mandates. I understand that characters need to evolve but this didn’t feel natural for the character, and I certainly don’t want Bryn to be a Blue. She gave in all too easily on two situations—two big situations. As for the final heartbreaking act, she barely took time to mourn a pretty big loss, which didn’t feel right.
So, I guess it boils down to, I really enjoyed three quarters of this book, but the last quarter was not my favorite. I am looking forward to the next—final?—installment so I can see how things are resolved. And so I can see Ferrin knocked down a few pegs. Maybe a dragon will eat him.
“Is that why you asked Bryn to come here?” Valmont asked. “Do you think she’s in danger because of her association with you?”
Double hell. That’s another thing I haven’t thought of.
“It’s not like she needs my help to be a target for murder or kidnapping,” Jaxon said.
Valmont opened his mouth like he was going to argue, but then he sighed. “I have no valid argument against that statement.”
The one benefit to being up psycho early on a Saturday was a wide-open sky with no air traffic. Flying with Valmont made her feel at peace. Like all was right in her world.
If her love life is going down in flames, she might as well spark a revolution.
Finding out on your sixteenth birthday you’re a shape-shifting dragon is tough to swallow. Being hauled off to an elite boarding school is enough to choke on.
Since Bryn is the only crossbreed at the Institute for Excellence, all eyes are on her, but it’s a particular black dragon, Zavien, who catches her attention.
Zavien is tired of the Council’s rules. Segregated clans, being told who to love, and close-minded leaders make freedom of choice almost impossible. The new girl with the striped hair is a breath of fresh air, and with Bryn’s help, they may be able to change the rules.
At the Institute, old grudges, new crushes, and death threats are all part of a normal day for Bryn. She’ll need to learn to control her dragon powers if she wants to make it through her first year at school. But even focusing on staying alive is difficult when you’re falling for someone you can’t have.
Don’t just fight the system…burn it.
Since discovering she is a shape-shifting, fire-breathing dragon on her sixteenth birthday (surprise!), Bryn McKenna’s world has been thrown into chaos. Being a “crossbreed”—part Red dragon and part Blue—means Bryn will never fit in. Not with dragon society. Not with the archaic and controlling Directorate. And definitely not when she has striped hair and a not-so-popular affection for rule-breaking…
But sneaking around with her secret boyfriend, Zavien, gets a whole lot harder when he’s betrothed to someone else. Someone who isn’t a mixed breed and totally forbidden. And for an added complication, it turns out Bryn’s former archnemesis Jaxon Westgate isn’t quite the evil asshat she thought. Now she’s caught between her desire to fit in and a need to set things on fire. Literally.
Because if Bryn can’t adapt to the status quo…well, then maybe it’s time for her to change it.
Bryn’s hopes for a peaceful new semester at school go up in smoke when someone tries to kill her—again. She’s not sure which is scarier, facing the radicals who want to sacrifice her for their cause, or her impending nightmare of a Directorate-arranged marriage to her nemesis, Jaxon.
The one bright spot in her life is Valmont, her smoking-hot knight who is assigned to watch over her twenty-four hours a day. Is what she feels for him real or just a side effect of the dragon-knight bond? At this point, stopping the impending civil war might be easier than figuring out her love life.
She may have to live in their world, but she doesn’t have to play by their rules.
Award winning author Chris Cannon lives in Southern Illinois with her husband and her three dogs, Pete the shih tzu who sleeps on her desk while she writes, Molly the ever-shedding yellow lab, and Tyson the sandwich-stealing German Shepherd Beagle. She believes coffee is the Elixir of Life. Most evenings after work, you can find her sucking down caffeine and writing fire-breathing paranormal adventures and snarky contemporary romance.