Review of KINDLE Ebook #Talon – Book 1 of the Talon series by #Julie Kagawa #Brainfluffbookreview #bookreview

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It was the fabulous cover of this book that first caught my eye – and the fact it was about dragons, so when I had some money in my hot little hand to spend on books, it was a no-brainer that I would get hold of this offering.

Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they’re positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser. Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

The first thing to say about this one is that it is YA through and through – including a love triangle. So you have the first person viewpoint of a teenage protagonist who is very conflicted. That said, I think she’s probably entitled to be a tad more conflicted than many young heroines in that she is a shape-shifting dragon, who has come to the end of a long and testing training programme designed to allow her to fight an underground war with humanity against the elite Order of St. George. Ember and her twin brother are ostensibly on a beach holiday and mixing with other teenagers who are completely unsuspecting about the true identity of the attractive couple.

Ember is a sympathetic protagonist, despite being a rebel and a rule breaker, because the people looking after her don’t show any affection or compassion. The only person who cares about her is Dante, her brother, who is equally concerned on building a successful career within Talon. I think I would be sneaking out until midnight under those circumstances, too.

I liked the way Kagawa introduces the hidden world of dragonkind within the story. It is deftly done without compromising the pace and is added in bits and pieces as we need to know so that by the end of the book, we have a clear picture of how the dragons operate without humanity mostly being aware of them. For me, the highlight of the book has to be when Ember shifts and flies the coast – an extremely forbidden act. Kagawa’s prose really took off at this point, and I could easily imagine the beauty and power of the flight. Once I was well into the story, I was more or less able to predict where it would end up. There was a twist near the end that I didn’t see coming, but the writing packs a punch and the ending is sufficiently dramatic. Recommended for YA fans who enjoy shape-shifting dragons with some romance.
8/10

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14 responses »

  1. I didn’t know this was about shape shifting dragons. I will have to check this out at some point, even though as you said, it’s *very* YA😁 Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    • This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – I do enjoy a fair number of YA reads, but Ember does make a series of daft mistakes. Why wouldn’t she, though? She’s a youngster who is being kept very tightly controlled.

  2. I read this one and the second book and then stopped. I liked the world-building and dragons but the romance(s) got on me nerves even though I understood why the girl was conflicted. I like YA but this didn’t float me boat. Are ye gonna read more of the series?
    x The Captain

    • Hm. Probably not – though I think that might just be me… The romance featured more than I’d expected and there wasn’t quite sufficient dragon goodness in there for me to consider continuing. It is a good series for fans of shape-shifting romances, though.

  3. Thank you for the warning – the cover had me enchanted too, so I appreciate your review all the more. A YA like that would probably leave me disappointed…

    • You’re welcome:). There’s nothing innately wrong with it, but it certainly is as much about the teens finding themselves and getting involved with the romance, rather than the dragonish aspects.

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