Bright Star
Erin Swan's YA fantasy debut, Bright Star, is an action-packed adventure tale of rebellion, romance, and finding one's voice in the heart of a storm.Paerolia has been at peace for two centuries, and all is well in the land—or so it seems. Beneath the surface, a tyrant is rising to power. A traumatic experience in Andra's childhood has left her mute and subdued, a servant in the Chief Judge’s manor. But when an assassination team, led by the secretive and alluring Kael, infiltrates the manor and makes a quick escape, she takes her chance and flees with them.Andra is thrust into the ranks of a secret rebellion—a group of outcasts and believers seeking to overthrow the Chief Judge and replace the corrupt government with new members, ones who will restore and preserve the land they love. Now, the girl who was once an outcast must somehow become the leader Paerolia needs. But she is stronger than she believes—and with the help of a fiercely loyal dragon, she may just be the one to lead them all to victory.

Bright Star Details

TitleBright Star
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 13th, 2019
PublisherTor Teen
ISBN-139780765392992
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult, Dragons

Bright Star Review

  • Rose
    January 1, 1970
    Y’all wanted a review? Alright.1.5 stars. NO SPOILERS.I didn’t like this book. I felt like I was reading six or seven already published YA novels all crammed into one. It was almost like the author had plucked parts they liked from already popular series’ and tried to meld them together to make a completely different concept and it just didn’t work for me.There were a few times when I was unsure if I had missed something important because it seemed like the reader was already supposed to know th Y’all wanted a review? Alright.1.5 stars. NO SPOILERS.I didn’t like this book. I felt like I was reading six or seven already published YA novels all crammed into one. It was almost like the author had plucked parts they liked from already popular series’ and tried to meld them together to make a completely different concept and it just didn’t work for me.There were a few times when I was unsure if I had missed something important because it seemed like the reader was already supposed to know the lore of the series, when it hadn’t even been explained yet.There was a romance in this that just felt unnecessary for me. I felt like it didn’t fit into the type of story the author was trying to write and leaving it out would have been something that set this book apart in a positive way.Andra was your typical YA heroine - and there’s nothing wrong with that if it’s done right - but again I felt like she was all tell and no show. She was 2D at times which was unfortunate because had she been a little more rounded she would have been a match for the likes of Tris, Feyre, and Lila Bard.I will say this for it though; there were times (I don’t want to give anything away) where I knew exactly what was going to happen, but it happened in such a roundabout way that I was genuinely unsure what was ACTUALLY going to happen. So although the writing was mediocre I still gave it a star for plot devices.NOTE:It’s really important that you know that if you review this book and for some reason don’t like it, the author will stalk you and then badmouth you on Twitter. As reviewers we don’t owe an author a good review, especially if we didn’t like the book. If every review was supposed to be 5 stars there wouldn’t be any point in reviewing it. You’re welcome to message me for receipts on the author stalking and badmouthing reviewers online.
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  • Fae Crate
    January 1, 1970
    This book was everything it promised to be! The character development and world building was beautiful and I was incredibly happy about the personalities that the dragons in this book were given. It is hard to find a new way to do dragon fantasies with so many out but Swan figures it out. Very happy with this book. Easily one of my top faves of 2019.
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  • Kat
    January 1, 1970
    * Thank you to Raincoast Books for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review *ACTUAL: 4.5 starsAfter an assassination at the manor where Andra is serves, she is thrust into a growing rebellion plot to overthrow the corrupt government who run the land of Paerolia. As she begins to find herself, and her voice, among these rebels, she also learns of a great power within her, that could be the key to a ensuring peace in Paerolia once again.I absolutely loved this story - the bold fantasy re * Thank you to Raincoast Books for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review *ACTUAL: 4.5 starsAfter an assassination at the manor where Andra is serves, she is thrust into a growing rebellion plot to overthrow the corrupt government who run the land of Paerolia. As she begins to find herself, and her voice, among these rebels, she also learns of a great power within her, that could be the key to a ensuring peace in Paerolia once again.I absolutely loved this story - the bold fantasy realm, the brewing rebellion, and a girl with an unknown amount of power. Readers follow along as Andra learns to stand up for herself, and those she loves. It was enjoyable to see her character grow and mature throughout the novel. I liked the writing style - it was fast paced, and had a great mix of action, romance, and magic. The fantasy world had magic, expansive and lush lands, and dragons, and it was interesting to read about the bond between dragons and their Riders. The chemistry between Andra and Kael was also enjoyable, and I like that it was not rushed throughout the novel. Overall, I highly recommend this one to fantasy fans, cannot wait for its official release!
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  • Suzanne
    January 1, 1970
    I love the poetic story telling, the world building, the characters, and was so pleased to receive an ARC. This is an action-packed fantasy tale with a strong heroine lead. Add dragons and magic to that and it just keeps getting better!
  • Andrea
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC from NetGalley and Tor Teen. Thank you!Andra, a young half-elven woman, is an indentured servant with years of bondage left. She works in the hall of the dragon riders, a plum position her mother won her by agreeing to more years of servitude for herself. When Andra accidentally disrupts a dragon bonding ceremony, she's sent back to her prior abusive assignment as punishment. There, she's impulsively kidnapped by rebels during a raid and sets out on a path to become a master ma I received an ARC from NetGalley and Tor Teen. Thank you!Andra, a young half-elven woman, is an indentured servant with years of bondage left. She works in the hall of the dragon riders, a plum position her mother won her by agreeing to more years of servitude for herself. When Andra accidentally disrupts a dragon bonding ceremony, she's sent back to her prior abusive assignment as punishment. There, she's impulsively kidnapped by rebels during a raid and sets out on a path to become a master magician, fighter, strategist, and dragon rider. I always want to say something nice, so here it is. S.R. Ranganathan formulated 5 rules that have become the guiding principles of library systems. One of the rules is "Every person his or her book." This means that libraries should acquire a variety of materials for a wide range of needs and not judge patrons on what they choose to read. I also interpret it to mean that a book, despite how much I dislike it, may be exactly what someone else needs at a critical time in their life. I sincerely hope that someone who reads this book, perhaps with a past or present filled with abuse, is comforted by Andra's journey from powerless wretch to awesomeness. I certainly don't judge anyone harshly who does enjoy this. I personally struggled a lot to get through this book. I can appreciate when terrible things happen to book characters because it's usually a sign that the character isn't a Mary Sue. Like real people, they can suffer, and that suffering changes them. Unfortunately, despite a lot of abuse, that isn't what happens here. Kirkus Reviews accurately described Andra's off-screen rape and on-screen torture as superficial, and it truly is. We don't see a fully-fleshed woman who's gone through years of abuse recover from that and grow stronger-- we see a character told by a brawny male love interest to defend herself, and that's most of what she needed. This would have been a much more compelling read if we had seen Andra slowly work through her experiences and grow into her abilities bit by bit. Instead, we see her go from a defenseless young woman to the strongest magic user to a rider of (view spoiler)[the most special purple dragon (hide spoiler)] with minimal reflection. Such a progression with no true character development doesn't do justice to topics of rape and abuse. The problem is exacerbated by the quick pace. I deeply appreciate what appears to be a standalone fantasy novel (not everything has to be a trilogy!), but there is way too much happening here with too little substance. If Andra's emotional, physical, and magical development had been spread across multiple volumes, it would have felt more natural. It would have also left more space to flesh out the dragon, elven, and dwarven peoples, who are all otherwise pretty homogeneous. I want to call out one particular event in the book that I found deeply troubling. After being kidnapped by the rebels and taken to their home base, Andra is approached by a male dragon rider. He assaults her in public, and the dragon rider remains in a position of prominence within the rebel camp after receiving only superficial injuries. I think it would have been really cool if this organization fighting for freedom would have severely punished this man for the kind of abuse regularly inflicted on oppressed people. It would have also been interesting if it had been used as an opportunity for Andra to realize that the rebellion is also imperfect, and perhaps she needed to take matters into her own hands and assume a leadership role. Instead, it's just an isolated and superficial event in a book full of such events. For those looking for books with similar themes that do it better, I suggest Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey and The Hero and the Crown or The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley.
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  • Jackie Martuscelli
    January 1, 1970
    I first read this book years ago on Inkitt and fell in love with the story. Its got my favorite things-dragons, magic, bit of romance, and strong characters. I was lucky enough to recieve an ARC last year and it is a prized possession, not gonna lie. The reading itself is easy, everything flows really well together. The development of the characters isn't rushed but isn't too slow either. The details are great and its definetly a book that I think many will come to enjoy. I cant wait to read mor I first read this book years ago on Inkitt and fell in love with the story. Its got my favorite things-dragons, magic, bit of romance, and strong characters. I was lucky enough to recieve an ARC last year and it is a prized possession, not gonna lie. The reading itself is easy, everything flows really well together. The development of the characters isn't rushed but isn't too slow either. The details are great and its definetly a book that I think many will come to enjoy. I cant wait to read more!
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  • Kat
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Macmillan-Tor for the E-arc copy of this novel.#BrightStar is a fast-paced, action packed novel from beginning to end. I enjoyed the main character, Andra, she is strong lead in this story. Her combined with all the world building details make this a must read for young adult fantasy lovers. It does have some romance, but it entwines into the story seamlessly. It doesn't feel force as an extra into the story.
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  • Rosemary
    January 1, 1970
    Really enjoyable read.
  • Randall Collins
    January 1, 1970
    Be prepared to root for a young heroine like no other underdog!
  • AdiaMarie
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC from TorTeen on twitter. (Also sorry if it’s not the best review, I really only review ARCs I get and this is only my second so I’m a bit inexperienced) This book did remind me a lot of Eragon. I saw other comments of people who believed the same. If you love stories like that, you will love this one!!!! This was, in my opinion, and average book. It was by no means terrible, but nothing spectacular either. This is also what I thought when I read Eragon, so again, if you LOVED t I received an ARC from TorTeen on twitter. (Also sorry if it’s not the best review, I really only review ARCs I get and this is only my second so I’m a bit inexperienced) This book did remind me a lot of Eragon. I saw other comments of people who believed the same. If you love stories like that, you will love this one!!!! This was, in my opinion, and average book. It was by no means terrible, but nothing spectacular either. This is also what I thought when I read Eragon, so again, if you LOVED that book, you may love this one too.The good part about this book is it is a quick read. While the world building sometimes left something to be desired, it was not confusing and I actually got acquainted with it very quickly. It was so easy and fun to dive into. The characters had distinct personalities and I could easily tell them apart. I LOVED the dragons!!!! I loved the dragon bonds as well!!!!The bad part is the pacing was so off. I agree with Kirkus Reviews for the most part. The author tried to jam a bit too much in one book, which meant many important things were glossed over, completely ignored, or brought up too late or too early in the book. I could make a list of dozens of things I thought she neglected or brushed over too easily. The pacing also made some decisions seem rash because they were made so quickly or recoveries from injuries seem meaningless because they happened so quickly. Relationships, particularly the two romantic ones, seemed unrealistic to me in how they played out. However, many of the issues I saw in this book, I see with lots of debut authors. Therefore, I would not mind reading more of her future works to see how she improves. I do not regret reading it at all! It was a good book, just not one I would be dying to reread over and over. I also would really recommend it for people just getting into YA.
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  • Tanya C.
    January 1, 1970
    I won an ARC of this book on Twitter and even thou I wasn't really interested in the story, I decided to give it a try. This is the first dragon's book I've ever read, so that plays a big role in my review, I have nothing to compare it to (regarding dragons). The story starts with Andra and her friend and crush, Talias, sneaking into an event where they see a dragon meeting with children who may become dragon riders. Andra and Talias are servants, but Andra is basically a slave bound to pay 10 y I won an ARC of this book on Twitter and even thou I wasn't really interested in the story, I decided to give it a try. This is the first dragon's book I've ever read, so that plays a big role in my review, I have nothing to compare it to (regarding dragons). The story starts with Andra and her friend and crush, Talias, sneaking into an event where they see a dragon meeting with children who may become dragon riders. Andra and Talias are servants, but Andra is basically a slave bound to pay 10 years of labor before beign free. When the pairing of the dragons and riders comes, Andra sneaks out to see the event, but when a rare violet dragon is about to chose a rider, it notices her, interrupting the pairing and she is sent to a place called Castigo's manor and is added 5 years to her sentence as punishment for interrupting, because the rare dragon got scared and didn't pair with a rider. The manor is home to judge Castigo (a powerful goverment figure) and is the place Andra lived before her mother sent her away to protect her from the judge's son. The day Andra arrives at the manor her mother is killed because Andra talked back to the judge's son, Ledo, this makes her submisive and she decides to stop talking, even if she suffers a lot on his hands. One day a band of rebels get into the manor and take her with them because one of them didn't want to kill her, but they don't want to let her go so she won't speak of them to the authorities. Andra at first tries to escape but then understands that their cause is a good one and joins them. The little synopsis I just wrote is like the first 50 pages of the book, so the beginning is really fast paced and a lot happens, I think that from page 1 to page 50 a whole year goes by. The beginning was giving me average fantasy book vibes and I was having a different idea of where the story was going, but I was kinda wrong. Is this book an average YA fantasy book? probably yes. It has elements I've seen before, like the main character having a super incredible rare power, a rebellion against a bad government, and obviously, there had to be a romance, thankfully there's no love triangle. But still with all those repetitive elements, I enjoyed this book more than others with similar premises that I've read lately. I think this is because I really liked the characters and their relationships with each other. I really felt sympathy for Andra, her life was horrible, and I liked her progress through the book. She is snarky and rebelious at first, and then becomes submisive and mute as consequence of her trauma. It takes a lot for her to finally be able to speak again, she becomes more confident in herself and learns to trust others along the way, and she actually changes her original goal.There is a romance in the story but it's not insta love, they get to spend time together and to know each other before falling in love, and I liked that, and I liked the romantic tension between the characters. About side characters we have Kael, the rebel leader, a kinda grumpy guy with a good heart; Egan, who is a dick, but kinda improves; Alik, a very serious dude whose name and existence I kept forgetting; and Colmen, a nice dude who I loved so much. There are also the dragons and other characters that were there, but meh. I liked the lore of the story, the relationship between dragons and riders, and even if it was kinda info dumping, the history of the land was interesting. The book really got my attention since page 1, but around the middle I was starting to get a bit bored, mainly because it's the training part, where Andra discovers she has magic and tries to learn how to use it and how to fight too, in this part also the romance starts, but not much was happening with the plot, if I hadn't like the romantic tension and Colmen, I would've be bored. One of my complaints is basically that Andra has this super rare power which made her very strong and good at everything, even if she didn't know how to use it, it made her untouchable. I felt like Andra was never really in danger of dying. She was basically a walking miracle.Also I felt that the final resolution was too simple and everyone accepted it just fine. It was an interesting final battle, but I would've liked a real confrontation between Kael and the villain, after all, Kael was the leader, but it was all the time Andra and the villain. I really enjoyed the book, it made me feel things. So if you are into fantasy with dragons, give it a try, but as I said at the beginning, this is my first dragons book, if you've read others it may be kinda repetitive, I don't know.Oh, and one last thing, I really dislike the cover. There are mentions of blue/purple fire as Andra's powers, why wasn't that incorportated in the cover? It could've been the color palette, and an illustrated cover would've been better than a photo manipulation one, I can't even see her face! and the dragon is badly photoshopped at the top, that doesn't really tell much about the role of dragons in the story, it seems like a random fantasy element.
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  • Emerald.Lake
    January 1, 1970
    This book was such a fun read! I read a ton of books and this one is definitely one of the better ones. Andra's story is full of pain, love, and adventure. I found myself wanting to read more and more throughout the entire story. I could visualize every scene and felt as if I had really been transported to Paerolia.The characters were so fun to read about. Andra and her friends felt so real. It's easy to see that Erin Swan has spent the time to really build her character's personalities. Each on This book was such a fun read! I read a ton of books and this one is definitely one of the better ones. Andra's story is full of pain, love, and adventure. I found myself wanting to read more and more throughout the entire story. I could visualize every scene and felt as if I had really been transported to Paerolia.The characters were so fun to read about. Andra and her friends felt so real. It's easy to see that Erin Swan has spent the time to really build her character's personalities. Each one is unique and comes with their own trials and back stories. The villains were cruel in just the right way and had clear goals. They definitely were not antagonists just for opposition's sake.The story was full of different themes from pain and healing to adventure and wonder. Andra goes through multiple trials and finds herself in many tricky situations. She learns to love and to fight for what she deserves. She starts as a fragile girl and blossoms into a strong woman.This story is full of action and emotion. I would recommend it to anyone who loves a great story about adventure. If you want to be transported to a magical land of dragons and power, you should read this book. You won't be disappointed.
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  • Amy Guerra
    January 1, 1970
    I was lucky enough to get an ARC of this book. I absolutely LOVED it. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book that kept me up at night (just one more chapter!) and this one hit the spot. The main character is an underdog that your heart connects to on so many levels. I felt like I knew her. Her character is so well-developed. If you loved books like Eragon, Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl, Hunger Games, or Game of Thrones, you’re going to LOVE this one. The story line was easy to follow, yet kep I was lucky enough to get an ARC of this book. I absolutely LOVED it. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book that kept me up at night (just one more chapter!) and this one hit the spot. The main character is an underdog that your heart connects to on so many levels. I felt like I knew her. Her character is so well-developed. If you loved books like Eragon, Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl, Hunger Games, or Game of Thrones, you’re going to LOVE this one. The story line was easy to follow, yet kept me on my toes. I cried, I laughed, I cheered, and then I cried again when it ended (how is it already over?!). I also purchased a copy on amazon so I can read it again and share it with my friends. You won’t regret adding this one to your shelf, I promise!
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  • Christina Loewe
    January 1, 1970
    Wow. That’s all I can think right now. While the writing in this book was at times slightly confusing, the author somehow to do in only one 380 page book what most series only hope to do in five books of the same size. The world building, character development and plot did not one bit seem forced or crammed despite being a relatively short book. The opening, which was in fact dark turned into a book filled with hope that didn’t feel like a forced transition. All of the twists and challenges that Wow. That’s all I can think right now. While the writing in this book was at times slightly confusing, the author somehow to do in only one 380 page book what most series only hope to do in five books of the same size. The world building, character development and plot did not one bit seem forced or crammed despite being a relatively short book. The opening, which was in fact dark turned into a book filled with hope that didn’t feel like a forced transition. All of the twists and challenges that the main character had to overcome fit into everything from earlier beautifully. So yes I really loved this book
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  • Kylie
    January 1, 1970
    With thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for my ARC. I consider myself extremely lucky to get the opportunity to read and review this gem of a first novel. With well written characters and detailed world building plus a strong storyline this novel was reminiscent of Eragon by Christopher Paolini; as an inferior force must gain support to fight against a despotic ruler. Full of adventure, some heartbreak, loyal friends and dragons of whom you wish you were the rider!
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  • J. Dominique
    January 1, 1970
    Unfortunately, the style of writing was really off-putting. A “traumatic” event happens to Andra, but I felt nothing over the story as neither Andra or any of the other characters had been fleshed out enough for me to care. The style of the story is childish, all tell, not show, and the concept is nothing new either.
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  • Emma Pearl
    January 1, 1970
    I LOVED this book! It really took me by surprise. The worldbuilding, characters, plot and pacing were all spectacular. And oh, the dragons! I've never been much of a dragon person but these dragons were to die for. This is the best YA fantasy I've read since Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi and every bit as good, which is obviously high praise indeed.
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  • CleverBaggins
    January 1, 1970
    I feel bad. I wanted to like this so much. It has a lot of potential and for once I feel like an author gave us dragons like we want. Real personalities. Not pets. Real bonds. I just can't seem to enjoy it more and I cant tell you why. Its...fine. But I'm eager to move on and will probably forget it. And that makes me sad
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  • Ashliegh
    January 1, 1970
    Loved this book! I read it back when it was on inkitt and was so looking forward to read it again! I thought the character development was well done, the world building wasn’t in as much detail as I was hoping for but enough for you to imagine the rest yourself. A good quick read!
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  • J.L. Scritchfield
    January 1, 1970
    Check out my full review on Booknest.eu.I would call this gateway fantasy (not portal fantasy which is a different thing). Looking to get someone into reading fantasy, suggest Bright Star. Want a better Eragon? Bright Star. Looking for female led YA fantasy? Bright Star.So…check it out.
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