Fireborne by Rosaria Munda

Title: Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle #1)
Author: Rosaria Munda
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 15th 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dragons

Seraphina meets Red Rising in a debut young adult fantasy that's full of rivalry, romance... and dragons.

Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution changed their world, giving everyone—even the lowborn—a chance to test into the governing class of dragonriders.

Now they are both rising stars in the new regime, despite backgrounds that couldn’t be more different. Annie’s lowborn family was executed by dragonfire, while Lee’s aristocratic family was murdered by revolutionaries. Growing up in the same orphanage forged their friendship, and seven years of training have made them rivals for the top position in the dragonriding fleet.

But everything changes when survivors from the old regime surface, bent on reclaiming the city.

With war on the horizon and his relationship with Annie changing fast, Lee must choose to kill the only family he has left or to betray everything he’s come to believe in. And Annie must decide whether to protect the boy she loves . . . or step up to be the champion her city needs.

From debut author Rosaria Munda comes a gripping adventure that calls into question which matters most: the family you were born into, or the one you’ve chosen.

Fireborne takes the Dragons and combines them with the politics of the aftermath of revolution that reminds me of the Russian Revolution. The tone of the book for me was sad because hard choices have to be made but I felt the plot was interesting.

Collipolis was once run by families called Dragonlords but a revolution was led and the lords were overthrown. Put on house arrest until they were all put to death from the smallest child to the oldest adult. The families believed to be eradicated.

Rumors fly that some of the portions of families survived and fled to bide time to rise again. We begin the story with Annie and Lee. Lee who is one of those survivors, only as far as he knows. Growing up in an orphanage, Lee has to reconcile in himself the difference between the two reigns.

We get two perspectives. Both Lee and Annie’s. At first I actually didn’t like Annie that much. I didn’t really understand how she didn’t understand the situation she created with Duck. Also the way she would be hot and cold to Lee. As the story goes on though I do end up appreciating her character.

The character I liked the most was Lee though. This is someone who rides this crazy line and has to make hard choices. Where for Annie things are pretty clear. These people killed my family they are bad. Lee lives in this world that these people killed my family but was it justified. Could I kill my family for the greater good. I thought in the face of that he is very strong and has such a strong base character.

The plot is really interesting and it takes a look at what is to throw over a regime and try to find a new path. To make choices that are different or similar but better for the people. That evil can reside on both sides of the line. I did at times feel like I wish I had more Dragon time, maybe not necessarily in a tournament setting but outside. I’m not sure I felt any kind of special bond between a rider and their dragon. The politics seemed to take precedence. I did like all the characters and how they interacted with one another.

As far as romance. It’s there I guess but very light. I liked the flashbacks to the orphanage with Annie and Lee. There were times though I think I was rooting more for Crissa.

I enjoyed Fireborne and I’m really intrigued to see where the story takes us in the future. What waits for the nations and dragon riders over the horizon.

Rosaria grew up in rural North Carolina, where she climbed trees, read Harry Potter fanfiction, and taught herself Latin. She studied political theory at Princeton and lives in Chicago with her husband and cat.

For book recs and updates, follow her on instagram: @rosariamunda

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Prize: Win (1) of (2) copies of Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle #1) by Rosaria Munda (US/CAN Only)
Starts: 9th October 2019
Ends: 9th October 2019
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