ARC Review: Fireborne by Rosaria Munda

Title: Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle #1)
Author: Rosaria Munda
Genre: Fantasy
Source: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young via NetGalley
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young
Publication Date: October 15th 2019

Seraphina meets Red Rising in a debut young adult fantasy that's full of rivalry, romance... and dragons. 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.

*Thank you so much G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review Fireborne!*

I wish I could scream from the rooftops about how much I loved this book. But I don't think my neighbors would appreciate that. So, I basically shrieked all over twitter about this book and pushed it at all my blogging friends instead. Munda did not disappoint in her thrilling and action packed emotional thrill ride that incorporates the destruction and formation of new government. Told in the point of view of Lee and Annie, it gives an interesting view of two different sides of this revolution and how it strains their friendship. 

Lee and Annie were only children when a harsh and brutal revolution massacred the drangonborn who were the ruling class, changing the country. Now, people from all metal classes have the ability to test into the class of Dragon Riders. Lee, who is the son of Leon Stormscourge, survived The Palace Day murders of the three ruling families only to become a rising star in the regime. Only, no one knows his real identity. As a child Annie's family was killed by a dragon fire and she was sent to an orphanage where she grew up besides Lee. Now two best friends are pitted against each other for the top position in the dragon riding fleet. But then Lee is contacted by his cousin who survived Palace Day, with a threat of war on the horizon. The families are back and they want what is theirs.  Lines are drawn, sides chosen, and a new firstrider rises.

I loved all the dragons in Fireborne. I find a lot of time that books that have dragons in them, they aren't the main point of attention. But in Fireborne, Munda makes sure that her readers get to know these dragons, their weaknesses and their connections with their riders. Each dragon is described beautifully and characterized into their species of dragon and are beautiful magnificent creatures that play an essential role in the society that The Protector is trying to build. 

I found the characters to be super relateable. A lot of time in fantasy you find that the protagonist acts like they are in their 20s rather than their actual age. Lee and Annie and all of the other riders in Fireborne acted like they were teenagers, they made mistakes, they don't know how to deal with certain things and they learned through trial and error and endless hours of training as well as the ghosts of their past. They were flawed and far from perfect, but Lee and Annie both have their own unique story to tell and that story shapes who they are as characters. 

I wish I could discuss the Revolution with out spoiling it, but quite honestly it's going to be hard and confusing, so I am going to leave the Revolution up to the reader to learn about. But my heart breaks for Lee and Annie and everyone else who was affected by it. It brings into the question of change, if after so many years things can be different and fight of right and wrongs. 

Fireborne is an amazing debut novel and had made my list of top ten books that I have read this year. I am super excited to see what Munda has in store next for these characters because it can only get better from here. (Well, it's already amazing so even more so.) If you love dragons, politics, battles, war and angst filled romance then make sure that you add Fireborne to your TBR immediately! 

*Make sure to check back tomorrow for an exclusive interview with Rosaria Munda!*

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