Review: Talon by Julie Kagawa

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Summary:

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.

Review:

To be honest, I had high expectations with this book. I read the Iron Fey series by Julie and I absolutely loved those books, so I was really curious about Talon. And damn, she didn’t let me down. What an amazing book this is. I read it in one sit, I couldn’t get off my chair to do anything, I just had to continue reading, it was that great.

Okay, so what is the book about? The whole story evolves around Ember Hill. She’s a dragon, sent off to the human world with her twin brother Dante, to learn how to fit in as a human. Yes, dragons from Talon can change into a human form. Not that Ember likes it much, she misses flying and the wind under her wings. Now she’s sent off to the human world for a summer, to learn how to blend in, and it’s harder than she had thought.

“Where they lived, how they acted, their behavior and family units and language; we’d studied it all. Now, we would be living among them. I’d finally get to see the world I’d studied all my life.”

The book is split up in two parts. In the first part, your read from Ember’s pov and from Garretts pov. Who is Garrett? He’s a soldier from St. George, an organization, or army rather, who has it as a goal to kill every dragon until there’s not a single one left. So what do Garrett and Ember have to do with each other? Well, Ember is sent off to Crescent Beach to learn how to fit in with humans. St. George finds out that Talon sent a sleeper there, Ember, a dragon in human form. Garrett’s mission is to go to Crescent Beach, discover the sleeper, kill him/her and come back home. But that’s not as easy as it seems. While Garrett is looking for the sleeper, he meets Ember and they fall in love, both not knowing who the other truly is. Trouble, trouble, trouble.

“I didn’t say anything but held her tighter, feeling the truth steal over me. I didn’t want to let her go. When did that happen? When had I become so attached? None of this mattered, I was a soldier, my life was not my own, and at the end, no matter the outcome, I would have to return to the war.”

In the first part, you also meet Riley. He’s a rogue dragon, someone who fled from Talon. Ember and Riley’s inner dragon’s call to each other, something so instinctive it’s hard to ignore. Riley tries to convince her to break from Talon and go rogue. In the second part of the book, you also read from his point of view.

Short summary, that’s all I’m going to tell you, I don’t want to spoil the book for you BECAUSE IT’S SO GOOD I WAS LITERALLY FREAKING OUT. No, really. You know those stories when you know something bad is about to happen and a nervous and anxious knot starts forming in your stomach and you have to put the book down for a second to catch a breath even though all you want is continue reading? That’s what Talon did to me. I had to put the book down a couple times and sigh and even my mom asked if I was giving birth to a dragon myself. Yeah she’s so funny. But in all seriousness. I fell in love with this book. I had never read anything about dragons before, so this was a first and I’m honestly mindblown.

Let’s talk about the characters. Ember. She’s just so badass, I love her. Because she can’t fly anymore, she discovers how to surf and it’s the closest thing to flying she’ll get this summer. She and her twin are quite different, but they love each other and do everything together. When she’s eventually adapted to the humans, she discovers she enjoys hanging out with them and that she cares. And it’s so adorable she calls the dragon inside of her ‘my dragon’, I can’t explain why I love that so much, but I think you’ll understand once you read it.

“Don’t Shift, Ember. if you Shift and eat this troll Talon will lock you away for the rest of your life. Plus, you’d probably get food poisoning.”

“Bounding forward, I leaped the railing, passed the still sitting rogue, and launched myself off the cliff. “Keep up if you can!” I bellowed over my shoulder, as the wind filled my wings and I shot skyward.”

Then there’s Garrett. He became a St. George soldier at 14 and he’s known as the Perfect Soldier. Never doing anything for fun, always training. He’s good-looking, blonde hair and he has gray eyes and you might think that’s boring but trust me, when you read how Ember sees those eyes, you won’t anymore.

“And his eyes. They were the brightest shade of gray I’d ever seen. Not silvery, more… gunmetal. Metallic. They pinned me with a vivid stare, and my heart leaped as he extended his hand. Those brilliant eyes gazed into mine, and my stomach danced.”

He’s always been focused on one thing and that’s the army, the soldier inside of him. But Ember shows him how to have fun and lets him feel things he has never felt before.

“My mind kept drifting back to the red-haired girl, ember. When she’d first looked at me on the beach, my entire body seized up for a moment, something I’ve never experienced before. I couldn’t catch my breath, I couldn’t do anything except stare at her.”

Last but not least Riley. He’s the bad boy of the story. One look at him, and you know you’re going to be in trouble as soon as you exchanged one word. And well, he’s hot. I’m not going to tell much about Riley, because whatever I tell would contain spoilers. You might not like him in the beginning, but he’ll grow on you.

“Firebrand,” he murmured softer, “think about it. Two dragons, on an isolated cliff overlooking the ocean, with no humans around for miles and no Talon to stop us. What do you think we’re going to do?”
If my dragon was excited before, she could barely be contained now.”

I hope I made you excited to read this book! You will not regret it, and oh tell me if you do. I need someone to fangirl with, after all.

“For this one moment, with Garret’s cool lips on mine and his arms trapping me against him, I was neither human nor dragon. Just me.”

amy calloway sisters

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