The Talon Saga, Book I and II: Talon and Rogue by Julie Kagawa

talon rogue

Published by Harlequin Teen/ Mira Ink, 28 Oct 2014 & 28 April 2015, £6.99-7.99

Description: YOUNG AND COOL DRAGONS. Action-packed, mystery, fantasy YA with romance.

Steam?: squeaky clean but some sizzling moments, not just from the dragons.

Plot: Talon- 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.

A dragon who is torn between true nature and her human form- what can be more bizarre and exciting?! Ember is a vivacious character with a kind heart. She is bursting with energy and reminds me of my mid-teens; always feeling caged and wanting to break free from a myriad of things. Any reader would love her and support her when she continually challenges the Talon regime. Go Ember!

Her love of both things dragon and human undermines the ancient war of Talon and St. George. Both institutions are completely fixed in their hatred of each other and nobody knows who started it. There is something Cold War-like there. Another mystery is that nobody has met the highest order of the two sides. Ember and Dante are expected to follow Talon word as utmost law, but they barely have any information. ‘This is the way it’s always been and should be’: well we all know how this motto works out.

Ember’s confusion brings us to the typical YA love triangle: good-looking Garret, a secret St. George soldier and a rogue dragon called Riley/Cobalt, who happens to transform into a hot biker dude. So many things happen at once. Ember starts falling in love. Garret is questioning basically his whole life and Riley decides to risk exposure by recruiting Ember. The alternative-POV chapters really help the reader get an insight into this complexity and experience the intensity of emotions.

Overall this is a great start to a fantastic series. For those who want a little more gut and action than the Twilight series I would recommend this.

Do NOT read on **Spoilers**!

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, 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.

Yay! Ember is back and ready to kick ass with Riley. She is finally free of Talon and her creepy trainer. Garret has also turned his back from his organisation, so all three are exiles and nomads. You couldn’t have a weirder and more intense runaway gang. So be prepared for more suspense, action and heart-wrenching moments.

Now Dante is in charge of her capture, we get a sneak peek into Talon head-quarters. But this only deepens the mystery. Why is everyone so obsessed with Ember? Why have they asked Dante to be her hit-man of all dragons? What do they know about the two that is so important? And where is this elusive Elder Wyrm??

I get so frustrated with Dante, why can’t he see that Talon is nuts? Both brother and sister think that the other is brain-washed. This paranoia and mistrust feeds into the reader. We start to feel that there are other issues at stake. St. George is as determined as Talon to retrieve its traitor. Both organizations clash and its confusing to know which one is which. Is there possibly a conspiracy going on?

Bring on book 3!!

Connect with the author: @jkagawa

Review copies provided by Netgalley

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