Please Note: I received a free e-copy of The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart from it’s publisher Bloomsbury Publishing Plc via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review in any way, and all thoughts expressed are solely my own.
The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis
Published February 22, 2017 by Bloomsbury
Source: Bloomsbury via Netgalley (publisher)
Aventurine is the fiercest, bravest dragon there is. And she’s ready to prove it to her family by leaving the safety of their mountain cave and capturing the most dangerous prey of all: a human. But when the human she finds tricks her into drinking enchanted hot chocolate, Aventurine is transformed into a puny human girl with tiny blunt teeth, no fire, and not one single claw.
But she’s still the fiercest creature in the mountains — and now she’s found her true passion: chocolate! All she has to do is get herself an apprenticeship (whatever that is) in a chocolate house (which sounds delicious), and she’ll be conquering new territory in no time…won’t she?
Do you ever read a book that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside because it’s just so darn precious? Well, that was The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart for me.
Aventurine is a hot-tempered young dragon who’s sick of being told that she’s neither old nor strong enough to face the dangers of the world outside of her family’s cave. Unlike her brother, there’s nothing that interests her enough to devote her life to, so life in the cave can be pretty dull. To prove to her family that she’s more than capable of taking care of herself, she ventures from the cave, unaware that the trip will change her life in more ways than she was expecting.
After being tricked by a food-mage who was initially her intended human prey, Aventurine becomes trapped in the body of a human, with nothing but a scale-patterned cloth to remind her of the creature that she was before. The spell that changed her was delivered to her through a pot of hot chocolate, and although the dramatic change has left her confused, she now knows that she wants to devote her life to the deliciously aromatic treat that is chocolate.
Knowing that she can’t go back to her family whilst in her human guise, she heads down the mountain to the town of Drachenberg, where she intends to find somewhere to express her passion. There are three chocolate houses in town, and she soon discovers that it’s harder to get a job working with chocolate than she was anticipating.
With the help of her new friend Silke, Aventurine determinedly tracks down the three chocolate houses. Her perseverance is really admirable, because despite being laughed off and thrown out of the two larger upper-class chocolate houses in town, she still tries the third – a small shop called The Chocolate Heart – and this time she won’t take no for an answer. After almost being turned away a third time, her stubbornness lands her an apprenticeship at the hole-in-the-wall shop run by Marina and Horst.
First off, if you ever plan on reading this book, make sure you have chocolate nearby, because you’re going to get the munchies! There is oh-so-much talk of chocolately goodness throughout the entirety of this book, that I guarantee you’ll be craving sweets in absolutely no time at all.
I was expecting this story to have more dragons in it, but I’m not even disappointed that that wasn’t the case. Instead, it’s more focused on Aventurine’s life as an apprentice chocolatier. When she sees just how passionate Marina is about her own chocolate, Aventurine is inspired by that passion, and does everything she can not to let her new employer down, even if it means hours upon hours of hard, laborious work. It’s something that I truly admired about Aventurine.
The side-characters were even lovable, which isn’t something that I tend to see a whole lot of in everything that I’ve read. Marina cares so deeply about her work as a chocolatier, that she would leave everything to start again if her reputation in town became so tarnished with rumours. Chocolate (and Horst!) is all she knows and cares about in life, and it’s nice to see someone so passionate about something.
Silke is a devious character, who’s always got a clever trick up her sleeve. She likes being in the middle of everyone else’s business, and as such she is determined to help The Chocolate Heart gain the business that it and Marina so desperately needs. Well, as long as she gets some chocolate out of it. She was such a fun character, and her friendship with Aventurine gave the book a certain little flare.
I will admit that the story did drag on (heh) a bit. At some points (particularly around the middle) it felt as though was was a little too much going on outside of the main plot, and it really slowed the progression of everything down. But hey, I guess that could actually be seen as a good thing because at least during those parts, I wasn’t so inclined to pick up a block of chocolate and shove my face into it.
There’s a really lovely moral to this story, and that’s to not let anything stand in the way of something you’re passionate about, and don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not good enough to follow those dreams.
The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart was a deliciously magical read about friendship, following your passions, oh, and chocolate! I absolutely adored this tale, and can’t wait to get my hands on a physical copy of this book!
Have you read The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart? Are there any other cute dragon-y books you would recommend? Let me know down below!
Until next time,