Alliana has been raised in her stepmother's inn, relegated to menial chores. For years after her father's death, she was able to keep dreaming of fairy tales with the support of Grand-mother Mari, whose tapestries and stories showed Alliana a world beyond their tiny village. But now a year has passed since Grandmother Mari's death, and the only magic left in Alliana's life is the baby nightdragon she discovers she can talk to. She knows better than to think her stepmother will let her attend the Farmlands Ball, her only chance of escaping her small hometown and to be enrolled in the Royal Academy.
But everything changes when she meets Nela, a young witch who needs her help. For the first time since Grandmother Mari's death, Alliana has a chance to reach the future she's always dreamed of--but if her stepmother finds out, it could doom her to a life trapped at the inn.
Will Alliana be trapped beneath her stepmother's power forever? Or can she still find her own happily ever after?
Alliana, Girl of Dragons is a prequel/companion book to the Eva Evergreen duology (Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch and Eva Evergreen and the Cursed Witch), and if you liked Eva Evergreen, you'll definitely like Alliana too--they share a magical, whimsical world, strong writing, and brilliant characters. I particularly enjoyed how Abe reshapes the Cinderella fairy tale into a story that fits perfectly with the Eva Evergreen books, including several prominent overlapping characters. Once again, the small details of the worldbuilding make the setting come alive, and I felt fully engrossed in Alliana's adventure. I recommend Alliana, Girl of Dragons to readers ages ten and up.