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  • Gabby Womack

I just finished To Shape a Dragon’s Breath by Moniquil Blackgoose and I’m obsessed!!!

wooded area near beach on Martha’s Vineyard in the background with the cover of the book in the foreground. The book is outlined in yellow and six read arrows point outward to text: Indigenous-Northeast-Turtle Island, Alternate timeline, Historical Fantasy, Bonds formed with dragons, Queer MC, Found family.
To Shape A Dragon's Breath by Moniquil Blackgoose highlights

Without a doubt, this is a 5-star read 👑

An incredible start to a historical fantasy series! I devoured this book quickly despite the length of it because the main character and alternate timeline were captivating. Anequs was kind, smart, matter-of-fact, open-minded, and brave. Anglish society’s rules and customs didn’t have a hold on her unless they could help someone. She was relatable and her friends, for the most part, were from varied backgrounds.

According to the author Moniquil Blackhoose, “To Shape a Dragon’s Breath takes place in southern New England (Rhode Island, Massachussetts) in the 1840s in a very alternate timeline — the Roman Empire never existed, the British Isles were settled by Scandinavian seafarers, and the European colonization of the east coast of the US is proceeding differently. “ Therefore, all of the names of the countries, religious practices, and culture of the colonizers of Turtle Island are almost entirely different from our reality.

I think that Blackgoose handled discussions of race, eugenics, queerness, polyamory, and the autism spectrum with care despite ableism, homophobia, and racism being acceptable by Anglish society. Anequs is our moral guide, in a sense.

I loved the pacing of this book. I found that no matter how many times I thought I knew what would happen next, I was wrong! So that was such a treat. I especially loved the way the characters shared their cultural stories.

The audiobook was lovely thanks to the narrator Charley Flyte! Part way through it I began to wish I had a print copy. Now that I’ve finished the book I know I absolutely want the print since I expect I’ll reread it before the second book comes out.

Y’all need to read this!!!


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