Talon (Talon #1)
Published: 28th October, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Fantasy, Romance
Age: Young Adult
Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they’re positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.
Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.
Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon’s newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember’s bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.
What I liked: Going in, I knew this story was going to be more dragonshifters in a modern day society (thanks mostly to all the skims I did of reviews from people I follow) and, of course, I’m finding this to be a fun, fascinating thing to see how each author takes dragonshifters and puts them in a setting. While there is a lot of overlap I’m sensing between the different dragonshifter stories (oppressive dragon societies mainly) there are a few differences between them as well. In Talon the dragons are part of a secret organization that is more concerned about keeping all dragons in a strict order, with each dragon having a specific purpose in the draconic organization to (I think) help further their goals while some were also trained to take down members of their enemy group, St. George (dragonslayers). Ember herself is very draconic in how she acts, hot-tempered and at times rebellious in how she was unwilling to be controlled in the way Talon wants to control her. While she could be a bit rash, and not to mention impulsive at times, it gave her some flaws that helped make her seem realer to me, and I could at times understand her plight with how she saw how things were going on around her.
What I didn’t like: There’s not a lot of backstory to the dragons, or St. George either. The pieces we’re given were slim, and we didn’t learn very much about the history of either organization. Not to mention, I still don’t get why Garrett had to be a love interest for Ember. He was supposed to be a soldier, and while I get that he was supposed to grow in a way where he became more of a regular person and less of a strict soldier, I really don’t think that he would have gone against what he was told if her really was the soldier we were being made to think he is. Backing up to the love interest portion, I’m not finding the appeal of a love triangle in this story other than it showing the distinctions between the two “sides” of Ember, human and dragon. The story itself also read more paranormal than fantasy to me, especially considering the only fantasy aspect that I could find in the story would be the dragons.
Overall Review: Despite the flaws with the story, I still found it an entertaining read that kept me interested throughout the entire time I read it. While it did read as more of a paranormal book than a fantasy thanks to its lack of fantasy aspects than I was hoping for, I’m curious to see how this series will progress into the second book, Rogue. While I know the basic idea of what will be happening in it because of the way this one ended, I hope to be surprised by it and see everything deepen more into the backstories about the two groups.
Recommend?: As long as you know going in what to expect, I see no reason for you not to try it if you think you’ll enjoy it!
My Rating: 3.5/5
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the series!
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?
Soldier (Talon #3)
Untitled (Talon #4)
Untitled (Talon #5)
About the Author
Julie Kagawa, the New York Times bestselling author of the Iron Fey and Blood of Eden series was born in Sacramento, California. But nothing exciting really happened to her there. So, at the age of nine she and her family moved to Hawaii, which she soon discovered was inhabited by large carnivorous insects, colonies of house geckos, and frequent hurricanes. She spent much of her time in the ocean, when she wasn’t getting chased out of it by reef sharks, jellyfish, and the odd eel.
When not swimming for her life, Julie immersed herself in books, often to the chagrin of her schoolteachers, who would find she hid novels behind her Math textbooks during class. Her love of reading led her to pen some very dark and gruesome stories, complete with colored illustrations, to shock her hapless teachers. The gory tales faded with time (okay, at least the illustrations did), but the passion for writing remained, long after she graduated and was supposed to get a real job.
To pay the rent, Julie worked in different bookstores over the years, but discovered the managers frowned upon her reading the books she was supposed to be shelving. So she turned to her other passion: training animals. She worked as a professional dog trainer for several years, dodging Chihuahua bites and overly enthusiastic Labradors, until her first book sold and she stopped training to write full time.
Julie now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where the frequency of shark attacks are at an all time low. She lives with her husband, an obnoxious cat, an Australian Shepherd who is too smart for his own good, and a hyper-active Papillion.