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.
I will probably always want to try any book with dragons in it. And this book was no exception. From the title, the cover, and the synopsis, this sounded like it would be a proud dragon book with family, dragonriders, and a really interesting world.
This book is said to be Red Rising with dragons. I haven’t fully read Red Rising yet, but I can say that that statement is definitely true. In content a little bit, but definitely a lot in feel. This book deals with heavy and hard politics. I can’t say if they are well done, since they are just not my cup of tea. I always think I will like them, but I always end up just wanting to get through them. I feel like this book sounds good. When I describe the scenes that happened in this book, it sounds interesting and it sounds good, but when I read it, I’m just not as interested in it. This is completely personal preference though!
On the other side, there were some things about the political structure of this world that I really enjoyed. I liked that it was flawed. I liked that it was hard. I liked that it was so in depth. It gave the book a very realistic feel and I enjoyed that at times. It was cool, because we got to see characters go through what would be in their normal lives in this world for awhile. It was different and I thought it was interesting to see! The characters go to school, they go to meetings, and they train. There is a bigger plot that comes up later in the book though!
There is so much grief, heavy feelings, complicated relationships, and human actions in this book. The relationships and the feelings that the characters have are tangled in such a human way. I don’t feel like they are morally gray, I feel like they are just human. They have to make hard decisions and know that they are going to hurt people. They have to carry their feelings and they have to live with what they’ve done and what they will do.
Annie was amazing. I loved her character. I loved watching her become what she knew she could and I loved watching her learn to want something. I really liked her character. Lee was cool. I don’t think I connected with him as much as Annie, but I still liked his story and his POV.
There are also a lot of side characters. There’s just so many people! They are all kind of thrown at you in the beginning of the book and I found it kind of hard to keep track of everybody. It was hard to try and picture everyone and remember their names, all as something dramatic is happening right at the beginning of the book haha. As the book went on, it did get easier to differentiate between everyone and I did end up really like Cor, Duck, and Crissa. And even some of the smaller side characters! Though, I didn’t love how one of the only POC characters was a cruel jerk. It seems like his story isn’t over yet and he’s going to have more growth, but it still bothered me a little bit.
The dragons. I love them so much. They have their own personalities and I loved getting to know them. They’re adorable, which is kind of weird to say about a dragon, but it’s true. I would have liked for them to be described more, but they were still awesome.
The romantic relationships ended up being something I wasn’t expecting. I really, really, really love how when a guy was rejected, it was fine and they remained friends. It was amazing to see. The others though, didn’t play out like I expected. There is an instance of what might be cheating. I don’t even know if you can call it that, since emotions were so high and it felt almost like a goodbye. But I know that one kiss felt like it happened too fast. I kind of wanted nothing to happen between two people and wait for their relationship to be developed more. I wasn’t even sure if they liked each other that way. There feelings are all so vague and neither of them like to think about it, so I couldn’t get quite a clear picture of what they were feeling.
All in all, I’m not quite sure how I feel about this book. I think it has some amazing parts, but some of it just isn’t for me. It is a trilogy and I think it’s going to be interesting, where this story goes, though I’m not sure when I’m going to read them, even though they don’t come out for a really long time.
Thank you for reading!