Fireborne ARC Review // An Exciting Dragon Fantasy


Title // Fireborne

Author // Rosaria Munda

Publisher // G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Publication Date // October 15th 2019

Synopsis // 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.

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My Rating: ★★★★☆

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Many thanks to Penguin for giving me a free ARC at Yallwest!

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This is the dragon book we all need in our lives. 

Let’s be real. Don’t we all like dragon books? Potentially if you don’t then you may need to evacuate yourselves from this page and go away quietly because how can you not like dragon books? This book seriously has it all–opening right away with a dragon tournament, people flying dragons and fighting dragons and having connections with dragons–what more could you want?

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The world building was absolutely phenomenal, and only part of that amazingness has to do with the fact that I’m squealing over the dragons, I promise! The world set up is one that has had a revolution where the noble class of dragon riders are all killed (or so we think…) allowing anyone to be able to ride a dragon and not just those of noble blood (kind of like the French Revolution? Bloodiness and all).

It was so interesting to see the fallout and consequences of this overthrow. Although there are new people in charge of what is supposedly a better world–and it certainly seemed better to me because of course you want a meritocracy over a monarchy!–as you read more, you start to see similarities in how the new government mirrors the old government, making you wonder–are they really any better at all?

And of course the fact that the two main characters who each have a POV–Annie and Leo–come from such vastly different worlds that were impacted so differently by the past make it so much more interesting as we readers can really see both of their perspectives! Annie being a former serf who faces prejudice from her past and experienced horrific things, and Leo being the son of the former nobles, who was raised in the lap of luxury with the expectation that he would follow in his father’s footsteps, before seeing his whole family murdered.

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Annie and Leo were both such fantastic, complex, three dimensional characters that I really had no chance but to root for! They’re such great friends too, having looked after each other as kids, and I just love that slow burn angsty friends to maybe lovers?? Do we love each other?? Ahh it was so amazing! Also there’s the fact that as the two best dragon riders, they know that they’re going to have to face each other in tournament to compete for the role of Firstrider, so of course they want the best for each other but they also want to beat each other???!!!

Leo had my heart right away! When his whole family was murdered, he had to hide his identity, and in the end, he just wants to be a dragon rider because that’s what he loves! Yet with survivors from the old regime intent of claiming power again being his family, he’s forced to go against his family and question his birth family or his chosen family, his kin or his beliefs, and this kid really just needs a hug because that’s a hard decision to make.

Annie I loved even more though! I related to her so much because she is sort of shy and tends to hide away from confrontation and taking charge, yet she wants to be a dragon rider so much and those two things go hand in hand. And then there’s the fact that as she becomes a dragon rider, something that she never could have been before, she faces having to take drastic actions as part of the highest class that were taken by the former nobles against her poor serf family, making her question if she’s turning into them, and honestly she needs a hug too.

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One thing that I think could have been done better was the romance. Both characters have other romantic interests besides just each other although it was kind of clear that they both just liked each other and it was kind of annoying to waste time making out with people who they are clearly just going to break their hearts later?

I also mostly enjoyed the split POV because as I said I loved hearing from both of them, but at times I felt it could have been done better as it randomly changed in the middle of chapters instead of at the start of chapters which is what I could expect; sometimes there would only be like 2 pages from Annie, and then 10 from Leo, and then 15 from Annie, and then 3 from Leo, and then the end of chapter or something like that? It was a bit odd.

Overall though I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait for the next one!


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