Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Talon by Julie Kagawa

‘There are a dozen soldiers hiding in that maze All hunting you. All looking to kill you.’

To the outside world Ember Hill is an ordinary girl, but Ember has a deadly secret. A dragon hiding in human form, she is destined to fight the shadowy Order of St.George, a powerful society of dragonslayers. St. George soldier Garret is determined to kill Ember and her kind. Until her bravery makes him question all he’s been taught about dragons.

Now a war is coming and Garret and Ember must choose their sides – fight to save their bond or fulfil their fate and destroy one another.

The first in a new series by Julie Kagawa, who wrote one of my favourite vampire series ever. I absolutely adore her writing style, so funny and heartfelt and dramatic so I was expecting big things from this one. And boy did she deliver! 

I have always had a thing for dragons. All mythological creatures really, but dragons are the big ones, so to speak. Reading about dragons hiding in plain sight was always going to be right up my street but seeing things from the other side too, the Order of St George, trained to hunt down and kill the terrifying animals, was very interesting and sometimes difficult. I can understand why they were being hunted, logically and historically, but after hearing from Ember, a young girl, just a hatchling, makes you see these creatures differently. And that was the point: there is always two sides to a story and be getting to know Ember, Garret began to understand the complexity of the fight. It was amazing and a little bit heartbreaking to see them fall for each other without knowing that they were, essentially, mortal enemies. Talk about betrayal! 

It was also written from multiple perspectives, firstly from Ember and Garret then adding in Riley, the rogue dragon who is trying to persuade Ember away from the organisation she's known all her life. It made everything all the more blurry about who was the bad guy, and of course the love story all the more complicated. Ember was great at playing a teenage girl because she is naturally stubborn and fiery and curious, and once Garret got to know her, he realised that the animals he was trained to hate are just like him. 

It was all very complicated but also full of adventure as Ember and her brother are allowed out of the compound for the first time, as they encounter a rogue who brings into question all that they thought they knew, and real emotion as Ember falls for a lowly human. As you might have guessed, I loved this book; it was a great story with amazing characters with all their grey areas, add in a government conspiracy and a forbidden romance and you've got the start of an amazing series.

Published 15th January 2015 by Mira Ink. Thank you to the publisher for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

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