Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows

before she ignites cover

The basics

Title: Before She Ignites


Series: Fallen Isles #1

- Before She Ignites (2017)
- As She Ascends (2018)
- When She Reigns (2019)

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Goodreads Summary:


Mira Minkoba is the Hopebearer. Since the day she was born, she’s been told she’s special. Important. Perfect. She’s known across the Fallen Isles not just for her beauty, but for the Mira Treaty named after her, a peace agreement which united the seven islands against their enemies on the mainland.

But Mira has never felt as perfect as everyone says. She counts compulsively. She struggles with crippling anxiety. And she’s far too interested in dragons for a girl of her station.


Then Mira discovers an explosive secret that challenges everything she and the Treaty stand for. Betrayed by the very people she spent her life serving, Mira is sentenced to the Pit–the deadliest prison in the Fallen Isles. There, a cruel guard would do anything to discover the secret she would die to protect.

No longer beholden to those who betrayed her, Mira must learn to survive on her own and unearth the dark truths about the Fallen Isles–and herself–before her very world begins to collapse.

Here is a spoiler summary of what happened in Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows to help refresh your memory before you read the sequel.

what happened in Before She Ignites?

  • We meet Mira, her bodyguard Hristo, and her friend Ilina. Mira also has a pet dragon called LaLa, who is kept at the dragon sanctuary owned by Ilina’s parents.
  • Mira explores the sanctuary one day and notices that some of the dragons are gone. She spots some tracks, and figures they’ve been stolen and taken away by carriage. They also discover that the Noorestones (energy stones) have been taken as well.
  • Ilina’s parents tell Mira and Ilina that nothing is wrong.
  • Mira finds documents that show that the dragons have been shipped to the island’s enemy – the Algotti Empire.
  • Mira tells the Luminary Council what she found out, which would have been a good idea except she is then imprisoned in the Pit. Something dodgy is obviously going on. Mira thought she wouldn’t be imprisoned because she is the Hopebearer and the Council is meant to listen to her.
  • Mira meets a guy called Aaru, who’s in the cell next to hers. He teaches her a code. Mira also meets Gerel, who used to be a warrior but was imprisoned for trying to destroy the prison.
  • Mira takes a job as a cleaner so she can get out of her cell for a bit. She works in the kitchens with Sarannai, who we don’t like.
  • Altan, one of the guards, asks Mira what she knows about dragons. She doesn’t tell him anything. She learns that he’s a Drakon (dragon riding) warrior who’s in hiding because his people have been disbanded.
  • Mira is put back in her cell and discovers that her friends have been taken away. Mira is then kept in darkness and she almost dies, except Aaru comes back to give her water.
  • Altan interrogates Mira again, and this time she tells him what she knows.
  • Chenda is imprisoned. She says she stood up for what was right when the Bophans announced they would be deporting the Hartans due to their failing crops. Chenda was imprisoned for defending the Hartans, who were being burned alive as a punishment.
  • The government tells everyone that Chenda was a spy for her Hartan lover. Chenda’s lover was beaten to death before Chenda was taken to the Pit.
  • Altan tortures Aaru using Noorestones because he thinks Mira is withholding information about dragons. Mira has a panic attack.
  • The Noorestones that Altan was using explode, and this explosion kills the guards and knocks Altan out. Aaru is the one who made them explode.
  • The Luminary Council take Mira away. They want her to make a speech that declares that the isles should be independent and separate.
  • Mira gives a speech, but it’s not the one the Council wanted. She tells everyone to accept one another and that they should work together. A guard cuts Mira’s face as punishment.
  • Hristo and Ilina arrive to help Mira escape, but she refuses to go without rescuing the prisoners from the Pit. While they’re discussing this, guards arrive and imprison the group (again).
  • Altan interrogates Mira again. This time he brings out a dragon that will torture her friends if she doesn’t give him what she wants. Altan is angry because there were no dragons at the port like Mira said there would be. Mira points out that the schedule must have changed because they knew that Mira knew.
  • Mira recalls the moment that people started calling her Hopebearer, when she tried to save Lex from being shipped off to the Algotti Empire.
  • Altan tells Mira that the treaty is a sham, since it sold the islands to the Algotti Empire. Altan thinks the dragons are payment or a bribe to ensure that the Algotti Empire doesn’t attack.
  • They think that the gods are upset, and they are causing earthquakes and making it hard for farmers to grow crops. Altan plans to reclaim the dragons to fight the Algotti Empire. Mira agrees that this should happen, but she doesn’t want to work with him. Altan attacks her. Mira stabs him with a Noorestone and he starts to burn.
  • Mira rescues Hristo and Ilina and then heads to the armoury to take some stones.
  • Tirta shows up and tells Mira she’s on the Council and tells Mira to go with her. Mira runs away to help her friends.
  • An earthquake hits and distracts everyone.
  • Hristo and Gerel fight the guards while Aaru releases the other prisoners. Chenda separates from her shadow, which then starts to kill the guards. Cool power. That is, until Altan knocks Chenda out.
  • Mira uses the Noorestones to create a fireball and kills the remaining guards. She passes out briefly.
  • Altan got away with a couple of his men, and Tirta is missing.
  • The group head to a safe hideout, suggested by Gerel. LaLa and another dragon called Crystal show up.

That’s what happened in Before She Ignites! Check out our recap list for more recaps. If you can’t find what you need, you can request a recap from us!

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