By Julie Kagawa

Published: 2014

AR level: 5.6

AR points: 18.0

Word count: 114,284

I suggest: 7th grade+

I went through a dragon phase not too long ago. I don’t know if it was because of Harry Potter or some other mystical book series. Or maybe it was because I was thinking of my own fantastical dragon series. I kept seeing Kagawa’s Talon on bookshelves, and when I found out it featured a dragon who could turn into a human teenage girl, I knew I had to read it.

Talon offered me everything I was seeking in a good dragon-inspired YA novel. Thrilling action, well-designed intrigue, and star-crossed romance kept this plot humming. The main characters, who tell the story in alternating first-person voices, were tough and vulnerable all at once, and I think that takes great skill to write well. This is a great read for teens, especially those who enjoy dragons but are ready for a contemporary setting.

Here’s the description from the publisher:

Dragons walk among us in the groundbreaking modern fantasy series from Julie Kagawa, New York Times bestselling author of The Iron King.

Dragon v. dragonslayer

To take her rightful place in the powerful Talon organization, hatchling Ember Hill must prove she can hide her dragon nature and blend in with humans. Her delight at the prospect of a summer of human teen experiences is short-lived, however, once she discovers that she must also train for her destined career in Talon. But a chance meeting with a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught.

Garret Xavier Sebastian, a young dragonslayer in the top-secret Order of St. George, is tasked with hunting her down. But when faced with Ember’s bravery, confidence, and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything the Order has ingrained in him—and what he might be willing to give up to learn the truth about dragons.

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