In her debut novel Rosaria Munda takes readers to a world where whomever controls the dragons controls the world:
Lee and Annie, from different castes in life, are both orphaned during a brutal revolution that changed their world but now anyone has the ability to be a dragon rider, not just the Dragon Born. Present day and they are both rising stars of the new dragon rider teams that have been formed, the only problem is that none of the Dragons have the ability to breathe fire yet. Lee is also hiding a secret, he was supposed to be killed the day the revolutionaries came to his home but he was spared, Lee is Dragon Born. This secret needs to be kept if he values his life, especially when rumours start that there are other Dragon Born still alive and looking to retake the throne. Lee must choose the family he lost or the regime he now believes in and Annie has to decide whether she should protect the boy she loves or become the savior her country needs.
What I appreciated in this book was that you could not tell that this book was Munda's debut novel. It was written and laid out like a seasoned author and I personally was shocked to find that it was her debut. Munda has some fairly complex characters and relationships within the novel, and while the plot in itself is fairly straight forward I found myself not wanting to put the book down. I found this book was much more about character development, internal struggle and political moves that there were times that it was a bit slow, but I was okay with Munda wanting to get all of this right and laid out. If you are looking for a book that is full of fighting dragon scenes you will be disappointed within this book. I do wish that there was more of an explanation about how the dragon riders are chosen by the dragons and what goes in to forming their bond. There is a bit of this in a flashback but nothing really descriptive about the process, so I hope to learn more about the dragon and dragon rider bond in future books.
There are two main narrators for this book Lee and Annie, who due to the revolution they find themselves to be orphans and at the same orphanage. There were many times within their youth that Lee protected Annie and she is eternally grateful and loyal to him for it. I like that Munda took the time to establish backstory for both Lee and Annie as well as the revolution that put them in the positions they are. Additionally, by having the two different points of view we get different perspectives on the current regime as well as their interactions with those who survived from before. Lee and Annie are also two very different characters and personalities so seeing how they interacted in the same scene or scenario was also very interesting. With that said Munda does not rehash each event that occurs from each characters point of view there is a bit of overlap to show a different preservative but then the story move along to that character's next action.
I guess my one main complaint about the book is that there is a somewhat typical love triangle or maybe triangle with another person offshoot? I don't really think that it added anything to the story by having it there and certain feelings could have been there without the addition of the third person, so I kind of feel like it was just thrown in there as hey that's what you have in YA novels these days. Maybe it will play out or be more important in the future but right now I do not think that is was needed
I really enjoyed Munda's debut novel and like the world and characters that she has set up, plus the political aspects really ramp up as you near the end of the book so I am very excited to read the next book in this series. Once again, really well done Debut novel.