4 star, YA

Review: Soldier by Julie Kagawa

Series: Talon Saga #3

soldier -julie kagawaThe price of freedom is everything.

When forced to choose between safety with the dragon organization Talon and being hunted forever as an outcast, Ember Hill chose to stand with Riley and his band of rogue dragons rather than become an assassin for Talon. She’s lost any contact with her twin brother, Dante, a Talon devotee, as well as Garret, the former-enemy soldier who challenged her beliefs about her human side.

As Ember and Riley hide and regroup to fight another day, Garret journeys alone to the United Kingdom, birthplace of the ancient and secret Order of St. George, to spy on his former brothers and uncover deadly and shocking secrets that will shake the foundations of dragons and dragonslayers alike and place them all in imminent danger as Talon’s new order rises.


4 Drink Me Potions


Soldier is everything its namesake calls for: action-packed, thrilling, sometimes ridiculously dangerous for our favourite band of rogues, but most importantly, features the past of one dear Garret Xavier Sebastian.

While the previous books focused heavily on dragons and rogue history, this one gave insight into how the Order of St. George – aka the dragonslayers – was run and more into Garret’s history with them. I normally think middle books are rather boring but Julie Kagawa has never really failed me yet when it comes to writing any exciting novel.

Betrayals, spontaneous escape plans and crazy quests for information to save the world continued to litter the pages of this book. And it wasn’t just in one location this time. While Riley and Ember were moving across the US, Garret’s off digging for information in the UK, headquarters of the Order. Globetrotting aside, let me just add that there were some Eastern influences here that made this story more diverse, although I kind of wish more could be expanded in that direction. I’m sorry for being vague but I don’t wanna be giving away too many tidbits!

But the true highlight of the plot was uncovering the juiciest bit of news: Talon may have some connections with St. George in the most unexpected place. To bring it to light and try to save the rogues (and the Order, of course)? Someone – ahem, namely a certain soldier ’cause who else is gonna do it – is going to have to risk everything to bring that info to the right people.

On the other end of the spectrum, romantic tensions are still ongoing. Ember and Riley’s dragon connection is finally given a name and definition. Does that bother me? Not at all. It’s becoming clearer to me that Garret is endgame, but I love Riley dearly and hope however it falls, he’s still got two good friends. Sorry Team Riley, but I think this may be less of a love triangle than you hope.

And as always, Kagawa ends off with an explosive finale that, compared to the other 2 books, spiraled into something that needs to be answered now! I certainly look forward to whatever may come next and hope my racing heart will be prepared for it.

Overall Recommendation:

As heart racing and spellbinding as the previous books in the series, Soldier definitely does not suffer from middle book syndrome. Diving into the heart of the Order of St. George, secrets come to light and lives are at risk as the band of rogues continue to fight for their freedom. With romance aplenty between Ember and the soldier or the rogue, this book ends on a bang that will leave you wanting to find out what happens next! I totally recommend you continue the series as it just never seems to disappoint!

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4 star, YA

Review: Rogue by Julie Kagawa

Series: Talon Saga #2

rogue -julie kagawaFrom the limitless imagination of bestselling author Julie Kagawa comes the next fantastic adventure in the Talon Saga.

Deserter. Traitor. Rogue.

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?


4 Drink Me Potions


Dragons in Vegas. That really depicts a stereotypical image of a dragon hoarding its mountain of treasure – namely in gold – in some hidden lair (once again, cue the movie image of Smaug from The Hobbit).

Rogue continues right where its predecessor Talon ends off. And what a cliffhanger that was too! The soldier Garrett’s in trouble for saving dragons Ember and Riley from certain death. And by trouble, I mean more of the fatal kind.

I think I enjoyed this book even more than book 1. While it’s still just as intriguing as we learn more about Riley’s past and how/why he left Talon, now that the world is more familiar and Ember’s officially on the run, the suspense level just skyrockets! Action-packed and fast-paced, Rogue delivers a solid next phase of the Talon series. Kagawa’s outdone herself!

Although this book is highly action oriented, there’s still plenty of room for growing relationships and character development. The romance is just as powerful between Ember and both guys. But now there’s definitely tension between Garret and Riley if they have to actually work together. I enjoyed seeing the trio dynamic as a team and as a growing friendship, but the individual duo relationships are just as well-drawn out.

Oh, and let’s not forget my favourite human, hacker Wes! I love his sardonic attitude – which I secretly believe is just his way of protecting himself from eventual emotional hurt when someone dies for their cause. He may not be as “essential” of a character, but he adds a nice sarcastic and hilarious touch to the otherwise more serious toned novel. Especially his banters with Riley.

I once heard that Julie Kagawa is a master of cliffhanger endings. If you thought that Talon ended on a somewhat dire note, this one ends on an emotional one (for me at least). What a way to say “until the next one”!

If you haven’t found yourselves reading any of the Talon books, I highly suggest you just give it a shot. Dragons, action, romance and realistic characters, there’s not much more that satisfies me.

Overall Recommendation:

Rogue delivers a satisfying continuation to the Talon series with more action, suspense and unveiling plot points as we dive deeper into the world of dragons and dragonslayers. While the love triangle element is still going strong, there is plenty of depth in the other relationships between this ragtag group of rogues. Get ready for another explosive ending that will Drive you straight into the hands of book 3! I highly recommend you do it.

4 star, YA

Review: Talon by Julie Kagawa

Series: Talon #1

talon -julie kagawaTHE DRAGONS OF TALON: Once hunted nearly to extinction, they are now poised to take over the world. 

THE ORDER OF ST. GEORGE: The legendary dragonslayers will stop at nothing to wipe dragons from the face of the earth. 

These mortal enemies are locked in secret and deadly combat, with humanity none the wiser. 

To take her rightful place in the Talon organization, young dragon Ember Hill must prove she can hide her true nature and blend in with humans. Her delight at the prospect of a summer of “normal” teen experiences is short-lived, however, once she discovers that she’s also expected to train for her destined career in Talon. But a chance meeting with a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught.

As Ember struggles to accept her future, St. George soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian is tasked with hunting her down. But when faced with Ember’s bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything the Order has ingrained in him—and what he might be willing to give up to uncover the truth about dragons.


4 Drink Me Potions


There’s just something about dragons. Although there aren’t too many books out there that stand out in my memory featuring dragons, I’ve always loved them.

These fearsome, deadly creatures. Both agile and cunning. They can be depicted as good or as evil as they come (think The Hobbit!).

Now combining one of my favorite authors, Julie Kagawa, and a whole series/lore on dragons, and it’s like a recipe meant for me.

Filled with action and brimming with imaginative detail about the world of Talon and their dragonslaying counterpart, the Order of St. George, Talon is one novel that continues to surprise you and sets the stage for a remarkable series.

Twins Ember and Dante are dragon hatchlings, just learning to fit into human society. That’s a huge criteria for dragons to survive and adapt while keeping the humans oblivious. The world of Talon and how it’s run are masterfully crafted to the fine details. Different roles for different types of dragons, how it functions even with humans, and the process of training a hatchling.

Then there’re the rogue dragons! Every strict exclusive society has got to have some of those. We don’t get too much detail yet into how these dragons fit into the picture, but dang the rogue Riley sure makes a whomping presence. You just know something’s gonna go down with him.

And while this story is very much dragon vs human, the ultimate plot arc is one of my favourites. A forbidden romance blooming between a dragon girl and her enemy St. George soldier. Makes me wonder how anything could come of it, especially once they figure out who each other really is.

Now, why didn’t I read this book/series earlier if it’s so up my alley? The answer’s simple. I hate love triangles. I never know who to cheer for and if I’m setting myself up for disappointment.

Well, what I’m telling you now is that both boys are pretty great in different ways. Though I’m definitely partial to the soldier, Garret. While Kagawa spent a lot of time describing how Talon operates with regards to hatchling assimilation and training, there’s equally dedicated space for the Order of St. George and how they operate and the brotherhood among the soldiers. It’s enough detail to get me wanting to know more!

Even if you’re not the hugest dragon lover, I think just maybe, this book may change your mind about it. Talon is the story about a boy meeting a dragon girl, first as enemies but possibly becoming more, and maybe the only thing to resolve the centuries old war between them.

Overall Recommendation:

Talon should be any dragon lover’s go-to story. With those exciting fire breathing creatures portrayed as intricately as humans, the dragon world of Talon and their long sworn enemies, the Order of St. George, are creatively crafted by Julie Kagawa into a masterful story about understanding those who are different from us and standing for what is right, even against all that we once believed in. Julie’s done it again and Talon is the perfect foundation for this saga on dragons and dragonslayers. I highly recommend you give it a try!