Book Reviews

Review: Alliana, Girl of Dragons by Julie Abe

I have loved every single book I’ve read by Julie Abe and Alianna, Girl of Dragons is no exception. It’s a fantastic story about friendship and perseverance. Plus it has dragons and magic. What more could you want? Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


Once upon a time, Alliana believed in dreams and fairy tales as sweet as spun-sugar clouds. Alliana wished on shooting stars, sure that someday she and her grandmother would be able to travel to the capital city to see the queen. Then her grandmother passed away—and those dreams disappeared in a disenchanted puff.

Now Alliana’s forced to attend to the whims of her wicked stepmother—with long days of cleaning her stepfamily’s inn as her skin burns raw or staying up until the crack of dawn to embroider her stepsister’s ball gowns. Until she meets two beings who change her life forever—the first is a young nightdragon who Alliana discovers she can magically talk to. And the second is Nela, a young witch.

Nela needs Alliana’s help navigating the mysterious abyss, filled with dangerous beasts, a place Alliana knows by heart. Alliana sees Nela’s request as a chance to break free of her stepmother’s shadow and to seize a chance at a life she’s barely dared to hope for—but there’s a risk. If caught, Alliana will be stuck working for her stepmother for the rest of her life. Can Alliana truly make wisps of dreams into her own, better-than-a-fairy-tale happily ever after?


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Alliana, Girl of Dragons is one of my most anticipated middle grade releases of 2022. Julie Abe is a middle grade queen! This Cinderella meets retelling transforms what you know about Cinderella not only by locating it in the Eva Evergreen world, but also with dragons! My heart instantly went out to Alliana. She has such a good and kind heart and her family treats her horribly. But throughout it all, Alliana, Girl of Dragons stresses found family. Family (and friends) who will choose us, see us, and support us. Who encourage us to follow our dreams. And who will be right there next to us.

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I loved the ways in which Abe takes what we know and expect with Cinderella, and puts her own twist on it. There are secrets, magical complications, and dragons. I’m a huge fan of the dragons, okay? Alliana, Girl of Dragons is full of heart. It’s exactly the kind of story I would have loved as a middle grade reader. Its central theme of friendship is fabulous for kids and adult readers alike. The characters will scoop your heart out and Alliana, Girl of Dragons flew by I was so invested! Find Alliana, Girl of Dragons on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


What is your favorite companion middle grade?

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