Welcome to BrizzleLass Books for today’s stop on the Soldier Blog Tour. My review of this book is below along with a guest post from the author Julie Kagawa where she talks about the five best things about being an author!
Soldier is the third installment in the Talon saga and I recommend it for all fans of urban fantasy and/or dragons. There is also a chance for UK readers to win a copy at the end of this post!
When forced to choose between safety with the dragon organisation, Talon, and being hunted forever as an outcast, Ember Hill chooses to stand with Riley and his band of rogue dragons rather than become an assassin for Talon. She’s lost contact with her twin brother, Dante, a Talon devotee, as well as Garret, the former-enemy soldier who challenged her beliefs about her human side and who she now shares a deep bond with. Ember is also struggling with the powerful and stirring nature of her inner dragon. Combined with the recent deaths and the deceit and guilt that have been tormenting her since joining Riley, she is worryingly withdrawing into herself, while a fiery anger rages inside of her. Riley understandably is concerned that Ember is struggling to cope with the recent chaotic events and what is ahead for the rogue gang – never a good sign for a young dragon being pushed further to the edge…
While Ember battles with her emotions and her inner dragon, Garret journeys alone to the United Kingdom, birthplace of the ancient and secret Order of St. George. Here he heads straight to the home of the Patriarch, the head of the Order of St George, to spy on his former brothers where he uncovers deadly and shocking secrets that will shake the foundations of dragons and dragon-slayers alike. The rogue dragons will need Garret’s skills and insider knowledge of the Order to negotiate an impossible deal – and if they fail, there will be no way to stop all-out war.
Soldier is a heart-pounding modern adventure, set on both sides of the Atlantic, full of secret societies, forbidden love and dragons!
Five Best Things About Being An Author By Julie Kagawa:
- Going to work in your PJs. Yes, it’s a stereotype, but I’ve been guilty a few times. Not that I do it often, but when your office is ten feet from your bedroom door, well, you get the idea. Also, not having to clock in or be at work “on time” is nice too. Don’t think that you can be lazy or compliant, though. Those deadlines will sneak up on you if you’re not careful.
- Knowing you made it. For me, getting a book published was a lifelong dream. For years, it was all I worked for; querying agents, going to writer’s workshops, writing whenever I could. I didn’t even want to be famous or a bestseller, I just wanted my book to be published. And then, it was. And that–that knowledge that you’re an author now, that you made it–has never stopped being amazing and surreal. No matter what happens, you got a book published, and that will never go away.
- Seeing your book on shelves. Much like the previous statement, it’s still pretty awesome every time I walk into a bookstore and see my book on the shelf. It’s almost like a little assurance: hey, your book is here, you really are an author.
- Doing what you love every day. Writing is hard sometimes. Deadlines can be stressful. Sometimes the words don’t come and sometimes you just. Don’t. Wanna. Still, I can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing than writing. When I’m not writing, I’m thinking about it. Story, plot, setting, characters. I keep writing because I simply can’t NOT write, and at the end of the day, I love it and wouldn’t want to do anything else.
- Interacting with fans. But, probably the most rewarding things about being an author is talking with readers and fans. People who are not only passionate about books, they are passionate about your book. They love Ash and Puck, Jackal and Allie, Ember and Garret as much as I do. They ask questions. They argue. I’m forever grateful to my fans because, ultimately, they are the reason that I write. Because authors want our stories read, and without readers that would be impossible. So to everyone who has ever read and loved–or even hated–any of my books, I just want to say thank you.
Wow, just wow…
Continuing just a few weeks on from book two, Rogue, Soldier sees us following Garrett in London as he pursues his suspicions surrounding The Order of St George and how they are making so many successful attacks. Through his investigations we meet some of the highest members of The Order, and see him having to race back to The States to save Ember and Riley’s lives, along with a new ally, Jade, an Eastern dragon who is also looking for vengeance against Talon and The Order.
Soldier is by far the best in the Talon Saga so far, it is non-stop action throughout with some expected twists and some very unexpected turns. Ember has grown up a lot in this novel and is starting to show herself as a true soldier, but with immense empathy for all those around her including her enemies.
During Soldier we get flashbacks into Garret’s past and find out how he became ‘the perfect soldier’ that we met in Talon, the first novel. We learn what happened to his parents and how he came to be a part of The Order, and grew within it. It explains a lot about his unwavering commitment to them, and why he found it so hard to walk away once he met and fell for Ember.
Ember learns more about her feelings for both Garret and Riley within this novel, she starts to work out what her feelings mean for each man/dragon and what that means for her, and she makes a decision.
While our heroes are battling their war for freedom, Dante, Ember’s twin, is embracing his new role within Talon. His moral fibres tingle at times telling him Ember wouldn’t approve and that he shouldn’t be pursuing this project, but his commitment to Talon is complete and he is shaping up to be a definitive villain in future Talon novels.
Decisions have to be made throughout this book which shouldn’t have to be made by characters of this age, I can’t imagine putting decisions like these on 16/17 year olds but these characters handle them like adults and do the best they can and the book ends with a twist that nobody could see coming and leaves a whole lot of questions needing answering in the next book.
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
About Julie Kagawa:
JULIE KAGAWA was born in Sacramento, California. But nothing exciting really happened to her there. So, at the age of nine she and her family moved to Hawaii, which she soon discovered was inhabited by large carnivorous insects and frequent hurricanes. She is the New York Times bestselling author of The Iron Fey series, the Talon series and the Immortal Rules trilogy.
Would you like a Paperback Copy of Soldier? I have a shiny new copy from the publishers to giveaway to a UK reader… head to Rafflecopter to enter now!
Series: Talon #3
Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: MIRA Ink
Publication Date: 5 May 2016
Review Format: Paperback
Other Formats: eBook | Hardcover | Audio
Buy: Amazon | Nook | iBook