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.
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Series: The Aurelian Cycle #1
Author: Rosaria Munda
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
“Which matters most: the family you were born into, or the one you’ve chosen?”
I didn’t think I’d find another book that would blow me away. It’s almost my favorite read of 2019, except this is just too dark, and just a little too grief-provoking for me to consider it a favorite. The sad part about all this is that the age range is 12-17 years and I just cannot imagine a young teen reading something that could hit home so hard. Am I unstable to think that a YA could be so devastating? And I wouldn’t recommend this read to people who don’t like to finish something if it hurts them. I found myself constantly having to put this down because the injustice of things was just too much, and after the fifth or sixth time, I even bothered to ask myself, “Why are you putting yourself through this?” The answer was pretty clear when I finished the book and then reread the last paragraph four times.
I finish everything to the end, no matter how many times
I have to pause to get through it.
The book was a little slow, but there’s a reason for it. Don’t expect an action-packed read with drama and hormones. The pacing set the tone, it built up what needed to be built up in order for everything to be as painful as possible. In my opinion, it takes time to build relationships — connections. In the beginning, I was frustrated with Annie, but soon it was evident just what Fireborne was: a tale of two stories, of two children birthed from the same grief and brought together through friendship, a bond that would carry out until the present. Knowing what their fates are and watching it possibly happen are two very different feelings of horror, but as a hopeless romantic, I couldn’t look away. My romanticizing everything certainly helped, and if anything, it made the pain even more delicious to take. Munda took chances and I was loving every single moment of them. It’s not every day you get romance in the form of other relationships, or a touch of lips to the forehead when the usual gets you a claiming of mouths.
There were times when the magic was lost on me and I had to wonder if this moment was truly worthy, but when you think about it, it isn’t always about who you think is more valuable or capable. And just like the entire point of the story, I ended up thinking about what was more right. I’m not gonna lie: I was totally crying over the fact that this may be a one-and-done, but I cried anyway when I saw that this was just the first installment. I’m excited for the next book, and terrified that everything I just went through won’t live up to my expectations with the next one coming. I’m so nervous, it scares me.
I feel like talking about Lee and Annie will spoil things, so I’ll only say that while I grew frustrated with both of them, it was a weird state of euphoria that I found myself in by the time this book ended. I don’t think I’ve ever hated a person more, Munda knows how to write complex characters you’re not sure you want to see appraised or smacked, and I swear to every pantheon, if the second installment does not come with the same intensity–
I will be so pissed, it’s not even funny. This book hooked itself into me, dug through tar that would dare not present itself under sunlight, and brought out things I don’t ever think about. I feel gutted and angry but relieved in that way balloons are when something pokes a hole in them. If you can be bothered to take the book the way it’s meant to be read– patiently –then you will love this. I personally don’t think you should read this if you’re currently going through something that makes you want to pass out just thinking about whatever it is that’s making you hold your tongue. If you’re the type to not finish something because it’s too much, I wouldn’t recommend this. This book honestly tested me so much and I’ll only feel comfortable with you reading it if you can actually finish it to the end. And I hope you do. I really do.