I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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Released: May 31 2022
Genre: Young Adult
Published by Wednesday Books
Zarela is the heir to greatness – her mother is one of the most famous flamenco dancers to grace the stages of Hispalia, and her father is one of many in a long line of celebrated Dragonadors. Life was great for them for a while, but things started to go downhill after the death of her mother. After another tragedy strikes during the 500th anniversary show for the family’s arena, will Zarela be able to figure out what happened and save her family’s legacy before it’s too late?
The main characters in this book were wonderful. I empathize with all the emotions Zarela went through when she realized the weight of her family’s legacy (on both sides) had suddenly fallen on her shoulders. I also was quite amused by the stubbornness that Arturo displayed throughout the course of the book (who doesn’t love a grumpy hero)? Ms. Ibanez nailed the emotion and the banter between Zarela and Arturo, and I’m absolute trash for the enemies to lovers romance trope so *shrug* – what more can I say?
The worldbuilding in Together We Burn was, in a single word, impressive. I loved all the little tidbits about the various dragon species that dragonadors face in the ring (and dragons in general make every story better). The political system and the way power was structured in Hispalia was super cool. I also loved learning about the history of Zarela and her family’s legacy (the arena they run has been in the family for 500 years). The author did note that the setting of the book was inspired by Medieval Spain, and the characters do use Spanish in the book, but I never had an issue understanding what was being said. As a side note, I abhor books where you have to break out Google Translate to know what’s going on (especially since translator apps never get the translation quite right).
My only complaint or reservation about the book was the level of predictability. I was never surprised by anything that was going on, and that was kind of disappointing. Despite this, I was still entranced by the story and left wanting more. I’m kind of sad that this is a standalone instead of the first book in a full series, but I think the story ended in a good place (there are no cliffhangers or loose story threads to worry about).
Overall, Together We Burn is a fantastic new young adult fantasy romance book. If a story about dragon matadors with a fierce heroine and a brooding hero sounds like your cup of tea, then don’t wait to pick up Together We Burn today!
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