Fireborne by Rosaria Munda

Fireborne (Aurelian Cycle, #1)

by Rosaria Munda

"One of fantasy’s best series." —Booklist, starred review

Game of Thrones meets Fourth Wing 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.

Reviewed by Quirky Cat on

5 of 5 stars

I received a copy of Fireborne through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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?

For more reviews check out Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks

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Reading updates

  • Started reading
  • 29 October, 2019: Finished reading
  • 29 October, 2019: Reviewed