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Review Elementals: Ice Wolves by Amie Kaufman

July 20, 2020

About the book:

Everyone in Vallen knows that ice wolves and scorch dragons are sworn enemies who live deeply separate lives.

So when twelve-year-old orphan Anders takes one elemental form and his twin sister, Rayna, takes another, he wonders whether they are even related. Family or not, Rayna is Anders’s only true friend. She’s nothing like the brutal, cruel dragons who claimed her as one of their own and stole her away.

To rescue her, Anders must enlist at the foreboding Ulfar Academy, a school for young wolves that values loyalty to the pack above all else. But for Anders, loyalty is more complicated than obedience, and friendship is the most powerful shapeshifting force of all.

My thoughts:

Wolves and Dragons? What could be better… shapeshifting!

This is a fun read that fully engaged me. Anders and Rayna are terrific main characters – twins who discover things about themselves that cast doubt over whether they are even related. These kids have lived a lifetime on the streets while dodging the wolf guards who patrol in packs of four and the dragons who attack from the sky. When Anders and Rayna discover one of them is a dragon and one is a wolf it sets them at odds. They are meant to hate each other, hunt each other but how can they do that when they love each other? This story follows Anders as he discovers his wolf self and his search to find his sister. He finds friends (an experience he has never had before), mentors, teachers and a family… But his family is Rayna. He draws on his street skills as a thief to go after her. Betrayal follows Anders. Is there anyone he trust?

A terrific first part to a thoroughly engaging series. I have already bought a few copies for my nieces. Anders is determined, brave, a thinker and a fighter. Ultimately it is his love for his sister that gives him the strength to go right into the heart of enemy territory to find her.

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