"Reading a book shouldn't feel like work..."

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"I haul Aela to a halt midair so hard that I rock forward in the saddle and she hawks against the bit."

First of all, Fireborne was nothing like Game of Thrones. It's a terrible comparison. Yes, they both have dragons, but that's where the similarities stop. Second, there's some rivalry, but it's definitely not full of romance and dragons. The cover and synopsis are very misleading, which I think does this book a disservice.

I went into this one thinking it was going to be a book about dragons. Were dragons present? Yes. Were they an important aspect of the story? Not really. I like my dragons fierce and capable, or sentient and conversational. The dragons in Fireborne were neither. They were essentially glorified horses with wings, and I really struggled with how they were portrayed. They were more like pets than companions.

Basically, a dragon selects a human when they're young, and then the two form an unbreakable bond. Their owners are given whistles that summon their dragons to them (the whistles create a sound only the dragons can hear, and each dragon responds to a different whistle). How did the humans create these whistles, since they can't hear the frequencies? They also saddle the dragons and place bits in their mouths, which isn't a very dignified existence for the dragons. Some of the riders would spillover while flying with their dragons (meaning their minds and emotions were linked), and that's the closest thing to a conversation anyone had with a dragon. It was super frustrating to see the dragons being used this way, and how they were held responsible for their owner's actions. It would be like punishing a dog for attacking someone when they were trained to obey a specific command.

As for the romance... it was seriously nonexistent. Lee gets handsy with someone as a distraction, but it's obvious he only cares about one person. Their histories make their friendship complicated, and Annie can't get over the face from her past. Her reservations made sense at first, but once we learn about everything Lee did for her, I no longer understood her hesitation. Her actions actually started to irritate me, and I never really liked her as a character. She wants to overcome the obstacles of her past, but she's unwilling to commit to her present. When she finally takes some initiative, it makes her sick (as it should), but neither she nor Lee challenge the decisions of others (even though they don't agree with what they're being asked to do).

Lee is understandably conflicted, and he's torn between what he knows and what he knows to be right. However, the people he's currently fighting for don't always make the best decisions, so it's hard to really choose a side. It seems like death is inevitable, and I disagree with the concept. The author said this book was loosely based on Plato's The Republic and Virgil's Aeneid, but that didn't make the story more enjoyable. Honestly, I thought the book was way too long, and wish it had been condensed for a quicker pace.

I almost gave up on this book, but instead took about two months to read it. I never wanted to pick it up, because I knew it was going to be a long and arduous process. Reading a book shouldn't feel like work, and that's exactly what Fireborne felt like to me. It didn't help that the dragon's played a minor role, and the characters were unbelievably frustrating.