Fireborne by Rosaria Munda is the first book in the Aurelian Cycle, a completed YA fantasy trilogy. I had heard good things about this one and was not disappointed. I gave this book 4 stars and see potential for a 5 star rating later in the series.
Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution changed their world, giving everyone–even the lowborn–a chance to test into the governing class of dragonriders.
Now they are both rising stars in the new regime, despite backgrounds that couldn’t be more different. Annie’s lowborn family was executed by dragonfire, while Lee’s aristocratic family was murdered by revolutionaries. Growing up in the same orphanage forged their friendship, and seven years of training have made them rivals for the top position in the dragonriding fleet.
But everything changes when survivors from the old regime surface, bent on reclaiming the city.
With war on the horizon and his relationship with Annie changing fast, Lee must choose to kill the only family he has left or to betray everything he’s come to believe in. And Annie must decide whether to protect the boy she loves . . . or step up to be the champion her city needs.
I really enjoyed this one. The world reminds me more of a classic YA dystopian with the recent revolution and now the classes determined by a test and denoted with different color wristbands. But then there are dragons and a competition so it also has some of my favorite favorite elements.
The characters of this one, particularly Lee and Annie, were a little different from standard YA fantasy and one of the reasons I really enjoyed this read. Their pasts and how those pasts are used and revealed throughout the book made for a surprisingly emotional read for a YA book about dragons. I hope to see more of that during the rest of the trilogy and maybe get to know some of the side characters more.
I was a little disappointed with how little information there was about the dragons. I don’t really know what they look like or the differences between the three breeds except the basics and some generic descriptions like color. I had a hard time no comparing these military dragons to Temeraire and he just has so much personality, these dragons were a little generic and forgettable.
The plot kept me guessing throughout and I teared up and was surprised at different places. It was a fun read and I will definitely be picking up the next one.
I rate my books using the CAWPILE system creating by Book Roast but with a few tweaks of my own. Here’s how my rating came out for Fireborne:
- Characters – 8: The characters were definitely a strong point of this book. They weren’t my favorites ever, or at least they aren’t yet.
- Atmosphere – 7: I thought the setting was pretty good. It could have used a little more description and fleshing out, maybe a map, but in general, I liked it.
- Writing – 5: Especially in the beginning, I had to reread quite a few things because they were very choppy and I got confused. It’s weird to have a YA that isn’t clearly written. It did seem to get better so I’m not sure if I got used to it or if it really did improve but I’m hoping the later books flow a little better.
- Plot – 8.5: I really enjoyed the plot and it was a little different.
- Intrigue – 8: I definitely want to continue with the series although I didn’t fly through this book.
- Logic – 8: The world building was well done and easy to understand.
- Enjoyment – 8: Not a nee favorite but I had a good time.
Weighted Average CAWPILE – 7.75
Star Rating – 4 stars
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