Olive-skinned flamenco dancer Zarela Zalvidar, 18, and her father, renowned “Dragonador” Santiago, are staging a show to celebrate the 500th anniversary of their family’s dragon-fighting arena, La Giralda, when tragedy strikes. Several dragons somehow escape the dungeons and attack the crowd, killing 13 people and injuring dozens more—Santiago included. Zarela’s mother was herself killed by a dragon one year earlier, which means that La Giralda’s fate now lies with Zarela. The head of Hispalia’s dragon guild, who despises Santiago for unknown reasons, will seize control of the arena unless it can safely and profitably reopen. Repairs and victim restitution leave Zarela with enough money to purchase new dragons, but not to hire a new Dragonador, so she persuades handsome, surly dragon hunter/tamer Arturo Díaz de Montserrat, 20 and amber-skinned, to train her for the job. Meanwhile, Zarela must stop the saboteur she suspects is targeting her family. Shallow character work and underdeveloped fantasy elements weaken this standalone from Ibañez (Written in Starlight), but readers will savor the plentiful action; richly textured, medieval Spain-inspired backdrop; and Arturo’s efforts to change attitudes toward dragons. Ages 13–up. Agent: Sarah Landis, Sterling Lord Literistic. (May)
From the Publisher
"This beautifully written romantic fantasy features Spanish-speaking characters as well as a gripping, sexy, enemies-to-lovers romance with fierce, strong-headed protagonists who dance around—and toward—each other. At its core lies magic, a mystery that pulls no punches, and thoughtful examinations of tradition and inheritance... A terrific stand-alone fantasy." —Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
"Spinning magic with mystery, this gorgeous tale will light up your shelf." —Booklist, Starred Review
Buzzfeed, "New Summer Books You Won’t Be Able To Put Down"
"In Together We Burn, Isabel Ibañez grounds her fantasy world in the culture of medieval Spain, including its food, art and language. Packed with high stakes, a well executed mystery and an appealingly swoony romance, Together We Burn has what it takes to entertain a wide range of genre fiction fans." -BookPage
"Together We Burn is an inferno of action-packed storytelling and banter-filled romance, set in a gloriously vivid and imaginative world. Sure to delight and surprise fans of fantasy, dragons, and stories with bold heartbeats. This one will leave you breathless!” —Stephanie Garber, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Caraval series
“I have been in love with Isabel Ibañez’s writing since day one, but she’s knocked it out of the water with Together We Burn. With lush world-building, sultry romance, and medieval magic, fantasy readers won’t be able to put this down.” - Brigid Kemmerer, New York Times bestselling author of Defy the Night
"Isabel Ibanez has built a fantasy world like no other, a vivid spectacle painted in her signature, vibrant colors. Together We Burn is a decadent feast of YA favorites, with a fiery protagonist, a hero with secrets, and a magic that almost sparkles on the page." —Adrienne Young, New York Times bestselling author of Namesake
"Zarela’s resolve is rivaled only by Arturo’s prickliness, and together, this fierce heroine and grudging hero lit a match in my heart. Banter, angst, and romance galore!" —Shelby Mahurin, New York Times bestselling author of Blood & Honey
“Ibañez creates a richly imagined world in Together We Burn, full of endearing characters, heart-pounding romance, and a plot that sizzles. I was captivated from the first page. A lush, thrilling read.” —Rebecca Ross, author of Sisters of Sword & Song
"Together We Burn blazes with excitement and danger from the very first page, making it un-put-downable! The descriptions of the dragons and the dresses and the meals all sizzle with color and vibrancy. Zarela is a fiery protagonist whose inner strength and conviction makes her easy to root for and admire—and that slow burn romance is swoonworthy!" —Romina Garber, author of Cazadora
"Readers will savor the plentiful action; richly textured, medieval Spain-inspired backdrop; and Arturo’s efforts to change attitudes toward dragons." —Publishers Weekly
"Ibañez gives readers an elaborately built, fabulously unique world with an expansive history, all laid out through Zarela’s engaging, brisk narration. The dragons are especially fascinating, with different breeds and characteristics accordingly, and the fighting and training scenes have an edge-of-your-seat tension that absolutely compels readers to the next page...there’s plenty of heat, drama, and fantasy to keep readers entranced." —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"A slow burn and engaging tale that you will not be able to put down. Full of rich drama, great storytelling and writing, as well as powerful characters, this story will capture your attention with its originality and sweeping imagery." —BookRiot
"Inspired by medieval Spain, this kaleidoscopic epic YA fantasy has it all and more: adventure, romance, magic… and dragons!" -Ms. Magazine
"With a banter-filled romance and action-packed story, this YA fantasy is perfect for fans of All the Stars and Teeth and Serpent & Dove.” —Apartment Therapy
School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up—This fantasy novel is set in a mythical version of Spain, where instead of bullfighting, dragons are captured and brought to an arena for death at the hands of a dragonador—a dragon killer. A long tradition rooted in saving villages from the ravages of dragon attacks produces a setting that tolerates killing dragons for entertainment. When 18-year-old Zarela's family legacy is undermined by an unknown enemy, she has to save La Giralda. She must capture more dragons, train to become a dragonador, pay off a debt, and discover who the enemy within is, all while falling in love with Arturo. The story takes a turn when Zarela challenges the tradition of killing dragons for entertainment. Instead, Zarela, with the help of Arturo, studies the dragons, learning from them. What she discovers allows her to avoid killing and still save her family's legacy. This young adult romance-fantasy-mystery novel delivers a slow burn. VERDICT Recommended for collections serving older teens.—Stephanie Creamer
A flamenco dancer, a dragon hunter—and the ancient tradition that pulls them together.
Eighteen-year-old Zarela Zalvidar is descended from a long line of Dragonadores, those who face down dangerous dragons and entertain crowds in arenas across Hispalia. Zarela’s father is the most renowned and skilled Dragonador of all, but when a life-altering injury takes him out of commission, Zarela must take charge of La Giralda, their ancestral home. She discovers that Papá’s accident was not an accident at all but part of a plot to destroy what her ancestors have built over hundreds of years. A flamenco dancer like her late mother, Zarela decides that becoming a Dragonador herself is the only way to turn their fortunes around—but the only person available to train her is Arturo Díaz de Montserrat, an infuriatingly stubborn dragon hunter who abhors everything her family stands for. However, Arturo is her last hope, and Zarela will do anything to convince him to help her. As sparks fly between the two, fire and smoke fall on Zarela’s home. This beautifully written romantic fantasy features Spanish-speaking characters as well as a gripping, sexy enemies-to-lovers romance with fierce, strong-headed protagonists who dance around—and toward—each other. At its core lie magic, a mystery that pulls no punches, and thoughtful examinations of tradition and inheritance.
A terrific stand-alone fantasy. (list of guilds, list of dragons) (Fantasy. 14-adult)