Review: Talon by Julie Kagawa

Featured imageWhen I first read the description of Talon, I thought it sounded very familiar to another Teen series, Firelight by Sophie Jordan.  They both feature a protaganist who are dragons or a form of dragons, that can blend in with humans.  A human boy love interest, who is also a form of Dragon hunter/slayer and another boy dragon to complete the love triangle.  As Talon progresses the similarities start to fade.  Not completely, though.  Readers of both will see them but it’s not the same.

Talon follows Ember Hill.  She and her twin brother, Dante, are about to embark on a summer of freedom.  They are dragons and the only siblings to born to Talon in like forever.  Talon is a secret organization that governs over dragons and insure their survival.  They are hunted by the Order of St. George, a group of dragonslayers intent on ridding the world of all dragons. Ember and Dante have one objective, enjoy the summer and learn how to blend in with humans.  Somewhere and sometime, dragons have learned to shift into humans and have inserted themselves into human society.  Places members in areas of influence. This is never explained as to how but the dragons have a plan for human world that doesn’t really involve humans, shall we say.

The summer starts off well for Ember, she is curious and inquisitive.  She craves the summer freedom because after the summer is over, she will start her training for Talon and her future will be set.  So Ember determined to do what she likes.  She makes friends, learns to surf or and meets a rogue dragon too.  Riley is a dragon who has gone against Talon and thus puts all dragons at risk.

Garret is the golden boy of the Order of St. George.  He was saved by the organization when dragons killed his family.  He has been trained since a young boy to hunt, kill and hate all dragons and he’s the best at it.  The perfect soldier.  He and his partner, Tristan get set out on a mission to find the sleeper dragon and eliminate it.

The book rolls out like you expect.  Ember and Garret meet and have an immediate connection. The courtship is kinda cute. They both are new to the whole dating and romance thing.  For Ember, dragons are not supposed to have emotions. So why is she having all these feelings.  For Garret, he has spent his life so far in training and battle with no time for girls.  The only girls in the Order are healers or they do administrative work and not in combat (a bit sexiest St. George, tsk tsk) so he has absolutely no experience with girls.  Ember and Garret are exactly the same place here. Of course the flaw to their relationship is that neither can be completely honest with each other.  Ember can’t tell him she’s really a Dragon because that would be crazy and Garret can’t tell her that he hunts  dragons because either he’s crazy or just tipped off the dragon he’s there to slay.

Things get more complicated when Talon sends trainers for Ember and Dante, so the summer of freedom she’s been waiting for is gone.  Not to mention, the rogue dragon, Riley comes into to tell Ember that Talon isn’t what she thinks it is and if she runs away with her, he will tell her all about it. And Dante, isn’t helping either. Once he was her best friend and confidante, but he all about Talon and doesn’t understand why Ember is resisting their training.

The characters are good.  Ember is fiery and spunky loyal. Many of your typical YA heroine traits but I didn’t find her annoying. I like her curious nature.  Her willing to ask questions when she doesn’t understand or doesn’t agree.  Of course this does not endear her to the elders of Talon, who are all about submitting to what your told. I find Garret endearing in his awkward social skills.  You put a gun in his hands and tell him “go hunt a dragon” he’s cool but tell him “go talk to a girl” and he freezes.  So many YA or Teen novels, the boy is always the more experienced.  It’s refreshing in some ways to see him struggle the way most YA novel girls do. Riley isn’t quite as developed yet.  We get he’s older, he used to be Talon until he couldn’t do it anymore and now tries to save other dragons too.  I’m pretty sure we will get to know Riley more in the next book since it’s called, Rogue.

It should be interesting to see where Ms.Kagawa takes them.  I would like explore more of both Talon and the Order of St.George. Riley needs to be more fleshed out as does Dante.  Luckily, Rogue comes out in April, so I don’t have to wait too long.

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