Rating: 4 Stars
Synopsis via Goodreads:
Ember Hill left the dragon organization Talon to take her chances with rebel dragon Cobalt and his crew of rogues. But Ember can’t forget the sacrifice made for her by the human boy who could have killed her—Garret Xavier Sebastian, a soldier of the dragonslaying Order of St. George, the boy who saved her from a Talon assassin, knowing that by doing so, he’d signed his own death warrant.
Determined to save Garret from execution, Ember must convince Cobalt to help her break into the Order’s headquarters. With assassins after them and Ember’s own brother helping Talon with the hunt, the rogues find an unexpected ally in Garret and a new perspective on the underground battle between Talon and St. George.
A reckoning is brewing and the secrets hidden by both sides are shocking and deadly. Soon Ember must decide: Should she retreat to fight another day…or start an all-out war?
I do not care what anyone else says about this series . . . I love it.
Because dragons, people.
Is this series as good as Julie Kagawa’s other series? No, it is not. But, to be fair, Kagawa set a pretty high standard for herself, too. Her Blood of Eden would probably be my favorite series (mostly because of Jackal), but to be honest, her Iron Fey series is pretty close behind if not tied (because I have a love spot for anything faerie related).
But had this series been by any other no-name author, this would probably have been a lot more popular with reviews. But even so, I still love it, even if I feel I am in the minority there.
I think it’s difficult to write a good book with dragons in it and not make it come across like a Game of Thrones nock-off. And this book succeeded.
I was happy to see that there was little to almost no romance going on. Now, I like romance. (Obviously.) But I don’t like romance when there are a thousand other, more important things happening around the characters that likely involve life-or-death decisions. I hate it when the heroine is being all angsty over if so-and-so loves her or not, and, oh, what does that sudden glance mean out of the corner of his eye? Was he sneaking a peak at her butt or was he just checking to make sure they’re not being following and are about to get shot/stabbed in the back?
He was totally watching her butt.
Like, girl, you’ve got one-hundred-and-one other, more important things to be worrying about than your love life. And then there’s a love triangle thrown in there, because god only knows that somehow, in-between bullets flying and conspiracy theories running amuck, the heroine and everyone else has time for a love life.
Because, yes, this book was action packed (as most of Kagawa’s books are), and I was happy to see that the romance doesn’t really happen until near the end. Granted, when it is going on at one point, I was rolling my eyes a little bit because they were currently in a life-or-death situation (see above) and all of a sudden there’s a kiss on the horizon.
But it was a small flick of an annoying thing, and I didn’t think much of it. Hence the four stars I gave this.
I also was supremely happy to see that Ember wasn’t in love with anyone (yet). Both Garrett and Riley obviously have feelings for her, and while Riley is suppressing them (not all that well, of course), Garrett is over in the corner slowly rocking back and forth because, god help him, he’s in love with a dragon. (*Le gasp!*)
But this was in no way annoying, oddly enough. Like I said before, the romance up until the end was very subtle, as it should be with everything going on around them (ex: two crazy cult-like groups, one dragon based and one dragon slayer based wanting their blood, betraying brother, etc, etc, . . .).
When the romance did happen, though, it was so nice. Because Ember hadn’t been thinking about her hormones or the two men around her. She hasn’t been thinking about it at all. So when one of them makes a move, she’s a little flustered, but nothing embarrassing, and does what any sane, smart girl would do, and basically tells him that yeah, no, while your confession is nice and all, and yes I do have feelings for you, no I’m not in love with you (yet). As you probably already know, this isn’t the best time for this conversation soo . . . later? Yeah, later. Much later.
I applaud you girl. Putting more important things before your hormones. (*sniff, sniff*)
Personally, I’m rooting for Riley. Not because I have anything against Garrett, per say, but just because I think Riley is a better fit for her. Garrett is too gosh darn emotional. Don’t get me wrong – I love, love reading about emotional guys. It’s a nice change from the A-typical bad, brooding boy. But Garrett . . . sweetheart, sometimes I just want to whack you upside the head.
And then there’s Riley. I said this before, but Riley is like a lesser version of Jackal from the Blood of Eden series. And I love it. I miss Jackal, and while there are a lot of differences between Riley and Jackal, my love of them both is still going strong.
Mostly because (just like Jackal) Riley had all the best lines.
“Oh, is that all?” Riley frowned, gesturing to the broken window. “And how are we supposed to find where this shooter is without taking a hole to the head? I don’t feel like playing whack-a-mole with a trained sniper right now.”
My one big issue with this book was how many POVs there were. I have never liked more than one first person POVs in books. I’ve always thought that if you want different POVs, then you might as well write in third person.
Here, we have Ember’s, Riley’s (and Cobalt’s!), Garrett’s, and Dante’s POV. I hated it. Yes, I see why some of it is necessary, but still. I don’t like it. It makes a book feel daunting to read, and that’s never a good thing.