Romeo & Juliet + Dragons in Talon

Talon by Julie Kagawa




Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy (dragons)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Published: January 2015
Publisher: MIRA Ink
Pages: 445 {paperback}

Original review on Goodreads

**to view any spoilers, click on the provided link and you will be redirected to my review on Goodreads where the spoiler will be ‘hidden’ at the same point in the review**

Initial Thoughts Upon Finishing

Ahh this was so awesome and what a cliff hanger. This is basically everything I could ask for in a dragon book and I looved the characters. I can’t wait to pick up the next book and find out what happens next!!

Talon by Julie Kagawa

This book was so incredibly awesome because of exactly one thing: dragons. There is nothing more magnificent than dragons in a book. Fire breathing, fantastically scaly, dragons. Nothing.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I’m so glad that I did because I’m a massive fan of Kagawa’s The Iron Fey series (of which I’m having massive withdrawal symptoms. Eurgh. I need a reread!) and I’m dancing around gleefully because we have a WHOLE brand spanking new series from her! Well, new for me. I’m a bit late to the party. But shush, hand me some confetti and let me celebrate.

I definitely think the strongest part of this book was the characters – in particular the relationship between the characters – rather than the plot. Not that that was bad or anything, but Ember is a pretty awesome character and just the right amount of grumpy to carry the series. The plot itself doesn’t do a whole lot in this book but you can call me Fred if it doesn’t take off like a frog in a sock in the next book. I can’t wait to see where things are headed because I can only see things getting more epic!

What Happens

Talon is the story of Ember and her twin brother, Dante. They’re young dragons who have finally finished their education at the Talon headquarters and are to begin their first phase of training in the human world. Talon is this all powerful dragon incorporation that raises its dragons and allocates them to departments where they’re most suited (whether they like it or not) – for the survival and protection of all dragons, of course. Permission to raise eyebrows? Permission granted. Of course, not all dragons accept this lying down and flee the company. This means there are ‘Rogue’ dragons who have broken away and have to live constantly on the run, as Talon is hunting them down to ‘re-educate’ them (psssht).

The story occurs over summer in the last period of ‘freedom’ that the twins will get. It’s set in a small, Californian beach town that’s very laid back and easy going. Ember must remain in her human form throughout her stay which drives her absolutely nuts. She finds the whole situation somewhat difficult and is quite different to her brother as time progresses. Once her freedom is impinged upon when Talon decides to start training them immediately, and Ember is put with a stern and cranky teacher, she becomes even more frustrated and just wants to fly. And, I mean, I don’t blame her. If *I* was a dragon all I’d be doing is flying around. And breathing fire everything (but safely) because DRAAGGGOONNS.

But, of course, nothing is simple for them, especially with the arrival of Garrett and his mate Tristan. Garrett is a member of St George’s – a military group who dedicate their lives to slaying dragons. A good way to look at things is that these two groups are clearly holding opposite but extreme/fanatic ideals for the excuse of hurling rocks at each other.

Garrett’s on a mission to discover who’s the hidden dragon in this town, the ‘sleeper’. Somehow, St George’s have managed to work out that there is a sleeper there, but they don’t know who. And the rarity of dragons being twins totally throws Garrett off Ember and Dante’s trail. So basically you’re in for a most excellent (and bumpy) ride.


I quite liked Ember as a character, but she’s not my favourite. My problem with Ember was simply that I couldn’t relate to her. I know you’re thinking, but Kirstie you just said the best bit of the book was the characters – but hear me out, okay? I’m super not a beachy person and I’ve never spent a summer just hanging out with friends doing nothing but surfing and drinking smoothies. Nope. I like to go outside, yes, but I also quite like reading books, watching Doctor Who and baking cupcakes. Which all seems far more safe and reasonably than surfing, *shudders*. Living in Australia means beaches = sunburn + possibly getting eaten by a shark. *runs back inside*. So I struggled to understand her character on that level and was probably one of the main reason that the book didn’t hit a 5/5 star rating for me.

What I loved about Ember was how grumpy she was. Because human + dragon does not equal a giggly teenager ready to throw herself into love. No. It makes for a stubborn and single-minded person who’s a fire breathing bitch queen (to use Sarah J. Maas’s words). So there’s a lot of stomping, huffing, and reckless decisions. And the divide between her and Dante becomes quite noticeable. Ember is a bit of a curveball as she wrangles with emotions she shouldn’t be having whilst trying to work out whether or not she trusts Talon – or should she perhaps listen a bit more to this mysterious Rogue dragon that come into her life.


The dragons in this book were the icing on the cake. They were wonderfully horrific and have their own snarly language (which I LOVED). I’d love to see a full on visual representation of them because I think that it would be pretty spectacular to behold. I did struggle in places to imagine exactly what was the scale of dragons being described here, but I also really loved how individual each dragon was in its identity.

Overall, I just loved the dragons and their intriguing little war. I’m really keen to explore more of their world which I’m hoping will happen in one of the subsequent books!

A Discussion of Spoilers



I really enjoyed this series but I think the really good stuff is yet to come. It’s a very fun and quick read (and obviously a must-read for dragon lovers). I would recommend this to people who enjoyed her previous series because Kagawa has so many cool ideas – and it being her, I’m expecting to buckle in for a rollercoaster of a ride. I’m just so excited to have new content from Kagawa and I can’t wait to continue the series!


View all my reviews

 You might also like . . .

If you love dragons, Seraphina is for you.

If you love the combination of fantasy and Julie Kagawa, The Iron King is for you.

If you like books with grumpy/stubborn protagonists, The Wrath and the Dawn is for you.

 Have you read Talon? What did you think?

Let me know in the comments below!

End Note

~~ Kirstie ~~

8 thoughts on “Romeo & Juliet + Dragons in Talon

  1. I must admit, I’ve never read a “dragon book” aside from The Hobbit and Harry Potter. I love that you love dragons! I just love your reviews. They are always so well put together and entertaining. Kuddos to you my friend!
    I laughed at the fact you are not a beach person but live in Australia… Isn’t it the surfing capital of the world? I don’t blame you though… I’m terrified of water… Ironically I’m an excellent swimmer lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. NO WAY. YOU’RE MISSING OUT. *throws all the dragon books at you* I implore you to read this and then Seraphina and then I’ll prod you to make sure you’re still with us and then hand you the entire Tiger’s Curse saga because they are DRAGONS in the third book *fans self* and then I’ll finish you off with The Inheritance Cycle (Eragon, etc).

      Aw and thank you 😊 Ironic indeed. I try, I do. But those waves and slippery slimy things swimming in the water are honest to goodness terrifying. Give me a mountain or a forest any day, sheesh. Even more iron, I live on the west coast and we (apparently) have some of the best beaches in the world. Clearly I’m crazy (although they are lovely to stroll along).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I believe my brother was really into The Inheritance Cycle… Maybe I can bribe him to let me borrow his copies… I may be way wrong here but aren’t there dragons in The Game Of Thrones?! I think you had suggested it to me, so I bought the first book…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. This is true! Not muuuuuch in the first one but I’m going to start the second one soon so hopefully there are a bundle. ROAR. There better be. Or imma have words with Mr Martin.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. AHHH I’M SO GLAD YOU ARE A FAN TOO. *hi fives* I love dragons. I mean, that is obviously a huge secret and nooooo one could guess that of me. Of course. BUT YESSS I LOVE THEM SO MUCH AND THIS BOOK WAS SO FABULOUS. I didn’t particularly relate, per se, to anyone either? But I still adored Ember’s personality (she was so FUNNY too!!) and I loved the forbidden romance aspect and the sibling thing and afdjsaklfd I REALLY ENJOYED IT. And Rogue was EPIC and now I’m pining away waiting for Solider…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh dragons are just the best!!! Yess I can’t wait to continue it 😁😁😁 thankfully I won’t have gone through as painful a wait as everyone else for the last book!


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