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Dragons Among Us | Book Review: Talon by Julie Kagawa

Talon is a book about dragons and humans and love triangles!

Book Review: Talon by Julie Kagawa

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talon julie kagawa book review

Title & Author: Talon (The Talon Saga) by Julie Kagawa

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy – Dragons

Release Date: October 28, 2014

Series:Talon #1

Publisher: HarplequinTEEN

How I Got the Book: ARC via the publisher


“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. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon’s newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember’s bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.”

Thar Be Dragons

There are a few types of stories that I’m a total sucker for, and one of those is definitely books about dragons. Cuz, hello DRAGONS. They can talk or mind read or hoard treasure or wreck villages or scream “TROGDOR” (what up, Homestar Runner fans?), I don’t care. I love them all.

So, when I received a copy of Talon at BEA earlier this year, I knew I had to read it.

The set up: As a way to infiltrate and dominate humans, dragons have discovered a way to blend in…become humans themselves. Finally ready to train and take their place among the species they’re trying to dominate, twins Ember and Dante are staking out the beach and are assimilating through hang outs at the beach, surfing and making new friends.

Back in 2011, I read the Firelight series by Sophie Jordan. Basically, those books and Talon have A LOT in common. Dragons become human and try to join humankind.

There are a bunch of differences, of course, and I think Talon does this type of story a lot more justice. But, I couldn’t help comparing the two stories and wishing Talon had a more original premise.

Other than that, there is a totally unnecessary love triangle introduced in the story. I was kind of irritated because there was no reason, other than to set things up for the sequel. And beeteedubs, there are 5 books total planned for this series. Hello, commitment issues.

I can get over the unoriginal premise and ignore the romance complications, but my biggest trouble with Talon is that the whole story works up to this one moment of tension. And when that tension finally comes to a head, it’s unsatisfying because you saw it coming for 200 pages. It was a letdown, for sure.

Things I did like about the book – I liked Ember has a main character. She’s vibrant and sassy, although she should have gotten busted with her late night shenanigans a million times over. I also really liked Garrett and his POV (they switch between Ember and him). He’s just precious, and I found myself rooting for him more than anyone else.

I wish I could say I really enjoyed this book. By the end, I was skimming pages and jumping around, looking for something to pique my interest. Sadly, that did not happen.


Unless you really love Julie Kagawa and her Iron Fey series or you MUST gobble up every dragon book like me, I’d say skip this one. It’s an average story that lacks elements that make it shine. I recommend Seraphina or The Sweetest Dark. I really wanted to like Talon more than I did, but it just fell flat.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • Lisa Schensted

    So if I DO love the Iron fey Series and DRAGONS, I should enjoy this… Yes?! Pleeeasssee say yes!!!

  • Anya E. J.

    1. Yey for someone else who appreciates the awesomeness of The Sweetest Dark, I loved that one!

    2. Good to know. I was really not a fan of the two Kagawa books I read in the new Fey series and had hopes that a dragon book would go better, but perhaps not, we shall see!

  • Kayla @ The Thousand Lives

    I’m really glad you reviewed this book Lisa; I had planned on skipping it after reading another review, but now I’m sure I’ll pass it up! Which is such a shame, because I do love that cover. But I’ll check out Seraphina if I really want some dragons 😀