London, the Empire of Albion. The Great Dragons of old are long-gone. Now the world is governed by the science of Celestial Physicists, and everyone’s life is foretold by the track on their wrist.
When thirteen-year-old Paisley discovers from her track that she is destined to die, the race is on to protect her dragon-touched brother and find her missing mother. But an ancient power stalks the sewers of London, and the Dark Dragon is rising, intent on restoring the Great Dragons and destroying Paisley’s family and her world forever.
In a world where science rules and dragons fear to tread, Paisley must trust her instincts and forge new friends, as she attempts to outrun fate itself.
Wow. When I was emailed about this book I knew it would be special. the email had me at the word dragon if I’m honest… But even with that early warning sign, I didn’t realised how blown away I would be with The Nightsilver Promise.
The Nightsilver Promise is a middle grade book, but in my mind, it sits on the cusp of middle grade and YA. The MC is 13 and it still has the adventure element of a middle grade, with the darkness and learning that comes from YA. Paisley is very grown up for her age and very serious. Her bother adds an element of the younger audience at just 10, and the adventure they go on is incredible. It is a middle grade for the top end of the age range rather than the earlier end, and not many of them are so it was nice to experience that.
There are parts of the book that are dark. So, so dark. The world in which this story is set had dragons. Great Dragons. But they are no longer around. It also has floating boroughs of London and everyone is given their “track” to know which paths they will take in the world and what they will become. Most of these are given in early infancy. But Paisley, the man character is one of the rare people who get theirs later. She learns of her “track” early on in the book and its not a nice one. She learns that she will die at some point in the next year. And that hangs over her throughout the book.
The world in which Annaliese Avery has created is fantastical. Its so much like our own, but not at the same time. And I loved that. It was amazing to think about what the floating London boroughs would be like, and picture the Dragon Walkers in my mind. I did think it skimmed over a few explanations, like how you get to each of the boroughs, but I still enjoyed thinking about Paisley’s world in detail.
There’s lots of magic/science crossover in this book. I love the idea of nightsilver and the bind of it with the person its created. Then there is the comets and the alignment of the stars and things that were really interesting. Paisley’s mum is a scientist and I loved the sound of the work she was doing and how it married up with the magic of the dragons.
There is a lot to love about this book and if I’m honest I’m a bit gutted its the start of a series because I need to know what happens next. Considering the book isn’t out yet, I don’t know when we’ll get the second in the series but I’m hoping its not too long.
The Nightsilver Promise will be published on 6th May 2021 by Scholastic. My copy was sent to me by the publisher to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.