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Fireborne by Rosaria Munda
Young adult

Fireborne

Debut

We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Rosaria Munda, on your first book!

by Rosaria Munda

Excellent choice

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Quick take

A Sofia Vassilieva recommendation for the Game of Thrones and Harry Potter fans who can't get enough adrenaline.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Emotional

    Emotional

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_400

    400+ pages

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Action

    Action-packed

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Magical

    Magical

Synopsis

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.

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Free sample

Check out a preview of Fireborne.
Fireborne

Prologue

Later, he would be known as the First Protector, and under his vision the city would transform. Serfs would be freed, schools would be built, and dragons would, for the first time, be ridden by commoners.

Before that, he was the leader of the bloodiest revolution his people had ever seen.

He never doubted that he would create a just city. Nor did he doubt that the families of the old regime deserved to die. But he did, sometimes, regret the way it happened, the day the palace was finally overrun.

He remembered in particular one of the ruling families, their tormentors still at work when he found them. The dragonlord had been kept alive, to watch; his youngest son was the only child left. A boy of about seven or eight, his expression blank beneath a mask of blood. The remains of their family lay around them.

“Stop this foolishness at once,” the First Protector said, when he and his guard found them.

The revolutionaries let go of the boy, whom they had been hurting, and began to protest: This man is Leon Stormscourge, don’t you know what he’s done—but they fell silent when the dragonlord spoke from his knees on the bloodstained carpet.

“My son,” he said, in the language he and the First Protector shared. “Please, Atreus.”

The First Protector took a half glance at the child. He said, “Leo will be looked after.”

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Why I love it

Confession: I am an overly empathic reader who loudly vocalizes—without regard for appropriateness—what I feel while reading. By that same token, the time I spend with a book is precious. When I first began Fireborne, I was immediately captivated by a world of dragons—but I also hoped I might find something more, something closer to the world we live in and the questions you and I face in our own dragon-less lives. Spoiler alert: I did.

Fireborne tells the story of Lee and Annie, two dragon-riding orphans on a quest to become “Firstrider,” commander of their fleet. The book follows their friendship, a love story of sorts, as it clashes up against their need to survive post-revolutionary Callipolis. As I followed their story, I found myself embroiled in a fiery stream of questions: What is an ideal society? How much can we alter the course of our lives? And can the friends we find ever really matter more than the family to which we were born?

Fireborne reads so quickly that I devoured its 432 pages in two sittings. The novel is filled with characters that are complex, well-rounded, and far beyond simply “good” or “bad.” At times they made me angry—at other times, proud. I caught myself laughing, cheering, and feeling heartbroken by the contradictory paths of these friends—and how they nonetheless led them to the same place and the same battle. To me, a work of art challenges our thoughts without telling us how to think, but by enticing us to search deeper and wider. And that’s exactly what Fireborne did. P.S. My dad is now reading this book!

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Member ratings (512)

  • Ella N.

    Spearfish, SD

    While the book is a little slow at the beginning, once it picked up the pace, I was hooked. The characters and dragons are amazing, and the worldbuilding was phenomenal. I didn't want to stop reading!

  • Jennifer J.

    Alexandria, VA

    I wasn’t sure what to expect when opening Fireborne, but I loved it. I think dragons are super interesting and this book walked so fourth wing could run. It’s fast paced with endearing characters.

  • Michelle r.

    Ararat, VA

    So emotional. I love the story of two orphans on opposing sides of a war growing up together as best friends. They have a bond stronger than anything. And their connection to their dragons is amazing.

  • Anna N.

    Clovis, CA

    I loved this book! It had a stunning plot with horrible backstories (that were totally fascinating/ depressing), and marvelous side characters that wonderfully supported Lee and Annie. Oh, & dragons!

  • Laurie S.

    Arnold, MD

    I loved this book that raises questions about what it means to be worthy. In the beginning, I felt like I started the story in the middle. I wanted more with Lee and Annie as children and dragons.

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