As you might be able to tell, I love dragons. If the name of the blog Libri Draconis didn’t already give it away, this picture taken in front of my dragon wall should clarify that once and for all. So I couldn’t wait to read Fireborne after I managed to snag an ARC at Bookcon in the chillest ARC drop I have ever seen (Kudos to PenguinTeen for that!).
I actually read this one a while ago but I’m only now managing to catch up on all the reviews that are on my to-do list. I had my last official (paid) day at work today, though I’ll still be finishing up my project for the next few weeks. Together with the move to London coming up, this has made my last couple of months super stressful, and it’s not going to get better for a while. But I’m still trying to make sure I post a review every week or so.
PUBLICATION DATE: 15/10/2019
STAR RATING: 4/5 ✶
SUMMARY: Lee and Annie, young orphans, have grown up to become dragon riders in the wake of a brutal revolution in Callipolis. However, their respective pasts haunt them both, and they will have to figure out who to trust and who to become when the enemy nation of New Pythos attacks them with their own dragons…
OPINIONS: I really enjoyed Fireborne! The concept of different kinds of dragons was amazing, I loved learning about all the different types that the Callipolians had access to. It also meant a lot to me that the dragons were the ones to choose the riders, rather than the other way around. This ensured a clear bond between them, which ended up playing a central role in the story and character development.
The world building too was detailed and poignant, at its heart a revolution in the recent past, influencing the present. I’m a sucker for politics in YA novels, as you might have noticed in my reviews for State of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury or The Fever King by Victoria Lee. Fireborne follows in their footsteps, and creates a nuanced society dealing with the aftermath of a massive upheaval. Society changed immensely, not the least when it comes to dragon riders. I mentioned above that it was important to me that the dragons chose their own riders – while that might not have changed, the candidates did. Now, after a long tradition of important families being the only ones allowed to become dragon riders, every child is a candidate, independent of their background. However, many people still have issues with such changes, and it is an uphill battle for the heroes of Fireborne to find their place in society.
Both Lee and Annie have their own reasons for chafing against these tensions. While they may come from very different places, they both have to negotiate the ties of their pasts with who they want to become, facing strong opposition. The characters are extremely well written and their struggles elaborated perfectly. They are faced with many morally gray issues, and deal with those in a realistic way, making the reader feel for them. Fireborne is definitely one of those books that I will be recommending over and over again, and if my review has whet your appetite, find it on Goodreads and pre-order it here or from your favourite source of books.