Title: Talon | Series: Talon Saga | Author: Julie Kagawa | Publisher: Harlequin UK | Publication date: 28th October 2014 | Num. Pages: 449 | Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
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.
This is my review of my official 1200th book read!
My initial impressions were a bit dubious to start being that it is YA but I’m incredibly glad that I didn’t let that stop me.
Talon had a very nice twist to dragons that I really enjoyed. Talon are an organization of dragons that can shift into human form, they’re trained from the moment they hatch to be the best of the best in all ways. They’re introduced to human civilisation at around age 16 where their objective is to
Observe. Assimilate. Blend in.
From that moment right where the book starts you know it’s going to be good and Julie Kagawa delivered one hell of a story.
Ember Hill and her rare twin Dante Hill are where the story opens and they have just been introduced to human civilisation after 16 years of isolation and training. Their task is to observe humans and blend in with them in order to survive.
In this series which I think is quite nice is that dragonell’s usually have one egg but Ember and Dante are rare in that they are clutch mates and physically they are the closest to twins they can create themselves to be – which is something else I really liked. They not born human! They take on the most physically appealing, strong and most well equipped human form when they reach a certain age – they choose how they look.
They assimilate pretty well into their surroundings although with a few rocky starts and stumbles and then we meet the infamous Order of St. George.
A vicious military order whose only goal is to destroy dragons. They’re precise, well-armed and very successful.
Enter Garrett Xavier Sebastian – love interest numero uno and St. George’s Perfect Soldier. His mission – find the sleeper agent in Crescent Beach, aquire target, take them out. Clean and cut throat.
Until he meets Ember and his well laid plans and strictly followed orders go awry. I loved the dynamic between Ember and Garrett, it’s not explosive in the traditional sense of the word but it’s up there.
We also meet love interest numero due Riley/Cobalt. A rogue dragon with the bad boy just rolling off him in waves and he’s in Crescent Beach for one reason and one reason only – Ember Hill.
I really liked Ember’s character she wasn’t overly annoying in that typical teenage way which was great and the way she was written was brilliant. She had all the feelings and thoughts that a teenage girl would have even though technically she’s not even a human.
Her name was perfect for a dragon in human form and her nickname or endearment from Riley is great top – Firebrand. When you consider she’s a redhead as a human and a red dragon in dragon form they both suit her really well.
The story starts quickly and we’re introduced to what we find out is a rogue dragon – Riley quite quickly into the story and we learn just enough about the Order to pique our interest and to keep the story flowing.
The points of view reflected both male and female characters with the story switching seamlessly from Ember to Garrett and back again with swift ease. Riley’s point of view is introduced in part 2 which is a great thing to keep the book interesting.
Throughout there was a great relationship dynamic between Ember and Cobalt (Riley’s true name) and I have an inkling that they are mates in the truest sense of the word but Ember’s relationship with Garrett is also really, really good. Such a well written love triangle.
Towards the end there was a lot of action and some of the third party characters we met throughout the book got their just rewards.
I liked the fact that the epilogue – a scant few paragraphs – was in Dante’s point of view and it sets up the second book nicely with that hell of a cliffhanger.