Together We Burn by Isabel Ibanez

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, Wednesday Books

Date of publication: May 31st, 2022

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, Dragons, Young Adult Fantasy

Purchase Links: Amazon | Audible | B&N | WorldCat

Goodreads Synopsis:

Eighteen-year-old Zarela Zalvidar is a talented flamenco dancer and daughter of the most famous Dragonador in Hispalia. People come for miles to see her father fight in their arena, which will one day be hers.

But disaster strikes during their five hundredth anniversary show, and in the carnage, Zarela’s father is horribly injured. Facing punishment from the Dragon Guild, Zarela must keep the arena—her ancestral home and inheritance —safe from their greedy hands. She has no choice but to take her father’s place as the next Dragonador. When the infuriatingly handsome dragon hunter, Arturo Díaz de Montserrat, withholds his help, she refuses to take no for an answer.

But even if he agrees, there’s someone out to ruin the Zalvidar family, and Zarela will have to do whatever it takes in order to prevent the Dragon Guild from taking away her birthright.

An ancient city plagued by dragons. A flamenco dancer determined to save her ancestral home. A dragon hunter refusing to teach her his ways. They don’t want each other, but they need each other, and without him her world will burn.


First Line:

My mother died screaming my name.

Together We Burn by Isabel Ibanez

I had been hearing a lot of hype around the blogoverse about Together We Burn before I got the invite to review it. With everything I had been hearing, I was very interested in reading it. So curious that I went and put it in my To Read pile. So when the publisher sent me the invite, I jumped on it. I am glad I did. This book was a great read!!

Together We Burn had an exciting plotline. Zarela is a flamenco dancer who lost her mother, a famous flamenco dancer when the dragon her father was fighting went rogue and burned everyone in the arena. Disaster strikes again when, during the 500th-anniversary show, another dragon broke free of his bonds and rained carnage on the arena. One of the dragon’s victims was Zarela’s father. He wasn’t killed but was severely injured. That left Zarela to deal with the backlash. Convinced it was sabotage, Zarela starts an investigation. She is also determined to return her family’s arena to its former glory. Her investigation into that day and her quest to bring the arena back are merged when she realizes that the attack was not random. Failing to convince the Dragon Guild that there was foul play behind the attack, Zarela is left with no choice but to fight the dragons herself. But, she only has days to learn. Can Zarela find out who is behind the attacks? Can she save her family’s arena? And more importantly, can Zarela learn to fight dragons and not get killed?

The plotline in Together We Burn moved slowly during the book’s first half. On the one hand, I liked it because it let me learn about Zarela’s background, the background of dragon fighting, and the tragedy of her mother’s death/the arena carnage. But on the other hand, the book started dragging by 40% of the book. But, after Zarela hires Arturo, the book picks up speed. By the end of the book, the plotline was super fast.

What I loved about this book was that the author included a glossary of the different types of dragons and other guilds in Hispalia. I can’t tell you how many times I used that glossary, and I wish every author would do something like that. I found it helpful while reading.

I liked Zarela. Even though she was devastated by what happened to her parents (and remember, it was two different occasions), she rose to the occasion. She was willing to do whatever it took to keep the arena afloat. That included learning how to fight dragons so she could keep her family’s arena. And that meant hiring a dragon hunter/ex-dragon fighter to teach how to survive in the arena. While doing that, she was also investigating what happened at the arena. I found her to be a very well-rounded character who surprised me.

Arturo didn’t become a central character until the middle of the book. He wanted nothing to do with Zarela at first. But, her stubbornness and resolve won him over. He was hard on her, which didn’t surprise me. He needed to teach her the basics of dragon fighting before the event that could save the arena. He also reluctantly became involved with her investigation into the events at the arena. He was instrumental in several key scenes towards the end of the book. The author wiped away doubts about him before the arena scenes at the end of the book.

Several memorable secondary characters breathed life into the book. They added additional depth to the storyline. I will not go into each one, but I enjoyed the flair they each added.

I loved how the author portrayed the dragons. She went from seeing them as ferocious creatures who lived to kill and maim to creatures who were misunderstood and wanted to be left alone. I loved it!!

The storyline with Zarela and the investigation was well written. I didn’t figure out who was behind everything until the author revealed that person. I was completely surprised by who it was and the reasons behind it.

The storyline with Zarela, Arturo, and learning how to fight dragons was interesting. I liked how Zarela convinced Arturo to work with her (the girl is stubborn). But, I also liked how Arturo showed Zarela a different side to dragons. The lessons made me wince, and Arturo was rough on Zarela. But considering she could die, he wasn’t harsh enough. And the twist to that plotline (what Zarela and Arturo figured out and used) was amazing!!

There was a romance angle in Together We Burn, but I was kind of meh about it. I liked that Zarela and Arturo got together but did the author need to discuss it? In my opinion, no.

The fantasy angle in Together We Burn was well written. I liked how the author chose to portray magic (both good and bad) along with dragons. That alone made me want to see more books written in this universe.

The end of Together We Burn was good. There were no twists (other than the dragon fight), and everyone did have their HEAs.

I would recommend Together We Burn to anyone over 16. There are sex and sexual situations (not graphic) and violence.

Through a Dragon’s Eyes (Chronicles of the Four: Book 1) by Marissa Farrar

Through A Dragon's Eyes: A Reverse Harem Fantasy (Chronicles of the Four Book 1) by [Marissa Farrar]

Publisher: Warwick House Press

Date of publication: April 24th, 2018

Genre: Fantasy, Reverse Harem, Romance

Series: Chronicles of the Four

Through a Dragon’s Eyes—Book 1

With a Dragon’s Heart—Book 2

Into a Dragon’s Soul—Book 3

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | AbeBooks | Alibris | IndieBound| Walmart eBooks

Format Read: eBook

Purchased from: Amazon as a free Kindle book

Trigger Warning: None

Goodreads Synopsis:

A magic long forgotten.Four races divided.An epic journey.

She lost her brother, now will she lose her life?

Ever since the Treaty was signed after the Great War, one hundred and fifty years earlier, the separate races of Xantearos have been divided. Only every six months do a select group come together for the Passover—a time to trade much needed produce.

In the human city of Anthoinia, Dela Stonebridge has already lost her brother to The Choosing, and now it is her turn. The grueling journey across the mountains, through the Southern Pass, is always dangerous, but when magic and madness descends, she discovers herself exiled with the leaders of the three other races—the Elvish, Moerians and Norcs.

With the Treaty broken, they learn the secret to the unity of Xantearos lies in a magic long thought dead… that of the Dragonstone and the Dragonsayer.

Can they put their differences aside and work together to make their way back to their homelands? Or will they be walking into a war between each of their races?Get the first book in this brand new, fantasy, reverse harem series!


First Line:

Dela Stonebridge couldn’t take any more of her mother’s tears.

Through a Dragon’s Eyes by Marissa Farrar

Beginning of Book Impressions:

Through a Dragon’s Eyes starts with Dela (the female main character) chosen to be part of an expedition that takes place twice a year. This expedition helps restate a peace treaty with the other three races that humans share their lands with. It also helps give much-needed resources that the other races might need. The Treaty has been ongoing for 150 years and is required to keep The Treaty in place. Also, part of The Treaty is that magic is outlawed. It would help if you kept this in mind as you read the first half of the book. It is important.

I liked that the author chose to highlight each race before continuing the story with Dela. The races were the Norcs, the Moerians, the Elves, and the Humans. Each race was different. The Norcs lived high in the mountains, were massive, wore little clothing, rode mountain goats, and had bison pulling their carts of coal. The Moerians lived on the plains, were smaller than the Norcs and but bigger than the Elves, and rode their horses bareback. The Elves were slight, aged very slowly, were magic users, and rode stags. And then there were the humans. The humans walked, had oxen pulling their carts, and were smaller than the Elves and were weak. Another thing that set the other races apart was that the Norcs, Moerians, and Elves sent their leaders on these twice-yearly missions while the sent humans were varied (but no leaders). So, it would help if you also kept this in mind while reading the book.

The end of the beginning of the book is when Dela and her group set off to the meeting place. Several things happen to the group before they arrive. Put it this way, people were dropping like flies, and it was making the group nervous. Dela was also having lucid dreams about flying. Those dreams were getting more and more vivid the more time she spent on the road.


Mid-Book Impressions:

The middle of the book is when it started getting interesting. See, once the humans arrived at the meeting place, the shit hit the fan. I am going to use bullet points for this because writing would take forever.

  1. Warsga (the Norc) hears the humans coming. He openly and silently mocks them. Once he sees Dela, he is impressed with her. He is also the first one to see the danger in The Long White Cloud and urges everyone to get moving.
  2. Orergon (the Moerian) is the quiet one of the group. I really couldn’t get a feel for him except that he was somewhat of a badass. I mean, he was the ruler of ALL the tribes, and you don’t get there by being soft. He also saved Dela when they were running from The Long White Cloud.
  3. Vehel (the Elf) was the youngest (or oldest…depends on how you look at it) of the group. His own family hated him (didn’t say why but I figured it was because of him being able to use magic). He used magic to shield Warsga, Orergon, Dela, and himself from The Long White Cloud. Doing so broke The Treaty.
  4. The Long White Cloud battle. Ok, so I had a WTF was that moment while reading this part. This whole group didn’t stand a chance against it. Put it this way, it was like a blizzard on steroids, and that had demons things that couldn’t be killed living inside it. Yeah, frightening. I didn’t blame Warsga urging everyone to run. He knew what it was. Once it overtook the group, it was carnage except for our main characters. Vehel used magic to shield them, and when Warsga tried to cut his way out, he teleported everyone across the continent!!

The end of the middle of the book is when the group wakes up in the middle of nowhere. After taking some time to recover, the group decides to start walking to well; they don’t know where. That is when a…….murder hornet takes Dela. There was a name for it in the book, but I am calling it a murder hornet. She is paralyzed by it and brought to the burrow, leaving the boys frantic.

Surprisingly, for a reverse harem book, there is no sex. Zero. There was some flirting between Warsga (and a memorable scene where he wondered if he would fit inside Dela, which made me giggle a little). There was sexual tension all over the place, but no one acted on it. Honestly, with everything going sideways, there wasn’t time for Dela to have sex with anyone. It was a refreshing change of pace.


End of Book Impressions:

The end of the book starts with Dela’s dramatic rescue from the murder hornets. Vehel risked his life to get Dela out of there. But there was a small, teeny-tiny problem. Dela was paralyzed. So, the boys decided to continue their trek and try to find help.

They did find help. They found a Fae village surrounded by a protective barrier. The author’s version of the Fae was horrifying. They had tiny wings and sharp pointed teeth. The only reason the Fae decided to help Dela was because of her ring. I am not going to get into it was an exciting twist. The Fae also suggested Dela go to a mountain and see what is there. I wasn’t surprised by what was revealed. I figured it out when Dela was dreaming. But it was still exciting to read!!

The end of the book was a cliffhanger. I’m not too fond of cliffhangers, and this one wasn’t any different in my eyes. But it did its job and made me want to read the next book!!


My Overall Thoughts on Through a Dragon’s Eyes:

I enjoyed reading Through a Dragon’s Eyes. The story kept my attention, and I loved the lore. The author did a great job of not adding any unnecessary details to the book. The book was a fast read. What I enjoyed was that there was NO SEX!!!!

I would recommend Through a Dragon’s Eyes to anyone over 16. But that is this book only!!! I have a feeling the other books are 21+. It is a clean book with minimal violence. There is one kissing scene with Vehel and one scene where Dela and Warsga eye fuck each other.