“A flame that burns twice as bright last half as long.”
Ember Hill left the dragon organization Talon to take her chances with rebel dragon Cobalt and his crew of rogues. But Ember can’t forget the sacrifice made for her by the human boy who could have killed her—Garret Xavier Sebastian, a soldier of the dragonslaying Order of St. George, the boy who saved her from a Talon assassin, knowing that by doing so, he’d signed his own death warrant.
Determined to save Garret from execution, Ember must convince Cobalt to help her break into the Order’s headquarters. With assassins after them and Ember’s own brother helping Talon with the hunt, the rogues find an unexpected ally in Garret and a new perspective on the underground battle between Talon and St. George.
A reckoning is brewing and the secrets hidden by both sides are shocking and deadly. Soon Ember must decide: Should she retreat to fight another day…or start an all-out war?
Rogue is a thrilling, action-packed and un-putable-down read that waste no time in shoving readers to the danger as Ember and Riley make their move rescuing Garret from one of St. George chapter house where he is being held as a prisoner waiting for execution. From then on every steps is for survival as villains are coming from different sides.
Told in different point of views, we get to read not just Ember voice/thoughts but also Garret, Riley/Cobalt, and Dante which all provides more dynamics to the story as it opens more story-lines from these characters’ lives and backgrounds. These characters’ voices are all uniques which makes the narration easy to read. It never feel cluttered or confusing as it is easy for me to distinguish who’s talking even not checking the the narrator’s name on each chapters.
Julie Kagawa developed each of her characters very well. In this installment, she weaved each of her characters with intriguing background, purpose, and depth. Ember a dragonnell who can shift to human is still determined just like she is in the first book, Talon. But gone is the girl who is also stubbornly curious and hard-headed. Ember on the run is more cooperative, a team player who listen to orders but still questioning authority. She is a fierce fighter who take into action for what she believes is right, and care for others.
As a hatchling, Ember’s balancing her dragon and human side is more evident in this installment, though mostly concentrated in love affairs. Her dragon selves is drawn into Riley while her human selves is into Garret. She still clueless to both worlds but not as much as she is in the first book.
Garret triggered most of the feels for me. His struggles and confusions are very believable. After allowing Ember to escape in the first installment he is now a traitor to the Order of St. George. He is on the run together with Ember, Riley, and Wes fighting for survival as they are hunted both by the Orders and Talon. As part of the Orders he is taught to hate dragons, trained to kill them without question but after knowing Ember he gradually realized that not all dragons are bad. They have emotions and feelings too not just mindless creatures who wants to dominate the human world. With those realizations, his beliefs shattered and his life changed which makes everything more questionable and confusing for him.
“My existance until now had been a habit and structure and routine – the life of a soldier—and I welcomed that order, knowing exactly who I was. Left to my own devices, I felt I was wandering aimlessly, waiting for something to happen.”
As for Riley, well honestly I didn’t like him much in Talon but in here he just stole the show from Ember, which is expected given the title of the book. Not only he has own chapters where his back story and previous life as Cobalt is told but he also took charge of the plot. He isn’t perfect but he is loyal, brave and devoted to cause, even sometime’s Ember is stealing him away from it. I like him in this installment, which is a big step from what I’ve read of him from the first book, Talon. Though liking him doesn’t mean I want him for Ember. He maybe the best and logical choice since they are both dragons but I still think they are not for each other.
I prefer Garret for Ember. That’s why I feel a little sad in the ending. But knowing that there are more books coming I still have hopes for him. This is just the second installment and I think Julie Kagawa is storing a lot more for the other books of this series. There are still lots of unanswered questions, so many plot lines need to delve into, more secrets to reveal, and characters to develop and justify. There so much promise in this installment which I believe if handle very well will make this dragon story soar high.
Overall, Rogue is a perfect follow up to Talon. Julie Kagawa push the story to soar by adding more intrigues in the story. The stakes are higher, tasks are more complicated, and villains are coming from different sides. Ember, Garret and Riley’s adventure and the political intrigue around them are worth all the hours of lost sleep. And even after reading I can’t help but stay awake because of so many questions left unanswered. I’m really excited to see where this series is heading. Looking forward for the next installment though my patience will be tested since I just found out that it will be released two years from now.
The third installment of this series, Soldier will be out next year, 2016. Author Julie Kagawa just informed me via twitter. Apparently the 2017 released date from goodreads is a typo error. That means just one year of waiting for us readers. I’m excited as early as now. The title alone shouts Garret!!!
* This review is based on a copy I received courtesy of the publisher, Mira Ink in exchange for an honest opinion.