By Cynthia Bujnicki
Annie and Lee were both children when the revolution changed the world and the course of their live. Together they bonded, joining the dragon riding fleet. But when old enemies surface, their loyalties are put the test and they must decide if they will fight as allies or enemies.
Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, Fireborne is the debut YA fantasy by Rosaria Munda.
Perfect for fans of Game of Thrones, Fireborne has the tension, political intrigue, and incredible character dynamics to keep the reader engaged in the plot.
Munda did an exceptional job with this novel as she explores a world following a revolution. It has roots in the Greek works of literature, bringing in a philosophical aspect to the novel, making it an incredibly thoughtful young adult fantasy novel. There are many levels to this novel, starting with the revolution. It does recall the French Revolution as Munda did note that that event partially inspired her, and it does resonate in the novel, especially in the beginning where the peasants have stormed the palace, ending the aristocracy. Lee is the only survivor and then grows up under this new government, a government he believes in.
Lee’s survival leads to incredibly complex narratives that unfold wonderfully, especially as it shifts between both his perspective and Annies. Both of these characters have different backgrounds and origins but have both come together in this new world order. They balance each other perfectly, both are quite strong and silent, but they give off such different airs about them that makes them such a dynamic couple to read. However, more than that, each chapter sometimes shifts between each character reminiscing in a tone that breaks away into a third-person omniscient narrative. It blends the story and the narratives so well that it engages the reader, highlighting the complex natures of the characters and their vibrant personalities.
The novel’s many complexities highlight the richness and thought-provoking nature of the plot. There is a considerable amount of political upheaval in the novel that one would expect when following a revolution, and the integration and clear inspiration of Plato’s The Republic adds so many layers of intrigue and tension throughout the novel.
Fireborne is an utterly compelling novel that makes for a fantastic read. There are so many levels of intrigue and complexities that give the novel a well-rounded form. The integration of the past and the present allow for such smooth fluidity to the storytelling. A stunning read. (★★★★★)