Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle Series #1)

Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle Series #1)

by Rosaria Munda

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Overview

"Fireborne is everything I want in fantasy."—Rachel Hartman,New York Times bestselling author of Seraphina

Game of Thrones 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780525518211
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 10/15/2019
Series: Aurelian Cycle Series , #1
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 52,690
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.70(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

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.

Read an Excerpt

Prologue

Later, he would be known as the First Protector, and under his vision the city would transform. Serfs would be freed, schools would be built, and dragons would, for the first time, be ridden by commoners.

Before that, he was the leader of the bloodiest revolution his people had ever seen.

He never doubted that he would create a just city. Nor did he doubt that the families of the old regime deserved to die. But he did, sometimes, regret the way it happened, the day the palace was finally overrun.

He remembered in particular one of the ruling families, their tormentors still at work when he found them. The dragonlord had been kept alive, to watch; his youngest son was the only child left. A boy of about seven or eight, his expression blank beneath a mask of blood. The remains of their family lay around them.

“Stop this foolishness at once,” the First Protector said, when he and his guard found them.

The revolutionaries let go of the boy, whom they had been hurting, and began to protest: This man is Leon Stormscourge, don’t you know what he’s done—but they fell silent when the dragonlord spoke from his knees on the bloodstained carpet.

“My son,” he said, in the language he and the First Protector shared. “Please, Atreus.”

The First Protector took a half glance at the child. He said, “Leo will be looked after.”

He gave one of his guard a murmured order. The soldier started, hesitated, and then lifted the dragonlord’s son in his arms. When the boy had been carried, limp and silent, from the room, the leader of the Revolution knelt before the dragonlord.

“Those—animals—” the dragonlord rasped.

The First Protector did not disagree. Instead, he put a hand to the knife on his belt. When he met the dragonlord’s gaze, it was in an unspoken question. The dragonlord closed his eyes and nodded.

Then, to the First Protector’s surprise, he spoke.

“Your vision,” he said. “Do you think it will ever be worth this, Atreus?”

The First Protector drew his knife.

“Yes,” he said.

The dragonlord’s question returned to him often in the years that followed. Even as many of the other details of the Revolution began to fade from his memory, he remembered Leon Stormscourge.

Leon’s son, on the other hand, was a detail he forgot.

 
Chapter 1
Messages from the Ministry
Nine Years Later

Lee

Morning is our favorite time to fly. Today, even with the tournament looming and the empty arena below us a reminder that soon we’ll be watched, for the first time, by thousands, it’s still possible to savor the city sprawled beneath a dragon’s wings. When we pull tight on a turn, I glimpse one of Pallor’s black eyes, depthless, turned on me. The line between us, of shared emotions and thoughts that are usually latent in the saddle, goes taut. Yes. Today it begins. Today we’ll rise.

But in order to do that, I’ll need a clear head. I gently extricate myself from Pallor’s simmering anticipation and refocus on the arena. Two other dragonriders fly with us, each riding one of the other two breeds: Crissa and her skyfish are in the air above us, while Cor and his stormscourge glide below, bellowing ash over the arena stands. We’re on our last rehearsal, this time with just the squadron leaders.

I lift my voice over the wind. “You’re taking her too low, Cor.”

Cor grunts, frustrated, and urges his stormscourge higher. We’ve been over the choreography of the tournament’s opening ceremony over and over with ministry officials, and every time the question of how to demonstrate stormscourge might becomes tricky. Before the Revolution, the dragon breed of Stormscourge House—of my family—were known for terrorizing the countryside; but in even older days, they were our island’s greatest defense against aerial invasion.

“They told us to fire low,” says Cor.

“Not that low. It’s risky for the audience.”

Our dragons are still immature, barely horse-size, and can’t yet breathe fire. But the smoke they produce can still burn.

Crissa and her skyfish, long, slender, and pale enough blue to blend with the morning sky, circle above us. “You want to impress the people,” she calls down to Cor. “Not roast them.”

Cor waves a hand. “All right, all right . . .”

Our fleet is still in training, dragons and riders both. Known now as Guardians, the new regime’s dragonriders are lowborn, commoners, even former serfs. No longer the sons of dragonlords.

Except for me, though I’m the only one who knows that.

Because in the wake of the Revolution, to be dragonborn is to be wanted for dead. I was born Leo but, since the orphanage, I’ve been Lee. Not even the First Protector, who saved my life and then welcomed me, without recognition, into his Guardian program two years after that, knows the truth.

That a Stormscourge tested into the meritocratic dragonriding program designed to replace everything his family stood for.

Even though I know I’m lucky to be here—lucky to be alive, lucky to have escaped the orphanage—memories of the old life have a way of intruding and twisting. Especially today, as Pallor and I circle above the Palace arena, open to the public for the first time since the Revolution. The old regime had tournaments here, too, that I watched my father compete in. Dreaming of the day it would be my turn.

I lean forward and rest a gloved hand on Pallor’s silver-scaled neck as his wings, translucent in the morning light, tighten in a dive. Pallor is an aurelian, a breed known for being small, maneuverable, careful, and the aurelian formation for today’s ceremony is the only one complex enough to require coleaders. I can rehearse alone but, really, to do the thing properly, I need—

Annie. There she is.

Another aurelian, this one amber-toned, has emerged from the cave mouth at the base of the arena, and on her back rides my sparring partner, Annie. She and I have trained together for as long as we’ve been in the Guardian program, and we’ve known each other since the orphanage before that.

It’s a past life’s worth of memories that we’re both pretty good at not talking about.

“Annie!” Crissa calls with a cheerful wave. “There you are.”

“Lee’s been flying like an idiot out here without you,” Cor says.

Pallor and I fire ash downward. Cor dodges the stream with a bark of laughter.

Annie’s lips curve at Cor’s remark, but instead of answering, she rolls seamlessly into formation opposite me, her dragon, Aela, mirroring Pallor’s movements. Her red-brown braid hangs low on her back, her freckled face is set in its concentration. I’ve thought of Annie as beautiful—strikingly beautiful—for almost as long as I can remember, but I’ve never told her.

“Play it from the top?” I suggest.

There are calls of assent from the other three.

We right ourselves only when the bell rings the hour. The arena below, the Palace to one side and the pillar supporting Pytho’s Keep on the other, the jagged rooftops, the plains stretching out to the sea—for a moment I feel a protectiveness, almost a possessiveness, of the city and island spread below. The vows that we took when we became Guardians echo in my mind: All that I am, henceforth, belongs to Callipolis. By the wings of my dragon I will keep her . . .

Today, eight of the thirty-two Guardians will compete in the quarterfinal tournament for Firstrider, commander of the aerial fleet. I’m one of those eight, along with Annie, Cor, and Crissa. Qualifying rounds have been going on among the dragonriders for weeks.

It will be the first time since the Revolution that Callipolis names a Firstrider, one of the only titles it’s kept from the old regime. The dragons of the revolutionary fleet are finally old enough, and their riders well-enough trained, to vie for a position that’s been vacant since the Revolution. For the other Guardians, the Firstrider Tournaments are a chance to prove themselves; for me, it will be that and something more.

Because Firstrider is a title I’ve wanted since before the Revolution. It would be all the recognition, power, and respect that my family lost over the course of a single bloody month when I was eight years old, regained.

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Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle Series #1) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
BrookeH612 21 hours ago
Rosaria Munda’s debut novel Fireborne hooked me from the very beginning, and I enjoyed it until the very last page. With dragons, tournaments and complex relationships, what’s not to love? This book is exactly the kind of book I normally read and love, so it was enjoyable and somewhat familiar. The way in which the story progresses is really well done. Key details are revealed at just the right moments, keeping me interested and wanting to know what will happen next. I also liked that this book didn’t end in a cliffhanger. The plot of this story concludes, but still left me wanting to know what will happen in the next book. I can’t wait to read this author’s next book. ***I received an electronic advance reader copy from the publisher/NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.***
LibraryLadies 7 days ago
I’m always interested in a good dragon book. And for as popular as the subject matter is, it’s rare that I find one that really hits the spot for me. Maybe it’s just that the more I like something, the higher standards I set for it. But combined with an intriguing book description and comparison to “Red Rising,” I was excited to see what new take “Fireborne” had to offer! Revolutions are bloody and brutal, but what comes after can be just as hard. The decks have been shuffled leaving those who survived living very different lives than the ones they had before. For Annie and Lee, these changes hit very close to home, but in very different ways. Now, together, they are slowly climbing their way through the ranks as dragon riders, each hoping to build their own future in this new world. But the old regime has only gone underground, and when it becomes clear that the revolution is not over, Annie and Lee must now, once again, choose sides. I can definitely see how the comparisons to “Red Rising” came about. For all that a dragon is on the cover, this story is mostly a deep dive into the moral grey zone of what a revolution really looks like. Similarly to that book, it explores complex issues spending extra time highlighting that no choice is perfect and consequences are to be had no matter how good one’s intentions are going in. In our current political and cultural environment, I really appreciated the attention that went into this portrayal and the challenging questions it poses to not only its characters but to readers as well. It’s always refreshing to find a story that goes past the simple (and often unbelievable) “good” and “bad” of it all. Both Annie and Lee provide insights into the past events of the revolution, the current regime, and, of course, the challenges posed by the resurgence of the conflict. At various times it was easy to side with one or another only to skip to the next chapter, read the other character’s perspective, and feel conflicted once again. I will say that Annie, by the nature of her story, had the easier sell, leaving Lee more often in the role of the character who needed to experience more growth and perspective. However, at times, the writing itself seemed to let down these greater themes. For one thing, as I’ve gone into before, it’s always challenging to write two perspectives. Yes, Annie and Lee tell different stories and have differing challenges and views on events. But the writing itself is doing very little to differentiate their voices. Take away the actual story beats, and these two characters sound the same and it would be challenging to identify which of the two is speaking. This flaw makes it hard to truly connect to either character as they feel less like people and more like vessels through which to communicate the overall conflicts of the story. The writing was also a bit slow. It did pick up towards the end and became quite engaging at that point. But it still took a bit to reach that point. This may, again, have to do with the challenge of feeling truly emotionally invested in either character. There were a lot of characters and connections between them that never felt fully explained leaving me more often than not still trying to pin down who was who about half way into into the book. A whiff of a love triangle was also a bit of a detractor even if it never became fully fledged. I still really enjoyed the dragons, of course. And the overall story has a lot of potential growth. It’s
Kayladeej 7 days ago
Fireborn by Rosaria Munda was bittersweet. It wasn't a story that immediately grabbed my attention but I decided to stick around despite the urges to put the book down. I am SO glad that I kept going! It was original and so vivid, I fell in love. This is the kind of book to read when you're craving adventure from the comfort of your own bed.
Anonymous 7 days ago
Who doesn’t love a story about dragons?! “Inspired by Plato’s Republic and told from a dual point of view, the story is pitched as Aegon Targaryen and Hermione Granger with dragons.” Fireborne is a dazzling debut into a land where suffering, atonement, and political retribution are a norm. The hope of future peace lands lands on the shoulders of two orphaned dragon riders. Suffering from the loss of their families, Lee and Annie bonded at the orphanage where they met. I look down at this boy, vulnerable, at my mercy, and think, To the ends of the earth I will protect you. Fast forward some years later to the fight for Firstrider. These scenes reminded me of the Triwizard Tournament from Harry Potter. Having been born as a Stormscourge and son to the man who burned Annie’s family, tensions rise as the fight for Firstrider commences. But something else looms in the horizon…rumors of another dragon fleet from the old regime have surfaced. Will Lee betray his family to fight for the government he was raised in for most of his life? Or will he fight with blood? What makes this story different from other dragon novels is that the reader can feel the emotions of the dragons. The bond between dragon and rider is so intense, it almost serves as a link to the souls. I want a dragon. On a side note…does anyone else like Power and think he may turn “good guy”?! And does anyone else love Duck?! You have given life to me. Munda brings us a captivating story of political unrest, revolution, and the chance to create history. I’m excited for the next installment!
QuirkyCat 8 days ago
Fireborne is the first novel in a new series called the Aurelian Cycle. And it's a series perfect for dragon fans. Set in a world in which Dragonriders are the real thing, this fantasy tale is one of political revolution, of loss, pain, and revenge. And so much more. Oh, and did I mention that it's been described as being perfect for fans of both Game of Thrones and Red Rising? That was enough to sell me on this read. Though the cover was a nice touch. Annie and Lee may have ended up in the same place together, but they come from vastly different backgrounds. Both have lost the family they hold dear, and all thanks to the violence prevalent in their cities. That's why they're fighting so hard to become Dragonriders. To make a change in the world. And okay, they also want to prove something to themselves along the way. But even their battles to get to the top are different from one another. Annie is a lowborn girl who ended up in an orphanage after her family was slaughtered. And she's perhaps the most loyal person you'll ever meet. She's also an exceptionally talented dragonrider, carrying all the confidence she lacks when on the ground. Lee was forced to watch his family die during the revolution. His life may have been spared, but it was mostly due to an oversight. Now he's fighting to become a dragonrider. Though he doesn't know what he'll do when he's forced to make the hardest decision of his life. “Instead of listening, he remembered. He remembered his family around him, his sisters' laughter, his brother's teasing, his mother's voice.” Warnings: This is a novel involving Dragonriders. As such, you should probably expect to hear a graphic description or two about deaths by fire. These scenes aren't pretty, but they are vital to the plot. Fireborne was a shockingly intense read, one that I found myself almost immediately sucked into. It was impossible not to get emotionally invested in this tale, as I quickly found out. I'll confess that I'm already more than a little bit anxious to hear news about the next novel in the series. I don't know who's story tore me up more; Annie's or Lee's. Though I suppose there's really no reason to compare the two. They both had awful lives, but they also both made something of their pasts. Though I think I personally found myself a bit more connected to Annie and her side of the story. But there was something about it that just resonated so deeply within me. I loved everything about this book. From the characters to their interactions, to the politics they had to deal with. It was all brilliantly complex and well thought out. Even though I loved the ending, I'll confess that I also have found myself coming up with more questions the more time goes by. I guess I'll have to try and be patient while I wait for the next book, huh?
Kelsey Bickmore 14 days ago
Books that include dragons are always a win for me and this one was definitely a good one, especially for being a debut book. My favorite parts were the dragons and their training and the tournaments to find the First Rider who was going to lead the dragons against the enemies that would show up eventually. The political parts were okay at times but it also frustrated me that the revolutionaries overthrew the old regime because of the atrocities of the dragon lords but by the end it seemed like they were sliding that way themselves. I sure hope Annie and Lee and the other dragon riders can stop it as there is definitely more that can be written about this world. This was a very vivid world that the author created and it was easy to lose myself in this book. I hope Rosaria Munda writes more.
thegeekishbrunette 15 days ago
I didn't have many expectations except that it had dragons. I will say that the dragons were a bit of a letdown. I also had a few other issues with the book and didn't find the overall plot very gripping. When it came to the dragons. They are used to ride on and cause havoc with their fire. I was thinking there would be bonds between the rider and dragons but there wasn't really per say. The dragons are there but not really present and I wanted more from them. I needed more action! Another issue I had was connecting to the characters. The book has two point-of-views and even then I didn't feel much for Annie or Lee. I know I should have felt something due to their background but it just wasn't there for me. I will say that around 75% or so is when I finally felt something. It took awhile but I guess least it happened. The other characters were alright but there isn't much about their backgrounds. I didn't care to read about them. There is romance but I wasn't a fan. It's just a lot of drama and a love triangle that's annoying. Nothing super serious ever happens because of the romance and it's just one that I couldn't get behind. The world building is interesting and I do like the flashbacks of how their new politics came to be. There is a lot that goes on with the politics and at times I found it to be boring but like the characters, it does eventually pick up. Overall, it was a decent read but with all the potential it had it just ended up lacking in certain areas. I wish the execution could have been better. earc provided by publisher through netgalley.
Denice_L 16 days ago
As two young adults battle for the leadership of the Dragon riders, the strength of character each shows is incredible in this YA novel. From the book synopsis I really expected more of a Dragonriders of Pern mixed with a Hunger Games type story. That is not the case. When a new regime takes over the governing of their city, two orphans find their future is drastically different. The goals each is working towards do not allow their friendship to continue, yet they will need to be able to trust and depend on the other when war comes back to their city. This book gave me the same "lost time" reading experience as Hunger Games and I'll definitely recommend it to my reading circle.
DiiFL 23 days ago
Emotional turmoil, political intrigue, the horrors of the past and the hopes of future peace may rest on the shoulders of young dragonriders who have trained together and are now faced with heart wrenching decisions. Do they follow their hearts, the stations in life they came from or do they forge into a new future and do what is best for their world? FIREBORNE by Rosaria Munda is a captivating read, as two young people from divergent backgrounds, their families killed, bonded in the orphanage they were remanded to. Now, a new battle looms as old tyrants resurface to reclaim control. Are they ready to do battle on their dragons? Fabulous reading, magnetic scenes, and the turmoil of being a young adult expected to become steely warriors. See the threads of forged bonds fray, mistrust grow and feel the tension of the unknown. Rosaria Munda has created a fantasy that comes to life with clarity as the real world fades away! Highly recommended! This tale stands on its own merit! I received a complimentary ARC edition from G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers. This is my honest and voluntary review.
KR3 24 days ago
Wow, what a story! Lee and Annie and their friends weave a tale with both grief and love. The world building is superb, with no clear lines of black and white, right and wrong. Lee has to hide his PTSD, Annie must choose to whom to be loyal. Add danger, dragons, and hard choices and you’ve got an amazing story. I will definitely be looking for more. Rated PG-13 —mild sensuous scenes (nothing graphic) —violence (somewhat graphic) —some cursing I received this ebook free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Noorpreet 29 days ago
I think that this book was very good! One reason is because there are never enough book about dragons which is sad but, I am so incredibly happy that this masterpiece was made. Also, as soon as I saw the cover I knew that this book would become extremely popular! And although we don’t yet know about the certainty of this statement I’m pretty sure that it’s true. I also love the aspect of their being a high, powerful, rich lord of this place. This is because I love it when someone nice is trying to fight against a powerful figure and especially with dragons because dragons just make everything seem much better. Lastly, I really loved this book a lot and I really think that everyone should read it! P.S. I love the cover a lot!
Anonymous 30 days ago
This fantasy story titled “Fireborne” by Rosaria Munda, is the first book in “The Aurelian Cycle” series. It was fast paced, filled with emotion and action packed. Two children, Annie and Lee, from opposite classes of society are brought together by a bloody revolution that will reshape the world they know. Raised in an orphanage, they become friends and a family of two. Together they are both chosen by dragons and become part of a group called Guardians who pledge themselves to the protection of their people. Training for seven years with each other and their fellow Guardians have brought Annie and Lee to the top positions where they must fight each other for the title of Firstrider. They both have to decide what is it they really want and go after it no matter the cost. But is the cost too great when those who are your family or friend may be hurt or even die by your hand? Can doing the right thing be enough when so much is at stake. These two teens despite the help of their friends and frienemies must each make a stand on their own to do the right thing and then together for the good of their people and a way of life that the revolution set forth. Even when survivors of the old ruling class reappear to take back what they lost in the revolution with dragon fire and threats to set their world to ashes and fear. With secrets coming to light. Loyalties questioned. Annie and Lee’s bond from their childhood is tested with heartache, pain and fire, only to have that bond strengthen as they stand together.
Ashley Darling 30 days ago
Fireborne follows two characters, Annie and Lee, through their journey from living in an orphanage to becoming the city’s next generation of rulers. With dragons and political machinations, this is sure to please readers vying for something to satiate their appetite for all things fantasy. Nine years prior, a bloody revolution took the lives of the three leaders—the triarchs—and many of their followers. I absolutely loved the idea of three heads of state sharing power and responsibilities. It reminded me of the Triumvirate of Ancient Rome, which would make sense since the author notes that she draws from Plato’s The Republic. There’s also a merit-based caste system in place, which is an interesting twist on the haves and have-nots. Annie’s struggle is so real and relatable. She’s one of two girls who have risen to the ranks of leadership, which in and of itself is a feat. The way she’s treated by the adults surrounding her is reminiscent of what I imagine most girls go through. I know I’ve felt the sting of rejection and the feelings of inadequacy that come with being a girl in a man’s world. Dragon riding was traditionally a nobleman’s job; add to that the fact she’s a former serf, and you can see why some may resent her—commoners and women were never allowed to ride dragons in the old world. Her arc is poignant and many passages left me in tears. Lee is the orphaned son of the old regime, born to one of the ruling families. He’s grown up knowing who he is, and yet also knowing keeping that secret means keeping his life. He constantly strives to protect that secret but also to prove himself worthy of having a dragon, despite what his family did. In fact, the story unfolds in such a poignant way that it’s easy to separate Lee from his father’s sins. However, we understand his desire to reunite with his family—especially when he glimpses his cousins, his family, flying on the backs of dragons about halfway through. The relationships between riders and dragons is explained in such a beautiful way, and I could feel the tension between human and dragon throughout those scenes. I couldn’t get enough of the dragons! I won’t provide any spoilers, but if you’re a fan of fantasy, dragons, political intrigue, and court politics, then check out Fireborne. You won’t be disappointed.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Fireborne is an impressive YA debut. I'm always sceptical when YA novels are described as "like Game of Thrones" because they never are, but Fireborne definitely has the moral shades of grey and not clear-cut good vs. bad, if not the large scope of GoT. In the years after a revolution the two protagonists struggle with the new society, and at times feel they're hardly better than the tyranny that came before. I really loved the bits about how the rulers use censorship and propaganda to control public opinion. The plots fast-paced and has a good balance between action and politics. Romance isn't in the main focus. And I was on the edge of my seat the last half of the book. Refreshing and everything I love in a YA fantasy. I can't wait to see where this series goes next!
shutupnread 3 months ago
This was one of my most anticipated releases because I love all things fantasy with mythical creatures and as you can tell from the cover, there are dragons in this book. Unfortunately I ultimately did find this book to be relatively lackluster. My biggest complaint from the beginning was the fact that while I did find the book to be interesting, I never found myself very invested with any of the characters or plot. I honestly could not care less about either characters: Annie or Lee. But out of the two MCs, I did find Lee to be a stronger character than Annie as Annie literally had no emotions and thus, her character POVs were incredibly uninteresting. Another issue I had with the book was the romance. It was done so awkwardly and it was pretty obvious that Lee and Annie would end up together but their interactions together seemed more like really good friends or even siblings than anything romantic. In fact, I thought the romance made their dynamic seem even more odd and the book to be less intriguing. Personally I think this book would have been better if they were solid friends and found their own romantic partners or if this book just didn't even have any romance. The most interesting part of the book was actually Lee and his backstory in terms of what he was going to do with his kin who were actually alive and the whole antagonist/obstacle part of this book. I was really curious to find out which path he would choose because that always felt pretty up in the air especially with the flashbacks from his childhood at the orphanage in the aftermath. Overall, this book was just okay. I'm not sure if I'm invested enough to pick up the sequel which is such a tragic thing because the dragons here were actually pretty cool. Unfortunately the plot and characters just didn't do it for me.
CrossroadReviews 3 months ago
I really loved the troupe of sharing minds with other beings. This dragon and reminded me of Eragon but in a less fantastical way. It felt very middle grade to me vs. young adult and the story just seemed to drag. The dual POVs really didn't have distinct voices and the whole thing just felt like something I had read before. Munda didn't bring anything new to the table other than very vivid storytelling. Go Into This One Knowing: Dual POV
Edit-A 3 months ago
I never read a book about dragons before, OK, that is a lie, I read Harry Potter but nothing else. You might ask why? Well, I am not sure either, I just know that on the screen they interest me but not really in the books, however, Fireborn was revolutionary for me and I cannot wait for the second book. I was lucky enough to get an ARC copy of it, because let me tell you, you do not want to drag reading it. This book was everything. Being a huge Harry Potter fan I always loved its concept, that YES it was about magic, but in reality magic was just a tool to drop spotlight on family relations, on kindness, on friendships, on struggles, on self-awareness, on coming out of age, on acceptance, on LOVE. And Fireborne has it all as well. I absoultely adored this book. I loved the games, I loved the backstories and I loved the characters. The world building was really good but at the same time sometimes confusing, I wish I had a map to follow through the story and lands. Another thing that was lacking for me, which I am hoping to dive deeper into, is Lee's backstory. Yes, we know what happened to him, but I want to knaow what they did to each memeber of his group, I want to know about the soldier, I wish we delved more and spent more time with his remaining family, those moments felt rushed. I want to know EVERYTHING about this guy, cause he is so good, and pure, and loyal and noble not just by birthright but inside and out. I think he had and still has more to tell than Annie, but her POVs dominated over him in a way, that bothered me a bit, because it was repetetive at times, while Lee's felt rushed. That would me my only complain, and the lack of showing more of his and Crissa's times together. However, I loved the book, I loved the friendships and the other characters. I liked Annie, but have to admit was not my favorite and I am not a huge fan of the main couple. I LOVED Crissa, my hope, as futile as it might be, is for her to end up with Lee. I liked Cor, and Duck, and Rock, and Lotus and EVEN Power. I don't want to spoil much but this book is just AMAZING, and so fast paced that you HAVE to get it ASAP if you have not yet. I loved every part of it!
BarbTRC 3 months ago
Fireborne by Rosaria Munda is the first book in her new The Aurelian Cycle series. When I decided to read this new YA fantasy novel, I wasn’t sure what to expect as it was a new author for me. I am happy to say I loved Fireborne and cannot wait to read more from Rosaria Munda. The POV’s are from Lee, our hero, and Annie, our heroine. We do get flash backs to the earlier days, when both were orphans, with Lee looking out for Annie. Both lost their family to the revolution that changed the world; each having the perspective from a different side, such as Lee, secretly coming from royalty and Annie being lowborn. They left the orphanage together to train with the new regime as dragon riders and 8 years later they both become elite riders. Yes there are Dragons, and I loved how Munda made them emotionally bonded to their assigned rider, with some telepathic between them. Great part of story. The story begins with a competition to become a Firstrider, the person who will lead the Dragon army reporting to the leader of Callipolis, with both Lee and Annie rivaling each other, as well as other elite dragonriders. We learn more secrets about Lee, who is the lone survivor of the Stormscourge, all slaughtered in the revolution; only Annie knows the truth about who Lee really is. Annie is also a lone survivor, as her family was executed for not following the Lord’s orders. Their friendship was a major part of this story, with both of them knowing the past that brought them together, but neither acknowledging their past different lives. In today’s world they are together, but things are changing that could destroy their friendship and their lives. As the Firstrider competition continues; Lee is contacted by a survivor of the past, who are determined to bring back the old regime with a new revolution. Lee has to fight his feelings about the truth about the things his father did as the Lord, and decide which side he belongs with. Annie is loyal to the current regime, and begins to worry that Lee might betray Callipolis. War is coming. Will Lee turn on Annie and their friends? Will Annie, despite her love for Lee, alert the leader of Lee’s possible betrayal? I will not tell too much more, as there are many political elements from the past and present, which you need to read from start to finish to follow this story. I loved Lee and Annie, and the group of friends that we got to know, as well as the emotional bond between them. Munda did a fantastic job creating these wonderful characters, and giving us an amazing new world. Fireborne was an exciting, emotional, intense, political, and at times a dark story that held our attention from the start. The friendship between the dragon rider group was wonderful. I loved the Dragons, and their bond to their riders; it was a sensational element to the story. The climax was fantastic, with so many twists and turns the kept me on the edge of my seat. I cannot wait for the next book in this series. Rosaria Munda is now a new author I will need to keep reading. I suggest you read this start of a fun exciting new series.
Anonymous 3 months ago
I don't even know how to begin. This book was absolutely fantastic. The world that Munda creates is intricate and breathtaking. You can see how much care she put into crafting it. The characters were beautifully written. I instantly became attached to them. I smiled when they smiled, cried when they cried, and by the end of the book I was physically aching for them. This book may be advertised as a fantasy romance that features dragons but it is so much more than that. Munda goes into themes just as trauma and PTSD, that were so raw and touching. You could feel the characters' pain. You could understand it. It was so refreshing to read a book where these themes, and their aftermaths, were a center point. They made the reader understand human nature better. Reading about them became very real and human. It became an instant favorite for me. I am now aching for the next book to come out!!!
Nickie-T 3 months ago
Two orphans who have been wronged, one by the new regime, and one by the old. Annie and Lee must decide if their past hurts can allow them to come together to create a new order or separate them. They are part of the new regime of Guardians, those who are allowed to bond and ride dragons, who are tasked with keeping Callipolis safe. With the Firstrider tournaments ahead, and secrets and lies coming between them, can the two orphans who once found friendship and comfort in each other, navigate through the new world created after the uprising together and form in into something that they can both accept, or will it break them apart? Firborne is the first YA fantasy I have read in a long time that had me completely sucked in. I loved the relationship between the two main characters and narrators, Annie and Lee. Their was so much depth and emotions between the two, who had to come to terms with their individual histories, as well as their mutual history. Will their childhood trust be able to withstand their newly acquired adult understanding, or would it lead to betrayal? The supporting characters are all unique and defined, and were important to the story as well as enhanced it. Considering their were quite a few of them, this was a daunting task that was completed perfectly. I loved Duck and found myself rooting for him throughout the book. A good author makes who not only fall in love with the main characters, but the supporting characters as well. The beginning of the story is a bit of an info-dump, but once I got passed that the story picked up it's pace. Fireborne was reminiscent of An Ember in the Ashes as well as Crown of Feathers. The only downfall of this book, is having read the ARC, I now have to wait even longer for the second book in this series. This ARC was provided for me through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
marongm8 3 months ago
This book was received as an ARC from PENGUIN GROUP Penguin Young Readers Group - G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. Fans of Game of Thrones, Red Rising and even fans of Divergent and Red Queen will appreciate this book. The plot was so fascinating to the point that you develop a love and passion for Annie and Lee and wonder how their lives will shape and with being in the top of the dragonriding fleet, they are forced to make tough decisions that leads to the ultimate sacrifice for Lee forced to kill Annie, the only family he has or loose everything he earned through the dragon riders. Such action, drama, complex verses and fascinating themes that will leave you glued to the page and never want to stop reading. Our young adult readers are sure to love this book and will go crazy for it come its release date. We will consider adding this title to our YFantasy collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
BiblioStacks 3 months ago
Y’all, this book has everything; Fireborne is a fierce and masterful debut that is sure to spark fire everywhere. There’s dragons, political intrigue, slow-burn romance (like real slow burn, the kind that makes you want to pull your hair out, but in a good way), outstanding character development, hidden identities, and so much more. Fireborne is honestly one of the best books I have read this year (and probably one of the best debuts), and is easily one of my top favorites of 2019. Annie and Lee were such relatable and strong protagonists. Fireborne bounces between their point of views, which is one of the reasons I loved this story so much. I felt that their combined point of views really developed the story nicely, and that without both of their perspectives, it would feel like something is missing. Both characters were flawed yet delicate, and I really enjoyed seeing that in multiple ways in each character. Annie is an orphan who watched her family burn at the hands of a dragonlord. She’s one of the candidates who has a shot at making Firstrider, a position she could only dream of having. But in order to become Firstrider, she will have to fight against her best friend (and love), Lee. Overall, I thought Annie was a well-developed character. Her past horrors and present life mingle together nicely, and the readers gets a great idea of who she is as a person and a dragon rider. And then there’s Lee. Lee became an orphan after his family was slaughtered before his eyes. But he’s determined to prove that he can be just as great as his family, if not better. He can taste Firstrider on the tip of his tongue, a hope he has always wanted to come true, but he doesn’t want it at the cost of losing Annie. And what happens when someone from his past shockingly waltzes into his life? How do you balance a past that’s completely distant from your future? Lee learns all this the hard way, and that’s truly what builds his character. It was great to see him grow from his past mistakes and fight for a future he wants. The world building is absolutely phenomenal. The dragons are a fantastical aspect and the world is built around them, which I thoroughly enjoyed; the dragons are not there just to amuse the readers, but they fit so well into the world that it’s hard to imagine this story without them. There’s so many intricate parts that make this world function and Munda describes them all beautifully. Her writing is flawless and emotional and poetic; as the reader, I could sense the hurt and despair many civilians went through at the hands of the dragonlords and their dragons. I cannot recommend Fireborne enough. This epic fantasy debut blew me away and set the record high for books to follow. If you love dragons and an intense, yet magnetic romance with hardships and mistakes and past trauma, then definitely read Fireborne. And read it soon, as I have a feeling you will thank yourself for reading this book earlier than later!
WishEnd 3 months ago
FIREBOURNE is one of those books that pulls readers in from the first page and doesn’t let go until the very end. Full of a vivid fantasy world where soldiers ride dragons and a country is still recovering from a revolution, readers will fall in love with the two star-crossed main characters and hope for an ending where they’ll find happiness. Highly recommended! I love it when I go into a book with high expectations and those expectations are met! This story did not disappoint. I loved the characters! I loved the history between Lee and Annie from the time they met in the orphanage. I loved how their pasts were so intertwined, even in their deep grief, and how much that enhanced the story. I loved the constant push and pull of the old ways and the new society after the revolution. It's realistic and blunt. How people can do things that have been done to them, but they don't see it as being bad or racist or cruel. How those who were to change, reverted back to what they fought against. And then those who see the truth and try to rise above it and do what they feel is right. There were so many feels in this book! I've mentioned the relationship between Lee and Annie. It's so strong and complicated. There was so much going on with this story. Lee and Annie come from very different pasts but are forged together. Then they faced some challenges that were heart-wrenching on so many levels. There were lots of different friendships in this book, including those with the dragons. I loved them all! I also appreciated that the author didn't let anyone be completely clueless, not the leaders and the guy who led the revolution nor the dragonriders. They fit the pieces together, sometimes slowly, and they realized that there were more than one threat. My only complaint were the swear words. There were very few and they weren't really needed. It just means I can't pass this one to my daughter, which is such a bummer because it's a fantastic story with more to come. In the end, was it what I wished for? This was a page-turner, yes, but also so much more with this complex political and social world. The dragons were amazing, but even more so were the deep friendships and lovable characters. Definitely one to add to your reading list if you enjoy fantasy, especially fantasy with plenty of intrigue. Content: Some heavy making out, two or three s-words, some non-descriptive violence. Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through the Fantastic Flying Book Club, which did not require a positive review nor affect it in any way.
gelm 3 months ago
Not What I Wanted I won a copy of this book from BookishFirst. This book was not what I wanted at all. The book was basically about the aftereffects of a revolution. The dragons just seemed like an extra bit thrown in to make it a fantasy novel. I enjoyed the characters and learning about their histories and relationships. Lee and Annie's like/love/hate relationship got a bit old at times, but I guess that happens when you have known someone for so long. I am not sure how the author is going to write two more books in this series. I suppose the war will continue, the Pythians will retaliate for the death at the end, and perhaps we will get to read about New Pythos. I look forward to seeing how Annie's character grows.
moonfox1234 3 months ago
I really enjoyed this book. The storyline is very complex, the characters are well developed and the world is epic and engaging. I found that this book story not only kept my attention but it made me think. Although this is listed as a YA read there are so many questions and situations that I feel any age can relate to or find themselves in. In a world filled with many shades of gray the answers you find are not always easy to find or of the clear-cut variety. I thought that Annie and Lee were both compelling characters. They felt easy to connect with and root for. This dystopian read is filled with politics, drama, intrigue, emotional turmoil, war, fantasy, secrets and a friendship/rivalry that may lead to something more. A very enticing start that left me eager to read much more of this series.