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(The Aurelian Cycle #1)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  1,952 ratings  ·  640 reviews
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
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published October 15th 2019 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
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Rosaria Munda Thanks for the question, Taylor! To sum it up: the French Revolution, Plato's Republic, and before either of these, the Blitz. As a teenager I spent a…moreThanks for the question, Taylor! To sum it up: the French Revolution, Plato's Republic, and before either of these, the Blitz. As a teenager I spent a summer commuting an hour and a half to a summer job, listening to an audiobook about the Battle for Britain, imagining dogfights as I drove, the beginnings of a story taking shape. Somewhere along the way, those fighter planes became dragons, and I never looked back.

Later, working in Paris, I wandered streets whose legacy from the French Revolution was written in defaced tombs and unmarked sites of guillotines, and I knew I wanted to write about revolution. Not about the beginnings of one--the bloody aftermath. So many beautiful YA novels have been about kids starting a revolution, but I wanted to explore the other side of it. I wanted to write about kids who had to pick up the pieces afterwards. And I wanted to inverse a closely related trope. Deposed and orphaned aristocrats seeking vengeance we have seen before--and love. But I wanted to push that further. I wanted to imagine an orphaned aristocrat who has every reason to seek revenge, until he realizes that maybe, his family did wrong, too.

And then what pulled it all together was Plato's Republic, which I studied a bit in college. I was captivated by its dystopian/utopian approach to propaganda and meritocracy. What would a society look like that granted political power unequally according to intelligence, rather than unequally according to birthright? And--even more intriguingly--what would that look like in a society where rulers ride dragons? What if a revolution transformed hereditary dragonriding into a test-based selection process?

That's where Lee and Annie's stories start. An aristocrat in hiding and a former serf who meet in the orphanage, test side by side into their new regime's dragonriding program, and have to decide if they really can leave the past behind them--and if the new regime really is better than what came before.(less)
Rosaria Munda Hi Staci! Congrats on getting an arc! Here's what I said about FIREBORNE on Reader Voracious and I think it would answer your question well:

I think…more
Hi Staci! Congrats on getting an arc! Here's what I said about FIREBORNE on Reader Voracious and I think it would answer your question well:

I think FIREBORNE would be perfect for people who liked the high-stakes military training of Ender’s Game, the dragons of How to Train Your Dragon, and the romance of Ember in the Ashes. Also, if you’ve ever rooted for an orphaned aristocrat rising from the bottom on sheer charisma—or, alternatively, struggled to compete with someone who had that kind of charisma, while you doubted yourself—you might find something to like in my two main characters, Lee and Annie. Lee’s the boy I grew up reading about; Annie’s the student I tended to be.

I hope you enjoy!(less)

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Start your review of Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle, #1)
I think someone cursed me because lately, I'm facing too many disappointing books, I do not like this.

So, at first, I was really curious about this book. I have to say that I was a bit nervous about the number of other books this book was compared to.

"Game of Thrones meets Red Rising in a debut young adult fantasy that's full of rivalry, romance... and dragons."

"Inspired by Plato’s Republic"

"the story is pitched as Aegon Targaryen and Hermione Granger with dragons, set in the aftermath of a
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Solid YA fantasy novel! I really enjoyed these characters and the depth Ms Munda brought to life in Annie and Lee. Unlike some reviews I read, I was impressed that there was not a strong romantic aspect. I feel many YA novels focus on romance when there are so many other emotions to be explored.

In addition to the amazing world building, Fireborne is centered around friendship, integrity and loyalty. I am very excited to see Annie and Lee grow in future adventures!

Possible violence warning for
Anja H.
Sep 21, 2018 marked it as to-read
Shelves: books-i-own
"Inspired by Plato’s Republic and told from a dual point of view, the story is pitched as Aegon Targaryen and Hermione Granger with dragons."

I have no idea what that even means, but I gotta say I'm intrigued lol.

Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔
"There was greatness in them. But with that greatness came arrogance, and with that arrogance corruption, and with that corruption downfall."

A tale of friendship, understanding, suffering, atonement, dragons, and revolution.

A brutal revolution changed the lives of all its citizens. Gone were the dragonlords of past, and in their place a new system. A self-proclaimed better system was put into place. But nothing is ever as black and white as it seems.

Lee & Annie
Only children when they were
Mary S. R.
[15 March 2019]

There's a cover! I love the red, and that dragon can slay me :)) #CoverLove

Also, can I just say that the comparison to Seraphina and Red Rising just undid me? I mean, when Rachel Hartman praises a book, I'm in—that woman has always impressed with the philosophy in her books...

• • • • • • •

[Initial review]

Inspired by Plato’s Republic...

Wow. That should be interesting for sure!

...the story is pitched as Aegon Targaryen and Hermione Granger with dragons, set in the aftermath of a
Bre *B.B. Lynn Reads*
“And as she turned, it was revealed by her tread that she was fireborne.”

There hasn’t been a fantasy book that has captivated me so intently in a long time. This book was pretty darn perfect. And I’m not saying that because everything works out beautifully. In fact, I think the best part about this book is that everything doesn’t work out according to plan. But any book that can get you to see the beauty in the midst of the brokenness is one that I am grateful to read.

“Moments like this, it
☽ TheBibliotheque
“And as with gods the world quaked, to see them fireborne.”

Holy mother of dragons. What a freaking ride.

Alright folks, if you - like me - belong to the group of I-will-read-anything-with-dragons readers, then you are in for a treat. Because Fireborne is *your* book.

This book has everything to keep you glued to it. A complex fantasy world and political system, layered characters that are a treat to delve into and all the dragon action. Trust me, this was an impressive fantasy debut and it
Feb 10, 2018 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2019-publication
“[...] was inspired by Plato’s Republic. Told from a dual point of view, the story is pitched as Aegon Targaryen and Hermione Granger with dragons, [...]”

This is the most OUTRAGEOUS sentence I have ever read.
Sherwood Smith
Sep 04, 2019 added it
Shelves: fantasy
This book has gotten a lot of advanced buzz, and I have to say, I can see why.

The telepathic dragon/companion trope is pretty well worn by now, and Munda doesn't do much to add to it. But if you like that trope, you're going to be okay with the eggs, impression, shared emotional states with dragons, etc. Munda does a great job with it.

Where this book takes a left turn, I thought, was with the political situation. The story (sort of*) begins ten years after an especially bloody revolution,
Kristen Ciccarelli
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It's been a long time since a book made me this happy. FIREBORNE is my new favourite dragon book.
Nadine Brandes
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was absolutely phenomenal.
Oct 15, 2019 marked it as dnf
Shelves: ya, fantasy, 4, ppb, starred-2019, 2019
This reads like an amalgamation of several dragon books (A Game of Thrones and Harry Potter among others), but without those books’ distinct voices and characters. There are two POVs (so far), both equally bland and stock. I expected more:(
Dani ❤️ Perspective of a Writer
Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...

The Buzz

Many book bloggers know that I am a dragon lover!! If it has a dragon I will pretty much move heaven and earth to read the book... and its hard to hate a book with a dragon in it. I met my match in Fireborne.

The cover is okay. I wish that it gave a little more of a hint to its ancient classic underpinnings. And less feature to the dragons. I also think the original title was a little more on target... The Dragonlord's Son. It's just
Bitchin' Reads
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Rosaria Munda's Fireborne is an upcoming fall 2019 release that I hadn't heard much about. Having spent much of my time wedding planning over the past 8 months, the following is what I knew: it's fantasy, said to be a mix of Rachel Hartman's Seraphina and Pierce Brown's Red Rising, and Munda was inspired by the Aeneid and the Republic. I'm always down for fantasy; I haven't read Seraphina, but I did read Red Rising and felt iffy about it; and I could barely get through the Aeneid and the ...more
Dec 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, ya, dragons
2.5 stars rounded to 3 stars because it’s probably better than my level of enjoyment. I found this unwieldy, and lacking in dragons
First line from my Booklist review: “What happens after a revolution, when the fire and fury of the righteous must turn from violence to governance?”

Rosaria Munda shapes a compelling story around the fraught nature of building a new regime on the ashes of the old, one that may be objectively better but is always in danger of failing its own ideals. Minor spoilers below; mostly plot- and theme-related, without giving too much away.

The story starts nine years after a bloody uprising against the
Ashleigh (a frolic through fiction)
Jan 26, 2020 marked it as did-not-finish
Shelves: own
DNFed but will likely revisit when I’m more in the mood for it. Couldn’t get into it this time around but there’s multiple circumstances as to why that might be so I’m willing to give it another chance
Emotional turmoil, political intrigue, the horrors of the past and the hopes of future peace may rest on the shoulders of young dragonriders who have trained together and are now faced with heart wrenching decisions. Do they follow their hearts, the stations in life they came from or do they forge into a new future and do what is best for their world?

FIREBORNE by Rosaria Munda is a captivating read, as two young people from divergent backgrounds, their families killed, bonded in the orphanage
alana ♡
Oct 13, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: fantasy
No one was going to tell me this is pitched as Harry Potter meets Game of Thrones?
You were just going to let this one slip past me?


Blog | Twitter
♠ TABI ♠
Aug 31, 2018 marked it as to-read
Shelves: edelweiss
I have made the discovery that typing 'D R A G O N S' as your true reason for wanting this gets you an ARC from Edelweiss

also my coworker graciously gave me her physical ARC copy of this so now I have a cover to pet and stare at lovingly
Nadhira Satria
well that was boring
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book killed me dead.

DEAD. I'm writing to you from the grave about how good this book is.

It's a book about a group of smart, well-intentioned kids trying to deal with a world of inequality and violence. (With dragons. Can't forget the dragons).

This makes the book incredibly engaging at both an intellectual and an emotional level.

You know those far-ranging late-night conversations you had in college? Where you and your friends had the world at your fingertips, and the
ℓуηη, ℓσкιѕℓутнєя¢ℓαω
Okay I've had time to sleep on this, now to crack on with reviewing it. Hopefully I can put my jumbled thoughts into some sort of cohesive ramblings that make some sense at least. Jury's still out on that

Anyway, the rating for this lovely debut is 4.25 - 4.5 I mean there's dragons !!! Need I say more? I do? How about dragonriders

So obviously I loved this book. It was one of the books I was really excited about coming out this year and it lived up to my expectations! Yay!

I just love debuts
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: fantasy lovers YA
Shelves: fantasy
Fireborne is one of the most anticipated YA fantasy books of autumn, but, for me, it didn't keep up with the hype.
Things smelled fishy when they started marketing it by comparing it to other popular books. Though the author claims that she was inspired by the classics (something that would have been more intriguing for me to lead me to pick up this book), them suggesting that is a combination of this and that just doesn't sound original. Still it does have that big dragon on the cover.
So, what
Nia •ShadesOfPaper•
You can find this review on my blog Shades of Paper.

“In a few years I will say: May the most virtuous Guardian rule. But today, I say: Maye the best riders win.”

Ever since I heard this had an Hermione Granger-esque character with dragons, I knew I had to read it ASAP. Turns out, I was not disappointed, and ended up loving it more than I thought, so I was so happy.

I don’t know why but lately I’ve been let down by so many dragon stories, so I went into it with pretty much no expectations,
Nicole N. (A Myriad of Books)
Actual rating: 4.5 stars

Thanks to G.P. Putnam’s Sons Book for Young Readers / Penguin Young Readers Group for giving me a free digital copy in exchange for an honest review.

I wish there were an adequate and much more eloquent way for me to tell y’all how much I enjoyed this book. The plot slowly unfolds, revealing just enough to entice you to keep reading, and then when you least expect it, you’re hit with a “Wow!” moment and you don’t look back. I found the storyline utterly engaging, and
Nov 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Review coming soon.
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Magnificent. Truly and wonderfully magnificent, this is everything I need and love in a fantasy book. Actually it’s just everything I need and love in a book, full stop. So carefully crafted, so beautifully written, such strong, complex characters, such a unique position to place the characters in, not facing a revolution but living in the aftermath of one, so compelling and unputdownable. Fireborne is a book I devoured and the first book in a series I can’t wait to continue.

Annie and Lee are
**A free copy was given to me via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. **

What is the definition of a good book?

Is it the one that makes you devour the words and flip the pages like your life depends on it? Is it the one whose characters you feel a connection with? Or is it the plot that leaves you speechless in the end?

For me, this book wasn’t one of those. And yet, I got through it and I truly cared about what happens next.

It started well. The
✨Brithanie Faith✨
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
4.5/5 stars .5

ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Fireborne by Rosaria Munda follows Annie and Lee who were just children when a brutal revolution saw Annie's lowborn family executed by dragonfire, and Lee's aristocratic family murdered by revolutionaries. That same revolution gave everyone, including the lowborn, a chance to test into the governing class of dragonriders. Fast-forward seven years later, and Annie and Lee are both rising stars in the new regime-
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Rosaria Munda grew up in rural North Carolina, where she climbed trees, read Harry Potter fanfiction, and taught herself Latin. She studied political theory at Princeton and lives in Chicago with her husband and cat. Her debut young adult fantasy Fireborne (Putnam 2019, the first in a trilogy) received starred reviews from Kirkus, SLJ, Booklist, and Publishers's Weekly, was the recipient of the ...more

Other books in the series

The Aurelian Cycle (3 books)
  • Flamefall (The Aurelian Cycle, #2)
  • Untitled (The Aurelian Cycle, #3)
“Bring what fury you have and I will answer it with ours.” 4 likes
“They watch us kneel, they see the back of our heads, and they think we've given in. They don't realize you can think from your knees just as well as from your feet.” 2 likes
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