From the New York Times bestselling author of the Artemis Fowl series comes a hilarious and high-octane adult novel about a vodka-drinking, Flashdance-loving dragon who lives an isolated life in the bayous of Louisiana—and the raucous adventures that ensue when he crosses paths with a fifteen-year-old troublemaker on the run from a crooked sheriff.
In the days of yore, he flew the skies and scorched angry mobs—now he hides from swamp tour boats and rises only with the greatest reluctance from his Laz-Z-Boy recliner. Laying low in the bayou, this once-magnificent fire breather has been reduced to lighting Marlboros with nose sparks, swilling Absolut in a Flashdance T-shirt, and binging Netflix in a fishing shack. For centuries, he struck fear in hearts far and wide as Wyvern, Lord Highfire of the Highfire Eyrie—now he goes by Vern. However…he has survived, unlike the rest. He is the last of his kind, the last dragon. Still, no amount of vodka can drown the loneliness in his molten core. Vern’s glory days are long gone. Or are they?
A canny Cajun swamp rat, young Everett “Squib” Moreau does what he can to survive, trying not to break the heart of his saintly single mother. He’s finally decided to work for a shady smuggler—but on his first night, he witnesses his boss murdered by a crooked constable.
Regence Hooke is not just a dirty cop, he’s a despicable human being—who happens to want Squib’s momma in the worst way. When Hooke goes after his hidden witness with a grenade launcher, Squib finds himself airlifted from certain death by…a dragon?
The swamp can make strange bedfellows, and rather than be fried alive so the dragon can keep his secret, Squib strikes a deal with the scaly apex predator. He can act as his go-between (aka familiar)—fetch his vodka, keep him company, etc.—in exchange for protection from Hooke. Soon the three of them are careening headlong toward a combustible confrontation. There’s about to be a fiery reckoning, in which either dragons finally go extinct—or Vern’s glory days are back.
A triumphant return to the genre-bending fantasy that Eoin Colfer is so well known for, Highfire is an effortlessly clever and relentlessly funny tour-de-force of comedy and action.
Disclaimer: I received a physical copy of the book from Harper Collins International in exchange for an honest review! Since, I didn’t have access to my copy due to lockdown, I listened to the Audiobook via Storytel App. However, the thoughts, opinions expressed in the review are entirely my own.
Highfire is the foray of one of my favourite authors, Eoin Colfer (if you haven’t already Artemis Fowl, I swear; you are missing out on a whole lot!) into the Adult High Fantasy – and when this author means Adult; I swear he means Adult!
With Highfire, Mr. Colfer takes his readers to the Bayous of Louisiana – where resides the only living dragon in the world – Vern; Lord Highfire who hates humans with every fire breath in his ancient body for they destroyed his fellow dragons, so he now lives under the radar with his Netflix and surviving on Absolut Vodka and the only one who knows about his presence is Waxman, another ancient Mogwai, who keeps Vern’s supplies replenished.
On the other side, we have Everett Moreau, hereto known as Squib – a 15 year old who tries really hard to be the good, hardworking boy that his long suffering, single mother Elodie wants him to be; but no matter how hard he tries, he somehow cannot seem to shrug off his petty criminal habits. His only aim is to make sure that he saves his mother from the evil hands of the Constable Regence Hooke; who has been after Elodie, for as long as he can remember!
Everyone is happy; or rather content to move along their paths; never expecting that one night of unfortunate events on the Bayou would land up with Squib becoming a dragon’s human familiar and brining Hooke’s evil intentions of getting Squib out of the way of his “courting” of Elodie (one of them, at least!).
Highfire is an adventurous fun with foul mouth dragon and a good faith young boy who just wants to do the right thing – since I listened to the audiobook (for I didn’t have access to my physical copy during the lockdown!), it took me a while to get used to the narrating style – the southern brogue combined with what I felt like was too many details about the environment and the place around them; but I lived for Vern’s acerbic comments and opinions as well as Squib’s almost adorable loyalty to a Dragon who had threatened to eat him up in their first few meetings!