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Talon (The Talon Saga) Paperback – April 26, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—In this fantasy set in present-day California, Ember and her twin, Dante, are sent to live with guardians in a beach town for the summer. It's supposed to be their last period of free time before they start training for their life's work. Ember and Dante are dragons, and Talon is the government agency that assigns their work, educates them, and makes sure they blend in well with their surroundings and fellow humans. Talon has an ancient enemy in St. George, a militia whose sole purpose is to seek and destroy all dragons. When Garrett, one of St. George's most promising soldiers, is sent to find a sleeper dragon in the same small beach town, he and Ember cross paths. With a rogue dragon as a catalyst, the two must sort through the truths they thought they knew about each other's sides—their lives depend on it. Ember is a strong-willed heroine who isn't afraid to take risks and questions the motives of those who run Talon. Her twin brother is much the opposite. The story is told in two parts, the first offering alternating perspectives from Garrett and Ember. The second includes the rogue dragon, which feels unnecessary and distracting. This modern-day fantasy with a splash of romance is an entertaining read. Kagawa weaves an evenly paced narrative with a strong theme of loyalty. Readers who have outgrown Christopher Paolini's Eragon (Knopf, 2003) and those who appreciate a good old-fashioned love triangle will enjoy this first installment of the saga.—Stephanie DeVincentis, Downers Grove North High School, IL --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
''The militarized conflict between Talon and St. George provides plenty of excitement, but this is mostly a classic star-crossed romance between two (potentially three) people questioning long-held beliefs. And Kagawa knows just how to end a first volume for maximum cliff-hanger drama.'' --Booklist
''The insight into their respective experiences is welcome, and Ember's and Garret's outsider perspectives on teen social rituals are reliably amusing.'' --Kirkus Reviews --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Top customer reviews
I read the first chapter a while ago, and have been on pins and needles to get this one ever since. I’ve loved everything I’ve read of Kagawa’s so far (The Iron Fey and Blood of Eden series) so a series about dragons from an author I love is hard to pass up. Did I mention DRAGONS?
Nothing but Sunshine
I haven’t read a book about dragons that can appear as humans yet, so this one was unique for me in that aspect. I’ve enjoyed the fantasy books that have to do with dragons and how they think so I’ve been looking forward to seeing this take on these huge mystical beasts. Ember and Dante are twins which never happens for the dragons. They are teenagers who are now being thrust on the human world from a life of isolation and training. Watching them adapt to their new environment (a beautiful beach setting) mingling with normal teenage humans was a fun experience.
The characters are well developed and easy to love. Ember is head-strong yet flexible. She forms her own opinions and then does what she thinks is right. Dante is the by-the-book, straight-laced one and actually quite boring, but truth be told, he’s not in the story a lot. The POVs are between Ember, Garrett, and Riley. Garrett is a disciplined soldier through-and-through and is forced to experience life as a normal boy through going undercover. Riley is the bad boy you can never tame with a soft side.
One of my favorite things to read is when enemies come together to fight a new enemy. I love seeing that adaptability that even though you are in a particular ‘group’, the individuals and the bonds formed matter more.
Flames Die Eventually
Oh the inevitable love triangle. It definitely makes an appearance. I also found some of the actions in Talon predictable.
Fire in the Heart, or Fire in the Soul
Ember has never had any sort of romance in her life since she mainly spent time with her brother and trainers growing up. She is now faced with two options who on the surface seem like they couldn’t be more different but deep down they both have the same drive to protect what they think is right. Both enemies to Ember, but both friends. One she is drawn to through her dragon side, and one through her human side. It seems apparent how this one will pan out in the end.
A Fiery Start, an Inferno in the Making
This is an excellent start to what is a must-read series for me. Talon kept my interest from beginning to end and I read it very quickly. The characters are easy to love, there’s plenty of action, and the setting is fun. The world and the groups of Talon and the Order of St. George are explained well. It all concludes in a way that I absolutely have to know what happens next. Very recommended.
Originally given 4.5 stars
Ember and her brother Dante are sent to Crescent Beach to learn and blend in with humans as part of their dragon training before entering Talon, the dragon organization. Ember is a rebel and is excited about having her last bit of freedom before they take their place in Talon. At first, it was great she has developed a love of surfing, made some friends, and has grown to care for Garret, a human with secrets of his own. Then Riley, a rogue, appears and changes things as he offers her freedom from Talon and helps her uncover the hidden truths that Talon has been keeping from her.
Garret is a soldier of St. George, a group that hunts and kills dragons and Garret believes that dragons are evil. When he was given a mission to uncover a new dragon, he was willing. However, he never expected to meet Ember who shows him how to live. Eventually he starts to realize and is surprised by how much he cares for Ember. Meeting her, Garret starts to question everything he was taught and believes in, leaving him torn.
Both Ember and Garret risk everything by the decisions they face for one reason or another. Ember wants to be free and not have to live by Talon rules for the rest of her life and once she learns the truth, risks more than just her freedom. Garret is a believer in his mission, only to have to question everything after he learns the truth that goes against what he was taught to believe in. I love the romance between Ember and Garret as they were surprised by their emotions for the other.
Overall, it was breathtaking and beyond amazing. Julie Kagawa is amazing. I loved everything about this book, the characters, the plot and the romance. The change of point of views between three characters is cool. The last few chapters had my heart pounding with mixed emotions. I am filled with excitement as I cannot wait to start reading the next book.