Series: The Aurelian Cycle #1

Genre: Fantasy

Age: YA



Thank you to PRH for a copy of this book! 

I wrote my original review back in 2020 when I first read this book, and I do feel like most of what I said at the time is still relevant, but, it was three years ago so I’m rewriting the review to what I feel now. There are a lot of excellent quotes in this book, and I feel like this is one of those overlooked dragon books that is VERY solid. It is a darker, grittier YA book, and it has lots of politics and schemes. This one is lighter on the romance than others. 

Today it begins. Today we’ll rise.

Mundo’s writing is excellent, we switch between two main POVs: Lee and Annie. Both have distinctive personalities, and I enjoyed reading the book because they are two ends of the spectrum. One thing this book did really well was show how nuanced war is, and what is right vs wrong is not always easy to decipher. But also we have our own biases. Anyways, I thought all of that was well done. 

When he did this, it kept the real world, and the other memories, out. Nothing hurt so much as being forced back to the present.

This is the section I have the most to talk about. This book covers a lot of points, and sometimes it might feel overwhelming, but I promise, if you push through it will be so worth it in the end. The plot was done so well, and I was engrossed in what was going to happen from the very beginning. There is little about the plot that I hate. It was complicated, and there were twists and turns that weren’t expected. It made me think, really think as what we thought we knew was turned on its head. This plot was driven by the characters as well, and their actions or inactions as the case may be. 

Moments like this, it hits me like it did the first time: that the life I have begun to think of as routine is, in fact, extraordinary.

Lee and Annie are complicated. Their relationship is also delightfully complicated, and I can’t think of any other way to describe it. The characters are not black and white morally. This book very much focuses on the actions of people and the consequences thereof. There is political intrigue, and it is done well as the characters maneuver about.

I can make history one step at a time.

Also, dragons feature heavily in this! They’re not just chess pieces! 

It’s strange how you can fight your way to a door, even through it, without thinking about what lies on the other side.

I am very excited for the next book in this series! I want, no need, to know what happens next! 

“I think there’s more to this than questions of vengeance and birthright.”

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