Author Rosaria Munda
Description from Amazon
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.
Before I read this book, I saw that it was tagged as a “YA retelling of Plato’s Republic” and that just sounded fascinating. I had to read Plato’s Republic in college and somewhat surprisingly, I really enjoyed it. I also love anything compared to Game of Thrones so this book seemed like a win-win.
Some Things I Liked
- Alternating POV. I thought the use of alternating first person POV as well as the chapters narrated omnisciently really worked for this book. I loved the backstory as well as the almost “Act” set up of each chapter section. First, the omniscient narrator set the scene, then we got to hear from Annie and Lee.
- The story asks big questions. I love moral ambiguity in a book and we got to see a ton of that here. There are so many moments of – who is in the right? throughout the book and I couldn’t get enough of it. Is it really fair for the old regime to start a revolution? Are the masses really better off letting the tests determine their status?
- Concepts of warfare. There are relatively significant elements of warfare used during this book and I thought that was very interesting. Magic obviously existed to a degree but the characters had to rely on tactical and battlefield knowledge and I enjoyed the details by which that was described.
One Thing I Wasn’t Crazy About
- I hated the love triangle with Lee. All he did was think about Annie and I just hated that there was even the possibility of a love triangle.
I would continue with this series. However, I have to say, I would need a re-read of this book before reading any future installments. This book is dense with details and I wouldn’t want to miss anything in the next book.
I really liked this book. I thought it prompted thought-provoking questions, had a strong cast of characters, and a unique premise. I’ve never read any other YA books that are based off of any of Plato’s works so I thought this was refreshing.
Recommendations for Further Reading
- Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye – if you like the revolution and military concepts seen in Fireborne give this series by Evelyn Skye a read.
- Republic by Plato – if you liked the big questions and more philosophical elements of this story, try reading the book that inspired it. It’s not terribly long but it’s definitely thought provoking.
- A River of Royal Blood by Amanda Joy – I haven’t posted my review of this one yet, but if you liked the elements of revolution and magic in this book, try A River of Royal Blood.