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Fireborne
Cover of Fireborne
Fireborne
THE AURELIAN CYCLE Series, Book 1
"One of fantasy’s best series." —Booklist, starred review
Game of Thrones meets Fourth Wing in a debut young adult fantasy that's full of rivalry, romance . . . and dragons.

Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution changed their world, giving everyone—even the lowborn—a chance to test into the governing class of dragonriders.
Now they are both rising stars in the new regime, despite backgrounds that couldn't be more different. Annie's lowborn family was executed by dragonfire, while Lee's aristocratic family was murdered by revolutionaries. Growing up in the same orphanage forged their friendship, and seven years of training have made them rivals for the top position in the dragonriding fleet.
But everything changes when survivors from the old regime surface, bent on reclaiming the city.
With war on the horizon and his relationship with Annie changing fast, Lee must choose to kill the only family he has left or to betray everything he's come to believe in. And Annie must decide whether to protect the boy she loves . . . or step up to be the champion her city needs.
From debut author Rosaria Munda comes a gripping adventure that calls into question which matters most: the family you were born into, or the one you've chosen.
"One of fantasy’s best series." —Booklist, starred review
Game of Thrones meets Fourth Wing in a debut young adult fantasy that's full of rivalry, romance . . . and dragons.

Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution changed their world, giving everyone—even the lowborn—a chance to test into the governing class of dragonriders.
Now they are both rising stars in the new regime, despite backgrounds that couldn't be more different. Annie's lowborn family was executed by dragonfire, while Lee's aristocratic family was murdered by revolutionaries. Growing up in the same orphanage forged their friendship, and seven years of training have made them rivals for the top position in the dragonriding fleet.
But everything changes when survivors from the old regime surface, bent on reclaiming the city.
With war on the horizon and his relationship with Annie changing fast, Lee must choose to kill the only family he has left or to betray everything he's come to believe in. And Annie must decide whether to protect the boy she loves . . . or step up to be the champion her city needs.
From debut author Rosaria Munda comes a gripping adventure that calls into question which matters most: the family you were born into, or the one you've chosen.
Available formats-
  • OverDrive Read
  • EPUB eBook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    0
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    6.3
  • Lexile:
    830
  • Interest Level:
    UG
  • Text Difficulty:
    4 - 5


Excerpts-
  • From the book Prologue

    Later, he would be known as the First Protector, and under his vision the city would transform. Serfs would be freed, schools would be built, and dragons would, for the first time, be ridden by commoners.

    Before that, he was the leader of the bloodiest revolution his people had ever seen.

    He never doubted that he would create a just city. Nor did he doubt that the families of the old regime deserved to die. But he did, sometimes, regret the way it happened, the day the palace was finally overrun.

    He remembered in particular one of the ruling families, their tormentors still at work when he found them. The dragonlord had been kept alive, to watch; his youngest son was the only child left. A boy of about seven or eight, his expression blank beneath a mask of blood. The remains of their family lay around them.

    “Stop this foolishness at once,” the First Protector said, when he and his guard found them.

    The revolutionaries let go of the boy, whom they had been hurting, and began to protest: This man is Leon Stormscourge, don’t you know what he’s done—but they fell silent when the dragonlord spoke from his knees on the bloodstained carpet.

    “My son,” he said, in the language he and the First Protector shared. “Please, Atreus.”

    The First Protector took a half glance at the child. He said, “Leo will be looked after.”

    He gave one of his guard a murmured order. The soldier started, hesitated, and then lifted the dragonlord’s son in his arms. When the boy had been carried, limp and silent, from the room, the leader of the Revolution knelt before the dragonlord.

    “Those—animals—” the dragonlord rasped.

    The First Protector did not disagree. Instead, he put a hand to the knife on his belt. When he met the dragonlord’s gaze, it was in an unspoken question. The dragonlord closed his eyes and nodded.

    Then, to the First Protector’s surprise, he spoke.

    “Your vision,” he said. “Do you think it will ever be worth this, Atreus?”

    The First Protector drew his knife.

    “Yes,” he said.

    The dragonlord’s question returned to him often in the years that followed. Even as many of the other details of the Revolution began to fade from his memory, he remembered Leon Stormscourge.

    Leon’s son, on the other hand, was a detail he forgot.

     
    Chapter 1
    Messages from the Ministry
    Nine Years Later

    Lee

    Morning is our favorite time to fly. Today, even with the tournament looming and the empty arena below us a reminder that soon we’ll be watched, for the first time, by thousands, it’s still possible to savor the city sprawled beneath a dragon’s wings. When we pull tight on a turn, I glimpse one of Pallor’s black eyes, depthless, turned on me. The line between us, of shared emotions and thoughts that are usually latent in the saddle, goes taut. Yes. Today it begins. Today we’ll rise.

    But in order to do that, I’ll need a clear head. I gently extricate myself from Pallor’s simmering anticipation and refocus on the arena. Two other dragonriders fly with us, each riding one of the other two breeds: Crissa and her skyfish are in the air above us, while Cor and his stormscourge glide below, bellowing ash over the arena stands. We’re on our last rehearsal, this time with just the squadron...
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from August 12, 2019
    Lee and Annie have been close friends since the bloody revolution nine years earlier that freed Callipolis from the reign of the despotic dragonborn aristocracy. Only Annie, whose entire serf family died at Lee’s father’s hands, suspects that orphaned Lee is the scion of one of the slaughtered dragonborn lineages. Now, both teens are top competitors for the position of Firstrider, leader of a new fleet of dragon riders, and their privileged position allows them to see shortcomings in the new meritocracy seeking to elevate the downtrodden and redistribute power in their new society. But loyalties are tested as Lee’s relatives lead the long-fled survivors of the dragonborn to threaten the fledgling nation. Drawing inspiration from The Aeneid and Plato’s Republic, debut author Munda generates a plot that moves quickly, tempering fate-driven elements of classical tragedy with hope. The nuanced cast, particularly Lee and Annie, engage in complex relationships, and scenes of dragon-mounted combat are simultaneously exciting and grounded in idiosyncratic details of process and mechanics. Munda seamlessly moves between breathless action and an unflinching examination of horrors inflicted in pursuit of noble ideals, and the difficulty of escaping cycles of power and violence. Ages 12–up.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from September 1, 2019

    Gr 7 Up-Nine years ago, First Protector Atreus led the poor of Callipolis in a bloody revolution, overthrowing the aristocracy and slaughtering the dragonborn rulers and their families. What followed was to be a new regime in which one's place in society would be based on merit rather than noble birth. However, in the chaos of the revolution, one dragonborn heir was spared and soon forgotten in an orphanage: Leon Stormscourge's son, Leo. There Leo, known now as "Lee," bonds with fellow orphan Antigone over their shared grief and the need to survive. What Lee cannot bring himself to confess to Annie is that his father was the one who murdered her family. Soon the two find an escape from the orphanage as trainee dragonrider guardians of Callipolis. But after years of training together, trust and loyalties shift as they find themselves vying for the same position of power and are further strained when Lee's exiled cousin reappears and asks him for help reclaiming their birthright. Thought-provoking and full of social and political intrigue, this book is a pleasure to read. The author deftly interweaves the stories of Annie and Lee through flashbacks and contrasting inner monologue, demonstrating the complexities of their friendship, their growing rivalry, and the bitter secrets that threaten to tear them apart forever. Readers should find Annie an especially satisfying heroine as she fiercely refuses to give in to the prejudices stacked against her gender and lowborn heritage. VERDICT Recommended for both teens and adults who enjoy a mentally stimulating novel and for those who wish to lose themselves in a world full of dragons.-Lara Goldstein, Orange County Public Libraries, NC

    Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from August 1, 2019
    Grades 9-12 *Starred Review* What happens after a revolution, when the fire and fury of the righteous must turn to governance? Munda sets her stunning fantasy debut nine years after a bloody uprising against the triarchy, the dragonborn families that enforced their tyranny with dragons. Now, Callipolis is a fledgling meritocracy, and Annie, a peasant whose family was executed under the old regime, is a top contender for the position of Firstrider, who will lead the new dragonrider fleet. Yet there are still those who believe a former serf should not lead?and sometimes, to her shame, Annie herself is one of them. Her close friend and Firstrider rival, Lee, lost everything in the revolution when his dragonborn family was killed. His true identity hidden to all but Annie, Lee struggles with the knowledge that Callipolis' noble new vision, one he believes in, was built upon the massacre of his kin. When survivors of the old regime resurface ready for war, Annie and Lee are forced to examine their loyalties to family, friend, self, and city. Munda centers her philosophical quagmires on Lee and Annie, deeply relatable characters with understandable motivations and passionate feelings. This series opener also thrills with dragon action, from aerial tournaments to wartime battles. This is a near-perfect work of high fantasy and will have wide appeal.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from August 15, 2019
    What happens to the world after the dust from a revolution has settled? Friends Annie and Lee were children from very different circles when Atreus killed Lee's father, dragonlord Leon Stormscourge, ending the uprising on the bloodiest day in Callipolis' history. For too long the dragonriders held all the power while their people starved and lived in fear. Nine years later, a new generation of dragonriders is emerging, children selected and trained on merit, not bloodlines. Their dragons are finally mature enough for them to compete for Firstrider, a position of power that can give Lee back a small part of what his family lost. However, not only is Lee competing against Annie, but rumors are circulating that some of the royal family have survived and have dragons of their own. Everyone will have to make a choice: Restore the old regime, support the First Protector and the new caste system he created, or look for a new way, no matter what the cost. From the beginning, this book pulls readers in with political intrigue and action. What keeps them invested, however, are the complex relationships between many cast members. Choices are complex, and the consequences for all could be deadly. The world is well fleshed out and believable. Annie and Lee are light skinned; secondary characters are diverse, and race is a nonissue in this world. Full of drama, emotional turmoil, and high stakes. (author's note) (Fantasy.14-17)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Fireborne
Fireborne
THE AURELIAN CYCLE Series, Book 1
Rosaria Munda
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