Featured Review: "Talon" by Julie Kagawa »

December 20, 2014

"Talon" by Julie Kagawa

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17331828-talon?ac=1[Click the cover for Goodreads]

Title: Talon (Talon #1)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publication: 2014, Harlequin Teen
Summary: Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they're positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.  

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught....read more

Review: "Talon" is an imaginative and passionate dive into a quasi-realistic fantasy world that has humans and dragons in heated conflict. The dragons' population is controlled under the regime and protection of an organization named Talon. Facing the dragons across from the battle field is St. George, a human organization that is dedicated to hunting down and killing the dragons. After her iconic The Iron Fey and the more recent Blood of Eden series, Julie Kagawa is back with full steam ahead in the first installment for her latest fantasy series. 

The thing with the changing point-of-view approach in writing a book is to find a good consistency in spacing so that the reader will not be confused or frustrated with following the characters through the plot line. I personally wince a bit every time I find out that a book I'm reading is employing this technique. Thankfully, Julie Kagawa manages to pull off the switching POV very well. The book flows seamlessly, with small and nicely executed overlaps in between the POV switches that makes sure the reader won't get lost in the action. Kagawa's characters are also very distinct from each other, therefore making it easy and comfortable to adjust to each character's first-person narration. 

Julie Kagawa's female protagonists are always top tier. Strong, opinionated, and courageous, it is obvious that Ember is cut from the same cloth as Meghan and Allison, but at the same time, she is still unique and impressionable, even when compared to Kagawa's other "daughters". Ember is very likable and it is easy to empathize with her. As the main protagonist, she is fantastic and I have confidence that Kagawa will be able to create a very memorable and brilliant future for her in the following books. The rest of the cast in "Talon" is just as well created and characterized. There are strong and resolved characters, evil characters, charming characters, but there was never a moment where I felt annoyed with a character. This made my experience of reading "Talon" completely enjoyable and positive, albeit never boring. 

"Talon" was a joyride that spanned a generous story line, but still made me feel like I wanted so much more. This book is packed with exciting action, beautiful and touching moments, and magnetic characters and interpersonal chemistry. The plot line started out simple, but it escalated in complexity bit by bit until it became a sophisticated tangle of characters, events, and emotions that made me equally excited and anxious about what's going to happen next. Regarding those emotions, they were built up over time so exquisitely and naturally, with not a hint of abruptness. The pacing was steady and controlled, with oscillating intensity that made this book a consistently entertaining and addicting read from front cover to back. 

I am completely captivated by the characters in "Talon", and am really looking forward to the next book in the series!

Rating: ✰✰✰✰ 4.5 Dragon Scales

Final Notes: I remember reading some earlier reviews for "Talon" and some bloggers seemed disappointed, so I went into it without much expectation. Boy, did I love it though! This is honestly the best cup-of-tea for me out of all of Julie's books (aside from The Iron Knight of course), and I enjoyed "Talon" more than "The Immortal Rules", which I know may seem like a total surprise for some people. Also, it was entertaining that my university has three campuses and one of them is known as the St. George campus, haha! ...Does that make me a dragon slaying St. George soldier...? Yikes!

Thanks for reading! Vivian 


  1. ANOTHER REVIEW FROM YOU. YEAY *tackle hugs Viv*

    Kagawa has a great way of writing strong, but different protagonists. Her whole cast is always a nice bland of personalities and it's good to hear that's also the case in Talon. Action-packed, yes! A bit like The immortal rules?

    1. Mel!! I've missed you! Yup, I say it's definitely more The Immortal Rules than The Iron Fey. I forgot to write it in the review, but there's this kind of maturity to it that I think she's developed over the years of writing YA, and it's really nice :)

  2. *tackle hugs* It's been SO long!

    Great review! I didn't actually like The Iron King when I read it but I LOVED The Immortal Rules. I think it's so cool how Kagawa can pull off writing new series with different paranormal creatures! I don't know if I'll ever pick up this one because I'm not the biggest fan of dragon books but... we'll see, I suppose! ;P

    1. Gah, I'm sorry for being away for so long! I have been tackle-hugged to death by the two of you, haha! Yeah, I definitely agree.. I think even if you're not too into dragons, there's still other really promising goodies in this book for you, so hope you'll give it a shot and like it too :)


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