Rating: 3 Stars
Synopsis via Goodreads:
The price of freedom is everything.
When forced to choose between safety with the dragon organization Talon and being hunted forever as an outcast, Ember Hill chose to stand with Riley and his band of rogue dragons rather than become an assassin for Talon. She’s lost any contact with her twin brother, Dante, a Talon devotee, as well as Garret, the former-enemy soldier who challenged her beliefs about her human side.
As Ember and Riley hide and regroup to fight another day, Garret journeys alone to the United Kingdom, birthplace of the ancient and secret Order of St. George, to spy on his former brothers and uncover deadly and shocking secrets that will shake the foundations of dragons and dragonslayers alike and place them all in imminent danger as Talon’s new order rises.
That about sums up my feelings for this book. Eh. Not great. Not bad. Just . . . eh.
My feelings for Julie Kagawa are so mixed. I read her Iron Fey series when it first came out, waited with baited breath for each addition to the series. And then her next vampire series came out, and I was still a fan at the beginning, but the last book left something to be desired.
I liked the first two books of this series. I did. Almost no one else seemed to like them, couldn’t even finish them, but what always seems to get me coming back for more with Kagawa is her layout.
I love her worlds. In her Iron Fey series, especially. But this series didn’t have that. No, it has dragons.
Honestly, that’s about just as good.
I’ve been waiting forever for a series with dragons that wasn’t high fantasy, Game of Thrones kind of book. I wanted characters as dragons, some fantasy weaved in to the world building maybe, but not all about quests and treasure and princesses and whatnot.
And I thought I’d gotten that here. Maybe it still will be all that and more.
But these characters . . . my gosh, these characters are making me struggle hardcore to still like this series.
I hate Garret. I’m not sorry about that. There is literally nothing about him that stands out to me. Is he a good guy? Sure, I guess so. I mean, he didn’t kill Ember, did he? But then again, he loooovvvvveeeeessss her, so that’s probably why.
He loves her so much, in fact, that he left her . . . Of freaking course. Because no good romance can ever exist without the guy leaving the girl for her own good. (*coughTwilightcough*)
There’s really nothing about the guy that stands out for me. All I know is he’s blond and has grey eyes. Yep.
Now there’s Riley. He’s the saving grace for this book . . . and those before it, if I’m being completely honest. I actually enjoy his POV chapters, while Garret and Dante . . . eh. Not so much.
He’s at least interesting. I enjoy his and Ember’s relationship, partly because they can be together in un-romantic ways. Saving the world comes before worrying about their sorta romance and attraction, and they both understand that, but there will never be a good time in the neat future to hash it out between them or figure what’s going on between them in a calm, non-chaotic setting. So they make time.
Their dragon bond is interesting, I’ll give you that.
And then there’s Ember.
I don’t hate her. I don’t even dislike her. She prioritizes, puts the important things above her romances, and I respect that. She’s affected by all the death and killing going on around her, and it shows in this book. I liked that it’s not skimmed over and Ember is never told to suck it up and keep moving, ’cause it’s war. She makes herself move and fight and learn even as she’s breaking apart.
Gotta love that in a girl.
But I miss the layout in this series that was always there in Kagawa’s other books. I miss the Nevernever. I miss Puck. I miss Jackal and a post-apocalyptic vampire world. I want those things back.
I even miss the humor. Kagawa always has this gift for putting humorous moments in high-tension situations, and it was great. There wasn’t all that much of it here, or in this series at all. At least nothing that stood out to me.
And there were these pointless chapters about Garret’s childhood and how he came to be in the Order. Yeah . . . don’t care. Really, I don’t. There was nothing interesting about it at all.
So overall . . . eh.