Friday, April 10, 2015

Review: Talon

Talon (Talon, #1)Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: Talon, #1
Released: January 15th 2015 
Publisher: Mira INK
Length: 449 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository

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. 

Here are the things one can expect in a book by Julie Kagawa: love triangles, enemies-to-lovers, forbidden love.

And here are the things that always end up working in a book by Julie Kagawa: love triangles, enemies-to-lovers, forbidden love.

As strange as it may seem, every single thing I dislike intensely always ends up working when it’s written by her. Having been warned about the love drama, I’ve waited over two months to read Talon, a decision I now regret with all my heart. I should have known she would deliver, but boy, I just never learn.

First of all, here there be dragons. That alone should be enough to make you want to read this book. Admittedly, the dragons mostly stay in their human form, but there’s hope for the future, and even hidden dragons are more interesting than no dragons at all! The dragon lore hasn’t been developed to its full potential, but I don’t doubt that it will be, hopefully in Rogue.

I won’t waste time discussing the love triangle. It’s clear, as it usually is, who the best boy is and who’ll end up with Ember. The whole romantic drama wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been. The human part of Ember is drawn to one of the boys, and the dragon part to the other, but while both Riley and Garrett are great guys, I feel that we know her true match.

Danger comes from two sides in Talon: the Order of St. George and Talon itself. The former has worked against dragon for centuries. The Order’s soldiers are young, competent and completely merciless. But if the humans are merciless, Talon’s dragons are vicious, trained while they’re still hatchlings and thought that they’re a superior species.

Ember doesn’t quite see it that way. Her twin brother Dante is completely loyal to Talon which is a source of constant pain between them. The rift between them and her feelings about it were what allowed me to connect with her. The rest – her courage, determination and tendency to think for herself – were just a bonus.

Talon has a pretty open ending, which is another thing I tolerate only from certain authors. From anyone else, it would have infuriated me, but Kagawa can easily get away with it. I’m actually pretty desperate to get my hands on Rogue. Luckily, it’s almost out.

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.


  1. I want to read this one just because it sounds way too much like Firelight by Sophie Jordanand that book sucked. So maybe Kagawa can take this story and make it better.

  2. LOL I love those first two paragraphs because they are so darn true! Even though I haven't read this series I so plan on it..someday, when they start making more hours in the day for us reviewers. :P

  3. LOL. I liked, every thing you dislike you like by her. Been there

  4. I'm one of those few readers who genuinely isn't a fan of Kagawa. I've tried her books multiple times and I just don't get the hype so I'm glad you enjoyed this one--god knows I love dragons--but I'm steering clear of this due to the love triangle and her general prose which rarely works for me. Still, lovely review, Maja! I hope the sequel is everything you hope it is! :)

  5. I've been waiting to pick this one up until Rogue comes out - most of the ratings have been pretty lukewarm, and even though I LOVE Julie Kagawa, the first books in her series are usually a bit of a struggle for me. Then, starting with book two, I get sucked in and can't put the rest of the books down:) I'm sure that will be the case there, but I'm glad to know that this worked well for you overall Maja!

  6. I love what you said in your first paragraphs - and I plan on reading this series because I can't resist Dragons and Julie Kagawa's writing. I'm hoping there's some good mythology included about the Dragons/School/and order as well.
    Thanks for the lovely review, Maja! :)

  7. Heh, I have to agree with you! A love triangle like this one might have annoyed me to no end from any other author but Julie? Just made it work! I don't know how she does it and I cannot wait till my preordered copy is in my hands!!

  8. I've hesitated reading this for the same reasons you refer to. I remember the first book of her faery series, because I though it was really good. But with every book that followed, I felt like her writing was losing steam, so to speak; like it was sort of rushed and just a tad too commercial. I think I did persuade myself to finish that series, but I've been reluctant to read her since... But maybe I should try this one? Another informative and relevant review.

  9. I'm in the minority that isn't a fan of Kagawa. I've tried her books but her writing doesn't click with me. I'm glad you enjoyed this one for the most part and I hope you get answers that you need in book 2.

  10. I DNF'd this one. I just found myself too annoyed with it. I usually love her though so maybe it was just not the right book at that time. I'm glad you ended up enjoying it. I REALLY wanted to!

  11. It's too bad about the end but I hope it will be better with the second one there. I haven't tried this one but I used to have a good time all her books so I should try. thanks for the review!

  12. Hmmm. I was so excited to read this and then I didn't because of all the things you mentioned. I enjoy Kagawa but I wish she would branch out and do something more original.

  13. Ha I love your introduction. It's true that there are certain elements like love triangles that you will only tolerate from specific authors, who usually make them work (or we love them so much we don't care).

    And DRAGONS! We need more dragons in UF and YA.

  14. i have this book on my wishlist and your review did reassure me of my choice thank you i hope you do get to read rogue without delay

  15. Oh okay. The love triangle sounds tolerable enough. Ultimately, it's what's stopping me from starting this series.

  16. I love this author but have gone back and forth on whether to purchase it or not. I think it is one I will ultimately read.

  17. I really wanted more dragons and less teen angst. Alas.

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