Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:
Talon by Julie Kagawa | Talon Series
Synopsis for Talon (from Goodreads):
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.
SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite Author
Series: Talon Series
Author: Julie Kagawa
# of Books: 5 (Full Reading Order Here)
Book Order: Chronological
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Shapeshifters, Dragons, Romance, Action
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: First Person, Multiple
Publication Dates: October 2014 – April 2018
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook; Audiobook (#5)
**This post was originally posted as a Fresh Friday review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**
My Expectations / Why I Picked It Up:
I’m basically at that point where Julie Kagawa publishes a book, I’ll be reading it. The Iron Fey Series is one of my all time favourite series and while I didn’t love the Blood of Eden Trilogy, I didn’t dislike it enough to give up on her writing yet. Also, the fact that this series is about dragons? Um yes please!
My Thoughts on Talon (Book #1):
This series is basically the love child of the Firelight Trilogy by Sophie Jordan and the Angel Trilogy by L.A. Weatherly. Honestly, that is the best way to describe it. But if you haven’t read those two series, here’s the breakdown: take the dragons and their hierarchy from Firelight minus the unbearable heroine; and add the slower pace plot-line and an assassin who questions his ability to kill his target from Angel Burn and you have this series. I like to think it is the best parts of both those series wrapped up into one.
I didn’t fall in love with Talon immediately. It starts off slow–like the first 75% of the book is just building up to the last 25% of the book. And the last 25% of the book is great–it really had me on edge and I was excited to see where it would go! But that first 75% is nothing remarkable–it’s actually almost a bit of a cliché for those who have read numerous shapeshifting Young Adult novels. I can’t help but to compare it to the Iron King where I felt like we dove head first into the action and I feel like Kagawa’s subsequent novels fail to have this faster start. Yet I still found myself drawn into the story.
I think it helps that you get multiple perspectives throughout the book. It helps you see the larger picture and keeps the slower pace moving. Another thing I liked was Ember. I was surprised that I didn’t mind her character because at first glance she is everything I dislike: an angsty, rebel teenager torn between two guys. However, she never got on my nerves. Maybe it’s because I had other POVs so I didn’t get overwhelmed by her or maybe it’s simply Kagawa creating a tolerable heroine or maybe it’s a bit of both.
When I started Talon, I thought it was going to be a trilogy (because most things are nowadays) but the fact that it is 5 books long gives me mixed feelings. For one it makes me happy as it explains why this book started off so slow–because it has to set the tone for the rest of the series. But it also makes me hesitant because I really don’t know what to expect out of the next four books and I don’t want to be stuck committed to a series that could possibly be dragged out. Regardless, at this moment I am going to have faith in Ms. Kagawa and eagerly await the next novel in this series, Rogue.
–May 22, 2015– Book #2: Rogue
I was really excited to read Rogue. When I saw that my library had added it, I immediately grabbed it despite the bazillion other books I had out. I’m glad I did (though I’m going to have to wait forever for the next book!)! Rogue was more of what I thought Talon was going to be. It was faster paced and kept me on the edge of my seat. I moved through it much quicker than I expected–which was great! Rogue had a great blend of character development, plot development, action and romance.
As for the love triangle, it didn’t get on my nerves. It’s really underplayed in this novel (as in it isn’t the entire focus). While I definitely have a “team” that I am cheering for, I truly have no idea how it is going to develop. It’s just one of the many plot developments I’m looking forward to in the third book, Solider.
–September 20, 2016– Book #3: Solider
Unlike the inaugural novel, this one moved at a terrific pace. Even while the story was building to its HUGE (and I mean HUGE) climax, the action was still there pushing you forward. Meaning it didn’t feel like just a bridging novel–like most book 3s do in a 5 book series–it actually had its own plot while building the rest of the series. It did lag a bit for me near the end but it still held my attention…hard not to after that cliffhanger!
Everything had a great flow to. The romance was just right; the action was consistent; and the characters became more dimensional to me. Easily my favourite of the series so far.
–October 9, 2017– Book #4: Legion
I’ll admit that I was a little disappointed in this one. I found it to be a very slow start–more talking than action–but I had high expectations. I think if the cliffhanger had turned out a different way, I would have felt differently.
The last third of the novel really picked up and kept my full attention. I’m excited to see how this wraps up!
–March 22, 2020– Book #5: Inferno
I took a chance on the audiobook for this final book since it had been so long since I read the previous novels–and it was a great production. I highly recommend you listen to them if that’s your thing!
Overall, a solid finale. It was gradually building and moving to the climax so it always had my full attention. It was great to get so many different POV to really give you the all round perspective of what was happening and why. I also liked how extended the epilogue felt and how it wrapped everything up.
Series Rating: 4/5
Talon 3.5/5 | Rogue 4/5 | Solider 4/5 | Legion 3/5 | Inferno 4/5
Readings about dragons is a nice change from vampires and werewolves. While it starts slow, the series is heading into the right direction (from what I can see) and promises faster paced times ahead. A great pick for Kagawa fans or for those who enjoy shapeshifter series.
Read if You Like: stories about dragons, forbidden romance, rebellious characters
Avoid if You: don’t like slower starting series, reading mulitple POVs