Review – Legion (Talon #4), Julie Kagawa

Well this is the first time I’ve ever jumped into a series not in the second book…but in the fourth! But honestly I’m so pleased I gave this book a chance. My intense draconic obsession grows every day. But how did Legion compare to all the other books I’ve read about my scaly friends, and does this work as a standalone novel or do you really have to have read the other three?

Goodreads Summary:

Dragon hatchling Ember Hill was never prepared to find love at all–dragons do not suffer human emotions–let alone the love of a human and a former dragonslayer, at that. With ex-soldier Garret dying at her feet after sacrificing his freedom and his life to expose the deepest of betrayals, Ember knows only that nothing she was taught by dragon organization Talon is true. About humans, about rogue dragons, about herself and what she’s capable of doing and feeling.

In the face of great loss, Ember vows to stand with rogue dragon Riley against the dragon-slaying Order of St. George and her own twin brother Dante–the heir apparent to all of Talon, and the boy who will soon unleash the greatest threat and terror dragonkind has ever known.

Talon is poised to take over the world, and the abominations they have created will soon take to the skies, darkening the world with the promise of blood and death to those who refuse to yield.

Remember when I talked about the dragons in Seraphina and Shadow Scale and how they could shift into human form and how that was such a cool and original idea? Well this is actually the same idea. I don’t actually mind this because it is handled in a slightly different way, especially since some of the story is told from the perspective of these dragons (it’s a multi perspective way of story telling kinda like GOT but with fewer characters to keep up with). Also, there’s less of a sense of detachment between the dragons and their human counterparts, which is one of the key features of Seraphina. Essentially, it doesn’t matter to me that their metaphysic is kind of the same, as it’s different enough that you don’t feel like anyone is copying anyone else.

Does it work as a standalone despite being fourth in a series? Well I’m not going to lie, it took me quite a few chapters before I had my head wrapped around who was who, who the bad guys were and what on earth was going on. But once you’ve inferred the broad bones of the setting I think you can read this book without too much knowledge of the previous titles. In fact, if the hype around the ‘ships’ on goodreads is anything to go by I suspect I’ve managed to avoid a lot of love triangle business by jumping in at book four. I do think I would have a greater appreciation for some of the character’s actions had I read the first three, but all in all the book holds it’s own, which I think is a pretty good achievement.

The plot was also really interesting. In many ways it reminded me of the early Maximum Ride novels (you know, before they got really bad) with the idea of a few ragtag weirdo kids fighting against big evil corporations and making unlikely alliances along the way. This appeals to the rebel in me (she lives quite far down below the surface, I’m a fairly non-rebellious human the rest of the time). But in the same way as I was desperate to join the flock (until book four) I’d pledge allegiance to this band of dragons any day.

If you’re looking for some classic young adult fantasy (a bit of romance, certain death, twists and turns and drama by the boatload) then you should look no further than Julie Kagawa’s latest book Legion. I’m going to start hunting down the other titles in the series, unless you let me know very quickly that they’re not worth my time and I should give up now?

My rating: 5/5 stars (I’m giving a lot of these lately, what can I say? There are some good books out there!)

By the way: I received a digital advanced review copy of Legion from the publisher (HQ) via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, all my opinions are my own and I wouldn’t recommend this if I didn’t think it was worth reading.

Legion publishes May 4 2017, but you can pre order it on Amazon if you just can’t wait!

Any recommendations? Feed my Dragon addiction please! (Witches also welcome), let me know on twitter @judithcmoore or in the comments below.

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