ARC Review: Soldier by Julie Kagawa

ARC ReviewTitle: Soldier | Series: Talon Saga #3 | Author: Julie Kagawa | Publisher: HarperTeen | Publication date: May 5th 2016 | Num. Pages: 416 | Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

*** ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review***


A fighter dedicated to saving humankind from dragons in strictest secrecy.

That was what Garret Xavier Sebastian thought he was part of as a soldier of the Order of St. George. What he learned from a fiery dragon hatchling twisted all he believed in and set him on a collision course with certain death-but not without a chance to put things right.

Betrayed and on the run again, Ember and rogue dragon Riley discover an unthinkable truth about Talon and St. George. They’ll need Garret’s skills and insider knowledge of the Order to negotiate an impossible deal-and if they fail, there will be no way to stop all-out war.


I’ve had to sit and think really hard about what I wanted to say in this review without giving anything key away because, let me tell you, I have spoilers galore but I can’t ruin it for ya’ll.

So far the Talon Saga has been ones of those series where everything just keeps getting better and better and more twisted by the page. In previous books we’ve learned that Talon is all kinds of messed up and St. George is all kinds of religious fanatic and I’m talking next level kind.  Julie Kagawa takes Soldier to a whole new level of fanatic.

I haven’t in a very long time have a book shock me as much as Soldier did.  There comes a time in your reading when you have the air sucked from your lungs, the world falls from beneath your feet and all that exists are the pages in your hands – I felt that horrible soul-sucking feeling throughout the majority of this book, as if without finishing the book I wouldn’t be complete. Soldier is gonna leave me with one hell of a book hangover.

Also, not going to lie, I did loudly shout *expletive deleted* when I finished this book – Julie man why?!!!

As a reader there’s little more in a book that I hate than a love triangle – I don’t care how well written it is, I just hate them but Julie Kagawa has got this love triangle thing down pat. My hatred of love triangle’s come from their ultimate messiness and the occasional poor writing that makes my teeth scream and the hairs on the back of my neck stand on edge.

Soldier, however, has got the same perfect writing style from Talon and Rogue that I had come to enjoy in the previous books – I had come to – not love per se – but certainly not hate the love triangle between Ember/Riley/Garrett as both men have got two completely different styles and character types and different ways to win Ember.

We’ve got Riley/Cobalt – Ember’s equal in dragon form, he’s fiercely protective of his underground, his hatchlings and of all he’s trying to achieve in taking down Talon but somewhere along the way Riley the human got on board – finally – with Cobalt the dragon. and fell in love with a fiery-haired hatchling he really had no business falling for.

Then on the flip side we’ve got Garrett – Ember’s human – though not equal in any way.  He’s protective of Ember and of his choices as a rogue soldier of St. George but at the end of the day, he’s still from the enemy.

However, in this book Julie Kagawa isn’t making it obvious who Ember is going to fall for and it was killing me, I like a clue every now and then but Ember -being two personalities herself – had a heck of a time trying to decide where to go.

Over the course of the books Wes has become more and more of a character that I liked, I mean he’s British so that’s a definite plus but he’s got surly and sarcastic down to a T.

“It’s either risk certain death here if we’re caught, or risk certain death with the Order if we’re caught. Must be a Tuesday.”  Ah, the eternal optimist.

He’s just great and written so well.


From previous reviews, I’m definitely a Riley fan and this book proves to be no exception.  Although I’m not a Garrett fan I will confess he was at his best in this book – previously he was more of a third wheel and an awkward one at that. In Soldier, he declared his love, used every skill he possessed to keep his friends safe and trusted his heart even though danger lurked around every corner and people tried to kill them all.

It was beautiful, as a character, he definitely improved in my book.

One hand traced small circles against my back, and I pressed closer to him, listening to his heartbeat. “I used to think that having nothing to live for made you a better fighter,” he murmured. “Turns out I was wrong on a lot of fronts.”

*le sigh*

Dragons will always outlast humans – all I have to do is wait.

*le sigh*

For God’s sake Julie, please write the next book soon, after the soul-shattering revelations I experienced in Soldierneed the next one – PRONTO.  There was so much action – so much murder, mayhem and revelations that had me biting my nails and turning the air blue that I just couldn’t put it down, we’re talking 4 and a half hours maybe five tops to devour this book page by page.

That ending though? Sets up the next book perfectly and I honestly can’t wait for it.

Happy Reading! (1)

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