Book Review

Book Review: Together We Burn by Isabel Ibañez

Rating: ★★★☆
Audience: YA Fantasy Romance
Length: 368 pages
Author: Isabel Ibañez
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: May 31st, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


Eighteen-year-old Zarela Zalvidar is a talented flamenco dancer and daughter of the most famous Dragonador in Hispalia. People come for miles to see her father fight in their arena, which will one day be hers.

But disaster strikes during their five hundredth anniversary show, and in the carnage, Zarela’s father is horribly injured. Facing punishment from the Dragon Guild, Zarela must keep the arena—her ancestral home and inheritance —safe from their greedy hands. She has no choice but to take her father’s place as the next Dragonador. When the infuriatingly handsome dragon hunter, Arturo Díaz de Montserrat, withholds his help, she refuses to take no for an answer.

But even if he agrees, there’s someone out to ruin the Zalvidar family, and Zarela will have to do whatever it takes in order to prevent the Dragon Guild from taking away her birthright.

An ancient city plagued by dragons. A flamenco dancer determined to save her ancestral home. A dragon hunter refusing to teach her his ways. They don’t want each other, but they need each other, and without him her world will burn.


I was really on my way to super enjoying this. I LOVED the setting and cultural aspects. Easily one of my favorite parts of this book. I felt the world come alive with the language, food and cityscape descriptions. There was great writing involved in much of that and the audiobook helped create that tenfold.

Zarela was a main character who I liked as a YA heroine lead. She truly was just trying to do her best in a rough situation. I liked her tenacity to hold on to her family’s legacy and the willingness to learn new things and make tough choices to see everything through. The romance between her and Arturo had the best kind of banter. A bit of enemies to lovers that grew into something more. I do think the steam went a bit past YA levels, but it was still relatively low overall.

What threw me was the villain. I can get behind a lot of background antagonist stories. This one was fine, I’ve seen it before, but what got me was his obsession with claiming Zarela? I don’t want to spoil so I can’t really say much more, it just didn’t click for me.

I’d say this is a pretty solid fantasy for a standalone (which are hard for me to be pleased by). A fast paced read that covers a lot. I can’t believe I almost forgot to mention there’s DRAGONS and flamenco dancing. Lots of incredible things, just a few meh.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy Romance
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: brief/vague open door
  • Violence: high
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of parents, kidnapping, animal death and cruelty, murder, misogyny, grief/loss depiction

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Book Review

ALC Book Review: Fourth Wing (The Empyrean #1) by Rebecca Yarros

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Fantasy Romance
Length: 512 pages
Author: Rebecca Yarros
Publisher: Entangled
Release Date: May 2nd, 2023
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


Twenty-year-old Violet Sorrengail was supposed to enter the Scribe Quadrant, living a quiet life among books and history. Now, the commanding general—also known as her tough-as-talons mother—has ordered Violet to join the hundreds of candidates striving to become the elite of Navarre: dragon riders.

But when you’re smaller than everyone else and your body is brittle, death is only a heartbeat away…because dragons don’t bond to “fragile” humans. They incinerate them.

With fewer dragons willing to bond than cadets, most would kill Violet to better their own chances of success. The rest would kill her just for being her mother’s daughter—like Xaden Riorson, the most powerful and ruthless wingleader in the Riders Quadrant.

She’ll need every edge her wits can give her just to see the next sunrise.

Yet, with every day that passes, the war outside grows more deadly, the kingdom’s protective wards are failing, and the death toll continues to rise. Even worse, Violet begins to suspect leadership is hiding a terrible secret.

Friends, enemies, lovers. Everyone at Basgiath War College has an agenda—because once you enter, there are only two ways out: graduate or die.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an ALC.


This book owns me. I am devastated. I will not recover. I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH.

Brief audio notes interlude: Love the narrator!! Would have loved a little more Teddy Hamilton (but maybe that’s coming in book two??) Any who, it was a fantastic listen and highly recommend that option!


I don’t even know where to begin because I have been an incomprehensible mess since finishing. Flailing around about how incredible this book was. I LOVED the FMC, Violet. The way she exhibited strength outside the standard “muscles and weapons” nature was great. I thought she was clever and full of heart and just an all around get main character.

AND THE ROMANCE? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? A beautiful enemies to lovers slow burn that will have you absolutely BEGGING for more. I loved the build and the chemistry. Watching the sparks fly and ignite. There were some scenes towards the end that put me in an chokehold and this is why FANTASY ROMANCE IS THE BEST.

The plot is intriguing and opened up a whole can of worms that I can’t wait to see explored in the sequel. I enjoyed all of the betrayals, reveals, announcements, politicking and more. It was seamless and deserves all the hype it’s been given because it is WORTH IT.


Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy Romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: 2-3 open door
  • Violence: high
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: war themes, loss of loved ones, loss of life, physical and magical altercations, weapons violence, bullying

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: Flamefall (The Aurelian Cycle #2) by Rosaria Munda

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 336 pages
Author: Rosaria Munda
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Release Date: March 23rd, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


Revolutionary flames ignite around Annie, Lee, and a brand new POV character in the second book of the Fireborne trilogy.

After fleeing the revolution and settling into the craggy cliffs of New Pythos, the Dragonlords are eager to punish their usurpers–and reclaim their city. Their first order of business was destroying the Callipolan food supply. Now they’re coming for the Dragonriders.

Annie is Callipolis’s new Firstrider, and while her goal has always been to protect the people, being the government’s enforcer has turned her into public enemy number one.

Lee struggles to find his place after killing kin to prove himself to a leader who betrayed him. He can support Annie and the other Guardians . . . or join the radicals who look to topple the new regime.

Griff, a lowborn dragonrider who serves New Pythos, knows he has no future. And now that Julia, the Firstrider who had protected him, is dead, he is called on to sacrifice everything for the lords that oppress his people–or to forge a new path with the Callipolan Firstrider seeking his help.

With famine tearing Callipolis apart and the Pythians determined to take back what they lost, it will be up to Annie, Lee, and Griff to decide what to fight for–and who to love.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own!


We all know that sometimes a middle book doesn’t have the same fire as the first. I thought this was a great second book! SO MUCH happened.

This is a high action book. Everywhere I turned there were dragon attacks, a whole lot of fire, backstabbing and betrayals. It was plenty to keep track of and I enjoyed the challenge. I really like the addition of Griff into the story. He was able to provide insight from the other side of the war. I loved his romance sub-plot and how Griff continued to strive for a better solution for his situation and of those he loved.

Getting more of Annie and Lee was the best. I love this push and pull relationship. It doesn’t feel contrived, there’s a lot both characters have to work through. Pain, grief and anger. Lee and Annie had to look within themselves and had wonderful character progression. The tidbits of romance only make me want more and what’s hopefully a long awaited happy ever after!

A high action book filled with tough conversations and reveals. I would definitely lean this towards a darker YA book. There’s war, high loss of lives, and some really twisted individuals. I looooove all of the dragons and this might be one of my top series involving them. I can’t wait for the finale and to know where all of this leads!

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: murder, mass loss of lives, mass burnings, physical, creature attacks; fairly violent nature throughout the book

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Book Review

Book Review: Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle #1) by Rosaria Munda

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 448 pages
Author: Rosaria Munda
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books
Release Date: October 15th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


Game of Thrones meets Red Rising 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.



I’ll get this out of the way first. There’s a bit of a love triangle woven in. I don’t like it.

Anywho, the rest of the story? GOOD. I liked it! I want to read book two. Interesting story line with an exiled prince that nobody knows about. Working his way up the ranks, deciding where he wants to be. All good things that made me love Lee. I also really liked Annie. She’s a sweetheart who can also lay it down when needed. They are the real ship here and I demand them to be together.

Oh hey, also, DRAGONS. I loooove dragon books. I was looking for a bit more from the dragons, but they are definitely in this story a lot. They have an interesting history too, and I like the way they were woven in.

There’s plenty of action, and some slower spots too. It really read as young adult fantasy. Which can be positive or negative depending on how you feel about about the genre. I still enjoy it even if some things bug me. I found this easy to get into and the background and world information to simple to grasp. The character stories were intense and made me angry and upset for them.

I’m curious where this will continue because there’s definitely pieces at work.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: little light
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: dragon fire, murder, physical altercations, dragon fights
  • Content warnings: losing loved ones

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