August 5, 2022

BLOG TOUR Alliana Girl of Dragons (Eva Evergreen #0.5) by Julie Abe

Hi friends! I'm excited to be a part of the blog tour for Alliana Girl of Dragons by Julie Abe. 

Thank you to the author, Little Brown Books for Young Readers, the team at TBR and Beyond Tours, and NetGalley for my complimentary review copy of the book! Be sure to check out the other tour host's pages as well, and show them some love. The link to the schedule is below. 

About the Book

Release Date: August 2, 2022
Genre: Middle-Grade Fantasy

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?

Inspired by the Japanese Cinderella story and set in the same world as the Eva Evergreen series, this story can be read as a standalone.

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REVIEW of Alliana Girl of Dragons (Eva Evergreen #0.5) by Julie Abe
Rating: 4 Stars
Release Date: August 2, 2022
Format: ARC (Courtesy of Publisher and TBR and Beyond Tours)
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Julie Abe’s Alliana Girl of Dragons, the prequel to her debut Eva Evergreen Semi-Magical Witch, is a magical fantasy tale inspired by the Japanese version of Cinderella. Instead of fairy godmothers, pumpkins, and mice, however, Alliana is surrounded by magical friends, her dreams and even dragons. 

While reading the book, it's not immediately evident that it is a fairytale retelling. However, once the story really gets started, you can see the elements of Cinderella at its heart with the various twists the author implemented to make it a unique tale.  Similar to Cinderella, Alliana is an orphan who’s forced to work for her cruel stepmother and stepsiblings like a slave. She’s always loved fairy tales, but instead of dreaming of a Prince Charming to take her away from her situation, she’s been dreaming of joining the Royal Academy. That dream has seemed just out of reach for most of her life. Things change, however, once she meets her new magical witch friend Nela and a night dragon.   

Alliana is a kind-hearted gentle girl, and it was hard as a reader to see how cruel her step-family were. Grandmother Mari was a shining light in Alliana’s life, and after reading the author note it was touching to see that the character was inspired by the author’s own Grandmother. Alliana’s friends Nela and Isao were also instrumental in giving her the nudge and the resources to allow her to chase her dream. I just love the incorporation of a dragon in the book. In my opinion, dragons make every book better (without fail) and Kabo is awesome. I hope the author writes more books in this world and incorporates him into more stories in the future. 

I did want to note that, as opposed to the Disney retelling of Cinderella, I appreciated how Alliana’s step-family were punished at the end of the book for their treatment of her. Instead of just throwing them in a hole and tossing the key away, their punishments were designed to make them understand why what they did was wrong. I don’t think blanket forgiveness is the best message for the audience level this book is aimed at. 

If a fairy tale retelling that features found family, friendship, and perseverance at its core sounds like something you would enjoy, then you should check out Alliana Girl of Dragons. Readers who are familiar with Eva Evergreen should know that this is set in the same universe, but it's an entirely different storyline and set before Eva is born. As a nice treat, there are some characters that appear in both books (you’ll have to read the books to figure out which ones).  

Thank you to the author, the publisher Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, NetGalley and the team at TBR and Beyond Tours for providing me with a complimentary review copy of the book. I appreciate the opportunity to read and review Alliana Girl of Dragons immensely. Please note - I voluntarily read and reviewed the book. All opinions expressed in the review are my own and not influenced in any way. 

About the Author

Julie Abe is the author of the EVA EVERGREEN, SEMI-MAGICAL WITCH middle grade fantasy series; the middle grade fantasy ALLIANA, GIRL OF DRAGONS; and the young adult novel THE CHARMED LIST. She has lived in Silicon Valley, spent many humid summers in Japan, and currently basks in the sunshine of Southern California with never enough books or tea. Keep up with Julie’s latest books and adventures at or sign up for her newsletter at

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