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. From debut author Rosaria Munda comes a gripping adventure that calls into question which matters most: the family you were born into, or the one you've chosen.
Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle, #1)FeaturedNew
Leo was a young boy and was almost killed but saved unexpectedly and then forgotten, assuming a different name (Lee) and not speaking about his past. Anna was a peasant who suffered under the old regime and has a bit of a troubled relationship with Lee- he has been there for her, but his father subjected her to a horrible ordeal and left her an orphan. The new government is predicated on everyone having an equal chance to rise, and so they are both now dragonriders and contending for the highest position of Firstrider.
The best part of the book are the philosophical discussions/implications about politics and what makes people good/evil, presenting both sides of a revolution. As Lee begins to choose for himself the future, he must confront his family, the new government and its imperfections. This provides some really interesting and deep thoughts about governments, rebellions, and all the gray areas of politics between black and white.
I have some mixed feelings about the book, because while some things were done really well, I found it difficult to really get into. Some of this was probably because of the repetitiveness of some ideas/discussions. It almost gets a little too deep into Lee and Anna's heads in places, and I like faster paced fantasies, so this may be personal preference. The world-building is really fantastic though, with history, people, and everything being displayed so well- this was a country and people I could certainly imagine.
Overall, this was an intriguing read which provides a platform for some deep thoughts about society and politics/government that make it a strong read. While I would have liked faster pacing, this has a very strongly built world and characters that make it a solid read. I would be interested in continuing with the series. The dragons and history make this quite an intense and thought-provoking read overall.
I enjoyed reading Fireborne for the most part, I mean, who doesn’t love the idea of riding dragons? But y’all, I have hated Plato for nearly a quarter of a century now and Fireborne screamed its ties to Plato so loudly the entire time I was reading the book. I spent half the time reading the book muttering ”I freaking hate Plato”. I thoroughly applaud Ms Munda though, if Fireborne wasn’t so well-written, I wouldn’t have made it through the book and I would have taken a while to make the connection to Plato. The world-building in Fireborne is hardcore and so in-depth that you can practically see the story taking place around you. There are so many characters that climb out of the book and act out the story for you.
That being said, there’s more to Fireborne than my distaste of Plato. There is romance and subterfuge, betrayal and heartache, competition and political turmoil. Fireborne centres around Lee sur Pallor and Antigone sur Aela, two orphans brought together as small children in an orphanage who grow up together, closer and closer, knowing that their pasts are twisted round each other in a choking knot. They’re now teens and facing each other in a contest for position as First Rider in the new regime’s dragonrider corps. As with all teens, there are hormones running amok and tempers getting out of hand left and right, and oh yeah, family acting out in the wings killing people and loyalties being called into question. For the most part, I’m a fan, but the love polyhedron thing? Not really. I want to throw Crissa off a dragon mid-flight because chicks before…. you know where I’m going with that. And I still haven’t figured out Power. Duck annoys me, he’s like an untrained dog you’re worried is going to lift his leg and pee on Annie to mark his territory half the time. Get the girl a clicker. But these are kids being trained for battle and serving their people, what else do you expect but messed up kids?
I’m still not sure about where I stand on continuing this series, but I do know that this was a 4-star read. Weird, right? But I can’t discount the storyline or the writing, I may be angsty over whether or not I personally like the story, but I do know when an author’s done an amazing job. Despite the Plato.