Talon by Julie Kagawa – Book Review

Talon by Julie Kagawa – Book Review

Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they’re positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon’s newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember’s bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.

“Rnesh karr slithis,” I hissed back, which was Draconic for eat your own tail, the dragon version of go screw yourself. No extra translation needed.”

First of all, this book is about dragons. My favorite mythical creature in the entire world. So of course I was going to immediately want to jump on this book.

This book had an interesting premise, although it may seem a little cliche.  Dragons have been hunted down by this sect of human hunters called the Order of St. George for centuries, pretty much to the point of extinction. It makes sense since we haven’t seen or heard of dragons outside of fairy tales. There’s no way that dragons are actually real, actually out there in the world, or else we would have seen them already right? According to this book, it is because dragons have the ability to shift into humans and blend in without us even realizing it.

In this story, we meet an anomaly in the dragon world, a hatchling that is actually a twin, something that is completely unheard of. According to everything that Ember and Dante Hill know, they are the only two twin dragons in existence, and they have never been apart.  They have spent their entire lives being trained by Talon, the dragon organization that is dedicated to making sure that their dragons are able to survive, and whatever else they are supposed to in the world. Right now, it didn’t seem like the real objective of Talon is obvious, and this is something that Ember will have to learn throughout her journey. After their summer is over, where they have a chance to learn how to assimilate with humans, the real training will begin.

One of the main ideals that Ember and Dante were taught is that while they need to learn how to blend in, they will always be better than the human species. They were not supposed to show any real human emotions because it got messy, and would get into the way of Talon’s objectives for them. But as we can see with Ember, she has a lot more human tendencies than she anticipated to have. She wants to enjoy this sliver of freedom that Talon has allowed her to have in Crescent Beach, making human friends and learning how to surf among other things. So everything that she was taught seems to contradict what she’s been experiencing.

Not only do we follow the summer of Ember Hill, but we also hear from one of the soldiers of the Order of St. George, dubbed The Perfect Soldier by his teammates, named Garret Xavier Sebastian. He grew up having his family killed by dragons, and indoctrinated into the mindset that all dragons were monsters that needed to be destroyed no matter what. They even knew that dragons could shift into humans, and that they were good at mimicking human behavior. For some reason, they even knew when a dragon was in the area and would be able to set up house at least a month in advance before they were even placed into human society.  How were they getting their intel on where the dragons would be, and how would they know who the dragon would be?

From the moment that Ember and Garret met, their entire world will change, and everything that they thought they knew will be tested. There’s moments of love and fear, heartache and betrayal, and all the human emotions that both Ember and Garret were forced to hide from themselves and others.  All it really took was for them to bring it out of one another in a way that made them learn more about who they are as people, whether they are a human or a dragon.

I really rooted for Ember and Garret to be free to feel something other than what they were told to feel. I wanted both of them to have that teenage experience of enjoying themselves in the summer, having friends and learning how to love. I wanted them to be teenagers again, something that they haven’t allowed themselves to be. It made me cheer for them when things were going well, and broke my heart when they were having issues being real with themselves. But throughout the entire book, all I could do was enjoy the ride and hope that things would get better all around. The ending absolutely killed me, and I need to get my hands on the entire saga as soon as possible.

Rated: 5/5 

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