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(The Aurelian Cycle #1)

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  424 ratings  ·  245 reviews
Game of Thrones meets Red Rising in a debut young adult fantasy that's full of rivalry, romance... and dragons.

The brutal revolution that overthrew the Dragonlords may have orphaned Annie and Lee, but it's brought new hope to their city. Now anyone--including the lowborn--can have wealth, an education, and even test into the governing class of dragonriders.

Aristocratic by
Kindle Edition, 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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Average rating 4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  424 ratings  ·  245 reviews

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Mary S. R.
Dec 11, 2018 marked it as to-read
[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 bloody revolution.

...Wait. What???? What kind of synopsis is/>...the/>./>Inspired/>[Initial[15
Anja H.
Sep 21, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
"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 orp
Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
"pitched as Aegon Targaryen and Hermione Granger with dragons, set in the aftermath of a bloody revolution"

what does this like....... mean, though?
Feb 10, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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
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 b
Bitchin' Reads
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 Republi ...more
Elise (TheBookishActress)
releases: 15 Oct 2019 ← This is a fantasy series opener about dragons that appears to be getting a lot of hype. Now, I am occasionally weary of the hype. But this… it sounds good? I’m excited to give this a try!
Kristen Ciccarelli
It's been a long time since a book made me this happy. FIREBORNE is my new favourite dragon book.
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 they were remandeworld?
☽ 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 deserves your time and attention.

As for the romance, a
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
♠️ TABI ♠️
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
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 th
✨Brithanie Faith✨
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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- having spen
Bridget Tyler
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I was lucky enough to get an early copy of this book, so I opened it up at 9pm and thought, oh I'll read for a little while. Cut to 1am where I'm still furiously turning pages and muttering to the characters about their life choices like a crazy person.

This world is so addictively absorbing, it's hard to describe. It's beautiful. It's terrible. It's thrilling. It's way too real for comfort, but in all the best ways. It is a luscious dragon fantasy, and it is definitely Top Gun with Dragons (I'M
Amber (The Book Bratz)
The full review + more can be found at The Book Bratz

*Thank you so much G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review Fireborne!*

I wish I could scream from the rooftops about how much I loved this book. But I don't think my neighbors would appreciate that. So, I basically shrieked all over twitter about this book and pushed it at all my blogging friends instead. Munda did not disappoint in her thrilling and action packed emotional thrill ride that incorporates the de
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 this book isn't really about dragonsWriter...
Ellie (faerieontheshelf)
oooh now the comps are Seraphina and Red Rising, which work marginally better


honestly I have no idea what they’re trying to sell this as and who they’re trying to sell it to (HP fans? GoT fans? Philosophers?) but damn if mentioning Plato’s Republic ain’t got me and my inner philosopher interested
Stacie (Shy Book Nerd)
Oh man, this book was gut wrenching. It was really good and I liked the fact that this book shows that not everything is black and white. There are many shades of gray with so many outcomes. It was a little on the slower side in the middle, but the dragons more than made up for it. So many dragons!! I was in dragon heaven. I am eagerly awaiting the second book, which is going to take forever to come out.
The Nerd Daily
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Nathalie DeFelice

What a gem of a read this was! Morally ambiguous characters, dragons, and some angsty romantic drama between characters made this for a fast and satisfying read. Not only can I not wait for what will happen next, but how the story will grow and transform from the ending I read. I’m excited for others to read this story as well, and revel in the choices that these beloved characters are making, and what it means for the fu
May 04, 2019 marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-publication
Well well well, would you look at that. My first DNF of the year.

Listen. I, like many of you, probably, had high hopes for this book because anything involving dragons has me eye emoji. What doesn’t have me eye emoji, though? Boring writing and two POV that sound the same and have zero voice. No thanks! I’m tired and I don’t need a book to make me feel more so.
Ashlee » Library In The Country
Plato, Targaryens and HERMIONE … what?

*shrugs* I'll take it.
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 an
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 1/2 stars

Oh, I liked this a lot. Although it gave me serious Megan Whalen Turner/Anne McCaffrey vibes, it also reads like something new.

This is one of those fantasy novels that feels more like reality. Yes, this world is populated by giant dragons, but everything here is nuanced and grey. The government is both inspiring and corrupt, its leader both charismatic and twisted. The main characters are held together by a strange mixture of love and deeply-held childhood trauma. Even th
Am I the only one that thought this story was just.. average? 🙈
Every review I've read just raves about how amazing it was and, what am I missing?

Ugh. Actual RTC.
Phil Dershwitz
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I grew up reading Tamora Pierce, and after reading an advanced copy of Fireborne I'm confident teenage-me would have loved this book as well. It takes some common tropes--hidden identity, birthright vs meritocracy, children forced by circumstance into adult roles--and recasts them in novel and creative ways.

The characters are nuanced and 3-dimensional, and I was genuinely invested in their character development. The protagonists are flawed people whose very lives represent a profound philosophi
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I like political intrigue, emotional depth, and character development. After reading an advanced copy of this book, I can confidently say that it has all 3. The setting of a new regime and all the baggage, intrigue, and mixed loyalties that brings with it ensured that I couldn’t put the book down. I am very excited to see the final version and looking forward to consuming the rest of the series.

I identified with Annie’s struggles, as an intelligent but not initially confident charact
♔ Dark Lordette Jennymort ♔
if the dragons in this are mierly side pieces, i'm going to fucking riot.

there had better be some rider-dragon loving relationship going on.
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
THIS REVIEW & MORE → Paws and Paperbacks

ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

There are not enough words to describe my feelings about this book. Finishing this left me feeling utterly speechless. I’m awestruck that this is Rosaria Munda’s debut, because it was nothing short of amazing. Fireborne is a thrilling, thought-provoking, powerful, gripping story that I can confidently say is easily my favorite book of the year, hands down.

Fireborn had been pitched as “Inspired by Plato’s Republic…Aegon Targaryen and/>/>ARC
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SOS: Serious Over...: [Nov 2019 - tie] "Fireborne" Discussion 1 8 Sep 23, 2019 05:49PM  
Rosaria 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.

For book recs and updates, follow her on instagram: @rosariamunda

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