Fresh Fridays: Last of the Talons (Talon #1) by Sophie Kim

Fresh Fridays: On Friday, I review a brand new series (ie. only has one book released so far) to see if the series is worth keeping up with. Here is this week’s offering:

Talon Series

Other books planned to be in the series:


Synopsis for Last of the Talons (from Goodreads):

After the destruction of her entire Talon gang, eighteen-year-old Shin Lina—the Reaper of Sunpo—is forced to become a living, breathing weapon for the kingdom’s most-feared crime lord. All that keeps her from turning on her ruthless master is the life of her beloved little sister hanging in the balance. But the order to steal a priceless tapestry from a Dokkaebi temple incites not only the wrath of a legendary immortal, but the beginning of an unwinnable game…

Suddenly Lina finds herself in the dreamlike realm of the Dokkaebi, her fate in the hands of its cruel and captivating emperor. But she can win her life—if she kills him first.

Now a terrible game of life and death has begun, and even Lina’s swift, precise blade is no match for the magnetic Haneul Rui. Lina will have to use every weapon in her arsenal if she wants to outplay this cunning king and save her sister…all before the final grain of sand leaks out of the hourglass.

Because one way or another, she’ll take Rui’s heart.

Even if it means giving up her own.


Author: Sophie Kim
Series: Talon
# of Books: 2 (Full Reading Order Here)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: No
Genre: Young Adult, Mythology, Retellings, Fantasy, Romance, Action
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Date: September 27, 2022
Source & Format: Netgalley–eARC


Disclaimer: I stopped reading Last of the Talons at 51% (start of Chapter 25) and have opted not to pick up the sequels. Find out why below…

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I was so excited to read it when I got my copy! I wanted something a la Iron Widow but maybe not as dark, but certainly just as thrilling. Perhaps something a little more like The Wrath and the Dawn with a slow burn romance.

What I Liked:

–The Basics–

This has the right foundations but it just didn’t spark that excitement to keep reading for me. I really thought the world was cool and easy enough to understand.

What I Didn’t Like:

–Unintriguing Heroine–

Shin is exactly what I imagined her to be: an angsty “me against the world” heroine. However, I didn’t find her to be very exciting to listen to (her inner monologue often felt repetitive) and she didn’t impress me with some of her choices. I wanted her to be sneaking around more, not doing the dishes in the kitchen.

–Underwhelming Romance–

I think the potential romance between her and Rui was the aspect I was looking forward to the most. Which is probably why it was the deciding factor in me DNFing this book. I didn’t see any chemistry or tension between them at all. I felt like it took them a long time to even interact in the first place. Rui would just pop up here and there so he felt rather absent than as an integral factor of this plot.

Will I Finish It?

No. While I can appreciate that this novel took the time to lay down the basics of the world and introduce the various (if almost too many) characters, it wasn’t enough to keep me pushing through to the end.

My Rating: DNF

Last of the Talons DNF | Wrath of the Talon TBP


Overall, this book was just a lot of me waiting for something big to happen next. It’s a slow build and I could see the potential for future novels to be more thrilling once the reader is familiar with the world. But for me, it took too long to get there which was ultimately why I stopped reading.

Read if You Like: slower stories, world-building, mythology
Avoid if You: dislike slow stories, want more romance


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