Lee and Annie have been friends since they were sent to the same orphanage in the fractured aftermath of a revolution which overthrew the tyrannical ruling Dragonlords. Now, years later, they’re part of the new leader’s plan to train dragonriders based on merit, not class, and they’re two of the best in the program. Annie’s background lends its own challenges—her family was killed by dragonfire before the revolution, and despite the new regime’s rulings, not everyone is happy to have a former serf in the government. But Lee’s past is more dangerous still. He’s never told anyone, but his family members were Dragonlords, murdered in the last days of the revolt. And if anyone learns the truth of his ancestry, he’ll be killed, too.
Then news comes. Lee isn’t the only Dragonlord who survived the rebellion, and the others are ready to retake their old land, Callipolis. As war mounts and Annie and Lee are faced with new challenges, Annie must decide whether she trusts Lee, or believes he is working with the dragonlords. And Lee must choose between the family he was born into and the one he’s made during the new regime.
Fireborne was a book I didn’t know what to expect from, but is an outstanding new favorite. Annie and Lee are both strong and fiercely unique characters with intricately woven personalities and conflicts, and their alternating perspectives make this story much deeper and more interesting. The supporting cast is also full of excellent characters (I especially love Power and Julia!), who all have an interesting multidimensionality. The plot is fast-paced and full of twists; I particularly like how Rosaria Munda takes elements like dragonriding, rebellions, and characters with family working against the protagonist and uses them in a fully new way, twisting clichés into something much more interesting and skillfully overthrowing beliefs and assumptions. Even if this sounds like a story you’ve read before, trust me: it isn’t. This is a book I’m going to reread many times, and I’m looking forward to the release of the sequel, Flamefall. I highly recommend Fireborne to readers ages twelve and up who love fantasy novels with strong characters and multilayered plots.
Note: Check out our interview with Fireborne's author, Rosaria Munda!