Antonia's Antics

Soldier by Julie Kagawa

Summary: The price of freedom is everything.

When forced to choose between safety with the dragon organization Talon and being hunted forever as an outcast, Ember Hill chose to stand with Riley and his band of rogue dragons rather than become an assassin for Talon. She’s lost any 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.

As Ember and Riley hide and regroup to fight another day, Garret journeys alone to the United Kingdom, birthplace of the ancient and secret Order of St. George, to spy on his former brothers and uncover deadly and shocking secrets that will shake the foundations of dragons and dragonslayers alike and place them all in imminent danger as Talon’s new order rises.

Review:

I. Am. SO. Mad.
But I can’t really talk about it because spoilers. Suffice it to say, the ending was extremely suspenseful, then suddenly everything seems fine and it’s going to end relatively happy, then at the very last second it’s NOT OKAY and I’m texting Amanda freaking out.
Overall, this has been my favorite book of the series so far. There were conflicts in the first two books (see my reviews here and here) but they’ve been smaller; you can tell it’s slowly leading up to one big conflict and it finally reached that point in this book. We also get to see the story from four different points of view which was partly nice and partly annoying. Nice because we got to see different sides of the conflict but annoying because it would switch after mini-cliffhangers so I would just be sitting there trying to focus but going, “But what’s happening to that other character right now!?”
Speaking of characters, I’ll start with Ember. She’s grown so much since the first book in good ways and bad. For most of the book, Ember is suffering from ptsd after the events from the second book and I was really happy about it. I don’t mean to sound like I’m glad she’s suffering but I get a little sick of books that involve war and violence where the characters just go along without any emotional trauma. It’s war. Of course she’s going to be affected by the things she’s seen and done. During the second book, everything’s happening so fast that she doesn’t really have time to process anything and now it’s hitting her all at once. She’s seen humans and dragons murdered in front of her, she’s killed people, seen the skin of a dragon no older than her hanging on a wall. And don’t take it less seriously because it’s a dragon. Just picture for a second, a child’s skin hanging on someone’s wall like a trophy; because that’s what it means to Ember. I just can’t adequately explain how much I appreciated a book like this showing that sort of emotional trauma and doing it really well.
Ember’s brother, Dante, drives me freaking nuts. He’s completely loyal to Talon to the point where he’s betrayed Ember more than once. It was really good to see his side of things throughout this book. My problem is that everytime Talon tells him to do something that seems wrong to him he justifies it saying, “Well, Talon knows what it’s doing. This is for the good of the organization.” YOU’RE KILLING PEOPLE. YOU KNOW THIS IS WRONG. Everytime he does it it just makes me hate him a little bit more.
I’m going to group Garret and Riley together because my thoughts on them are pretty much the same. The love triangle is back! I’m mildly annoyed about it but I like both characters enough that I’m tolerating it. They’re both amazing in such different ways that I continue to enjoy getting to know them better. Especially Garret since we got to see flashbacks from throughout his life during this book and it helped me understand his character a lot better.
I loved this book and absolutely can’t wait to see what happens in Legion. I’d absolutely recommend this book to anyone who likes YA or fantasy (or anyone else because it’s really good and you should just get out of your comfort zone). Amanda hasn’t read it yet so please tell me your thoughts in the comments. I need someone to freak out over it with. Thanks so much for reading.
-Antonia

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