Talon by Julie KagawaTalon by Julie Kagawa


byJulie Kagawa

Hardcover | October 28, 2014

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In New York Times bestselling author Julie Kagawa’s groundbreaking modern fantasy series, dragons walk among us in human form.

THE DRAGONS OF TALON: Once hunted nearly to extinction, they are now poised to take over the world.

THE ORDER OF ST. GEORGE: The legendary dragonslayers will stop at nothing to wipe dragons from the face of the earth.

These mortal enemies are locked in secret and deadly combat, with humanity none the wiser.

To take her rightful place in the Talon organization, young dragon Ember Hill must prove she can hide her true nature and blend in with humans. Her delight at the prospect of a summer of “normal” teen experiences is short-lived, however, once she discovers that she’s also expected to train for her destined career in Talon. But a chance meeting with a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught.

As Ember struggles to accept her future, St. George soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian is tasked with hunting her down. But when faced with Ember’s bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything the Order has ingrained in him—and what he might be willing to give up to uncover the truth about dragons.

Don’t miss the first book in Julie Kagawa’s highly anticipated new series, SHADOW OF THE FOX, AVAILABLE OCTOBER 2, 2018

Kagawa’s storytelling elevates this novel within the crowded field of fantasy romance.”

“Kagawa knows how to end a first volume for maximum cliff-hanger drama.

Julie Kagawa was born in Sacramento, California on October 12, 1982. Before becoming a full-time author, she worked in bookstores and as a dog trainer. Her books include The Iron Fey series, The Iron Legends, The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten series, and The Talon Saga.
Title:TalonFormat:HardcoverDimensions:464 pages, 8.52 × 5.5 × 1.42 inPublished:October 28, 2014Publisher:HarlequinLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0373211392

ISBN - 13:9780373211395

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Book If you enjoy a well written storyline with romance adventure, and the best part, dragons, then this book is so for you. its fresh and keeps you on your toes. This is one of my favorite dragon stories of all time, right next to wings of fire, and i'm still thinking about it after reading it a month ago. trust me my fellow bookworms, its a amazing-fangirl-worthy book.
Date published: 2018-09-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incedible Story This book is down right amazing! I was so drawn into the story making be beg for more action romance and of course the dragons. If you like dragons, I 100% recommend this book!
Date published: 2018-07-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dragons If you like dragons you will love this great book by Julie Kagawa.
Date published: 2018-07-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Start If you like dragons, romance, and stories set in California, Talon is your book. First of all, Talon has an interesting premise that is summed up pretty well above. You might want to read it if you haven't already. The two sides are developed enough that you get a sense of what they stand for. Neither side is inept and both are unyielding to the other, which really makes it seem like a war between equals. The characters are realistic, as far as having a dragon as one of your protagonists can be. The dragons do not act like humans and the humans do act like humans, which was interesting to read. Yes, there is a love triangle. I have a clear favourite for who Ember should choose, but we'll see what happens in the next books. I actually laughed at a few exchanges between characters, not something I usually do. The betrayals will really break your heart; you see them coming but they seem inevitable. Quibble time. I know having young protagonists are a staple of teen fiction, but Garret could've been a little older to be more believable for how he acts. Overall, Talon is a good start to a series. Read it. - The Book Goblin
Date published: 2018-07-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from incredible story weaver OH MY GOD Julie , you knever leave me hanging! <3 seriously!. talon was amazing! i still think the Iron Fey are the best but Talon is right up their with them. i loved the book i couldn't help myself when i got it in the mail i started to read and i couldn't put it down. i had to finish it. Colbat... oh my ur amazing can i have him wrapped and sent under my Christmas tree please!. i Really like Ember, not so much her brother though.. i had a feeling he was going to turn out rotten.Seriously though, the hole book i wanted to know about Riley, and that weird tingle they have to each other i loved it my rating is 4.5/5 the reason being a 4.5 is come on julie you make such interesting character love triangles but i wanted smoochie smoochie with Colbat and Ember <3 would have made the rating a 5. Many people would agree with me that Colbat or Riley what ever you want to call him and Ember are so cute and will be together their dragons want each other so why she being a dweeb and trusting her human side ... LIKE NOOOO! SMOKING HOT BIKER REBEL SHOWS INTEREST IN U AND YOU GO TOWARDS THE ENEMY!. you ditz! okay and her placement was perfect!, i had a different idea to what her placement was to be so julie congrats you shocked the shit outa me with that bomb! <3 julie i speak for everyone hurry up and publish the rest , perdy please <3 Full review on my good reads ~~ roseycheeksreviews
Date published: 2018-04-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A great light read I was surprised by how quickly I was attached to this book. A few pages in and I couldn't put it down!
Date published: 2018-02-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing I didn't really expect to like this because I don't usually read books involving dragons as the main focus, but it made me put all my expectations aside.I really enjoyed reading this, it's an intriguing book and will leave you wanting more.
Date published: 2018-01-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Spectacular! I love Julie's other series, and was even more engaged with this one! I have since read the rest of the written books in this series, and cannot wait for the next one!
Date published: 2017-12-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Interesting read Just loved this book and could not wait to get the second one
Date published: 2017-09-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from You have to read this book! I've always loved dragons, but Julie Kagawa is brilliant in creating a world where dragons walk amongst us. This is my favourite series that she's written, this first book was a wonderful surprise.
Date published: 2017-08-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting take on dragons Talon is an organization made up of dragons hiding among humans. Able to take human form, they integrate themselves into the human world. Ember is important for Talon, not just because she is a dragonelle - a female dragon - but also because she has a twin, Dante, something unheard of for dragons. Ember and Dante have been sent out into the human world for a summer to learn how to properly blend in with humans. This is Ember's first taste of freedom, as she and Dante grew up isolated in a compound out in the middle of nowhere. At the same time, the hatchlings are being trained for whatever faction Talon has decided they will be placed in for the rest of their lives, though Ember has no idea what Talon has in store for her. Meeting a rogue dragon, one who has run away from Talon, makes Ember question what she knows about Talon. Meanwhile, she starts falling for a human boy she knows she can never be with. But Garrett has his own secrets. A member of the Order of Saint George, Garrett is a soldier trained solely to kill dragons, creatures he believes to be the ultimate evil. He's been sent to the same town as Ember and Dante to try and find the sleeper hatchling Saint Geroge believes is hiding there. "Talon" is an interesting debut novel. The fiery female protagonist that rebels against authority, shady organizations with countless secrets, and two sworn enemies that fall in love, are all somewhat cliche in the YA genre, but "Talon" manages to have enough of an interesting twist to offer intrigue. And, although the novel starts off slow and has a few pacing issues, it does pick up later on, and the multiple points of view and storylines weaved together make enough of an interesting read to slog through the slow bits.
Date published: 2017-07-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A thrilling ride Julie Kagawa shall forever be one of my favourite authors ever. She writes the best books and seriously, the best boys. It's been quite awhile since I've ever felt so much thrill and excitement while reading a book. Talon started off with an immature protagonist Ember, and though, I thought I wouldn't like it, I had put it down for awhile until I received a physical copy to try it again. And guys , it was one the best decisions I've made. Seriously, where I had left off, I was just getting to the good part. The first half of the book may be quite annoying, but please, and I beg you, please do not give up. It gets so much better. There is much action with Riley, Garrett and Ember that literally your heart is racing and you seriously cannot turn the pages fast enough. Ember is immature and may be quite annoying, but trust me when I say it will get better. Even the Iron Fey series, Kagawa's main character still had a lot of growing up she needed to do. And let's just say that Garrett is another boy I shall add to my list of all-time book boyfriends. He may be similar to Ash from The Iron Fey series (Ash is my all-time favourite), but they are so different in so many levels. One of them being is that Garrett is so inexperienced. The other guy, Riley, is also another swoony guy, but Talon didn't go too in depth on Riley. It primarily focused on Ember and Garrett. I'm so excited for Rogue to come out and I'm seriously pre-ordering it because my heart cannot contain all of these emotions. And I just want more Ember, Riley, Garrett and Dante. I can seriously tell that the second book is going to be epic.
Date published: 2017-05-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great! I've had this book for a while and finally got around to reading it. I enjoy reading about dragons and this was a fun take on it. Despite the insta-love, I couldn't help but feel giddy reading about Ember and Garret. I also liked the alternating POVs.
Date published: 2017-04-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! Before I read this book, I knew nothing about it or Julie Kagawa. All I was told was that it was about dragons. I was pleasantly surprised by the nature of the novel and the world that was created - it went beyond my expectations, I wasn't ready to fall in love with the characters and the story. The plot is fairly simple, Julie managed to create many plot twists. There were many times when I was sitting on the edge of my seat, my eyes ready to fall out of my head they were moving so fast! I didn't want to put the book down. My heart was pounding throughout most of the novel due to all the dramatic irony and heart-stopping plot reveals.
Date published: 2017-04-26
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Unfortunate ** spoiler alert ** I was really disappointed by this book. When I heard that Julie Kagawa had another series I was really excited and especially because it has dragons. I love dragons but this (as I said) was a disappointment. I imagined an older, medieval fantasy world so when it was in modern society with them in disguise. That seemed like a cheat. 1. The characters. I didn't care for any of them. None of them brought anything unique to the story or anything to make them likeable. Blah and blah happened to blah and then blah blah also happened to blah. She does a lot of telling over showing so while we're told that these characters are gorgeous and likeable and in love I really don't feel it. And with that said why on earth did they make the main (see I can't even remember her name) become an assassin. Doesn't seem like someone reckless or irresponsible or a breaker of rules should be in this profession. The only character I did kind of like was the trainer lady and that's because she kept busting the balls of the lead who I couldn't stand. 2. Plot. Nothing really. Just surfing and playing the zombie game. Seriously. I hate stories where the end has all the action so it goes from blah blah blah to suddenly CLIMAX and then end. 3. Stupidity. All the characters. Seriously. "Oh let's go with these guys we don't trust and who are creepy." "I've been told not to trust anyone but I can trust this one guy." "She's the likeliest to be a dragon but there's no way they could be a dragon." And the fact that it had multiple POV's meant that we didn't get to guess about any of the characters because we were told everything. 4. Romance. There was no chemistry between the main character and her love interest. Or the third dragon. Why was it necessary to have the love triangle? What was so special about her? She was pretty by the book (ha ha) but there was no draw out. I'm tired of all these falling in love tropes (or whatever) happening all in the first book over the course of two weeks. Draw it out. Let it rest and build instead of just happening all at once. 5. Sexism. I have found a habit in Julie Kagawa that she tries to get all the feminism in her work to the main character and leaving nothing for the others. The main girl likes all those tough girl thinks and doesn't need a man but all the other girls fall flat. All they cared about were boys and shopping and that was their entire personality. Nothing made them stand out from one another and it makes the characterization of the non damsel in distress feel hollow because she didn't extend it to the other cast. I doubt I'll read the other books. Or if I do then I'll do it a long way down the line. Once I've forgotten how bad it was.
Date published: 2017-01-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not quite as advertised For a book that advertised dragons in disguise and epic firefights and such, it was overpowered by a lot of teenage shenanigans and angst. I didn't mind all of that, and it certainly had it's place in the character development, but it left me wishing I had had more epic world building, a larger scope, something. It felt a bit lacking. However, it is the first in a quintet, and as such, it did it's job. I am hoping against hope that with five books, I am going to get the scope and world building and large-scale issues I was hoping for from the first. This one has given me a taste of awesome characters and a world with a lot of potential. Definitely worth the read, and I am super excited for the rest of the series. Also, I should have known by now that Julie Kagawa would leave me on a heartbreaking cliffhanger. My current state of distress and impatience is my own fault, really.
Date published: 2017-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing New Series Julia Kagawa books are always awesome, and this one is no exception. I love the new characters, the new world, the magic, the politics, and the surprises. A definite must-read for all YA fans and dragon lovers!
Date published: 2016-12-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Unexpected I didn't expect this book to be what it was - a cute romance and with action scenes. Some parts I did find quite repetitive and cliche but it was great nonetheless. Although I can agree with others that it was quite a slow plot up until the end. I'm sure the books will only get more interesting as the saga continues. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-12-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really good! I really loved the plot and the concept. It was a great book and I can't wait for the next one. I just hope the author stops stuffing this love story down our throats. I get it, conflicted feelings and who to chose but do we really need to read about every chapter? Anyways hoping for an awesome next book!
Date published: 2016-11-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Book! This was amazing! I plan to read more books from Julie Kagawa
Date published: 2015-04-10
Rated 2 out of 5 by from A disappointment As a fan of Julie's I had high hopes for this book. As I started reading I quickly discovered that I did not like this book. I got very bored with the story line. I will not be buying the rest of the series.
Date published: 2015-04-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book! Can't wait for the next book! I enjoyed this from beginning to end - liked the interactions between the characters and see a lot of potential exciting reads to come!
Date published: 2015-04-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Eh, it was ok. Eh, this book was ok. It took way too long for it to get good. I'll keep reading the series, simply because I started it.
Date published: 2015-03-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from sadly found this book to be a little disappointing I bought this book thinking that it would be really interesting to read and it was. Yet for me this book just droned on and it didn't get to the point until you were at the end of the book. I thought that it was really predictable to read and didn't have a lot of points that caught me off guard. Which is what I like in a book. Yet I still couldn't put this book down while reading it. This is also partly because it is an easy read and you want to know what happens at the end. Overall thought that it was a decent book by and by but I don't know if I will buy the next book in the series.
Date published: 2015-02-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Book I bought this book for my son for Christmas. He devoured it. Cannot wait for the next book
Date published: 2015-02-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Talon This book is as great as all of Julie Kagawa's books are. Looking forward to the sequel!! Can't wait
Date published: 2015-01-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Every Thing she writes I Love Keep reading. ..now I have to wait till April 2015 for the next book ugh .... So far everything Julie has written has suckered me in wow all i can say is I Want More
Date published: 2014-12-16

Read from the Book

Ember"Ember, when did your parents die, and what was the cause of death?"I stifled a groan and tore my gaze from the car window, where the bright, sunny town of Crescent Beach shimmered beyond the tinted glass. The air in the black sedan was cold and stale and, annoyingly, the driver had engaged the child safety locks so I couldn't roll down the window. We'd been stuck in the car for hours, and I was itching to get out of this moving prison and into the sun. Outside the glass, palm trees lined the road, and charming villas shared the sidewalk with weathered gray shacks advertising food, T-shirts, surfboard wax and more. Just beyond the pavement, past a strip of glistening white sand, the Pacific Ocean shimmered like a huge turquoise jewel, teasing me with its frothy waves and countless beachgoers splashing freely in the glittering water."Ember? Did you hear me? Answer the question, please."I sighed and settled back against the cold leather. "Joseph and Kate Hill were killed in a car accident when we were seven years old," I recited, seeing the driver's impassive gaze watching me from the rearview mirror. Beside him, Mr. Ramsey's dark head bobbed in affirmation."Go on."I squirmed against the seat belt. "They had gone to see a Broadway musical, West Side Story," I continued, "and were struck by a drunk driver on the way home. My brother and I went to live with our grandparents, until Grandpa Bill developed lung cancer and could no longer take care of us. So we came here to stay with our aunt and uncle." I snuck a longing gaze out the window again, seeing a pair of humans on surfboards, gliding down the waves. My curiosity perked. I'd never gone surfing before, not in my dusty little corner of desert. It looked nearly as much fun as flying, though I doubted anything could compare to soaring the air currents, feeling the wind in your face and beneath your wings. I didn't know how I was going to survive the summer completely earthborn. Humans were lucky, I thought, as the car sped on and the surfers were lost from view. They didn't know what they were missing."Good," muttered Mr. Ramsey, sounding distracted. I imagined him scanning his ever-present tablet, scrolling through our files and background. "Dante, what is your real objective while in Crescent Beach?"My twin calmly pulled his earbuds down and hit the pause button on his iPhone. He had this uncanny ability to zone out to music or television and still know exactly what was going on around him. I did not have this talent. My teachers had to smack me upside the head to get my attention if there was anything remotely distracting around. "Observe and blend in," he stated in his cool, unruffled voice. "Learn how to engage with humans, how to be human. Assimilate into their social structure and make them believe we are one of them."I rolled my eyes. He caught my gaze and gave a small shrug. Dante and I weren't really twins, not in the truest sense of the word. Sure, we were the same age. Sure, we looked very similar; we had the same obscenely red hair and green eyes. And we'd been together as far back as I could remember. But we didn't come from the same womb. We didn't come from a womb at all, really. Dante and I were clutchmates, which was still highly unusual because our kind normally didn't lay more than one egg at a time. Making us strange, even among our own. But Dante and I had hatched together and were raised together, and as far as anyone was concerned, he was my twin, my sibling and my only friend."Mmm." Apparently satisfied that we had not, in fact, forgotten the made-up backstory drilled so deep into my head that I could recite it in my sleep, Mr. Ramsey went back to scrolling through his tablet, and I went back to staring out the window.The ocean receded, the sparkling horizon dropping from view as we turned off the main stretch and entered a subdivision with impressive white-and-rose villas lining the streets, surrounded by perfectly manicured lawns and palm trees. Some of these dwellings were truly enormous, making me stare in amazement. I'd never seen such huge houses except on television, or in the documentaries the teachers made us watch years ago, when we were first learning about humankind. Where they lived, how they acted, their behavior and family units and language—we'd studied it all.Now, we would be living among them.Excitement rose up again, making me even more impatient. I wanted out. I wanted to touch and feel and see the things beyond the glass, to finally experience it. My world, up until now, had been a large underground facility that I never saw the outside of, then a private school in the middle of the Great Basin, with no one around for miles, and only my brother and teachers for company. Safe, protected, far from prying human eyesand possibly the most boring spot on the face of the planet. I squirmed against the seat again, accidentally hitting the back of the chair in front of me."Ember," Mr. Ramsey said, a note of irritation in his voice,"sit still."Scowling, I settled back, crossing my arms. Sit still, calm down, be quiet. The most familiar phrases in my life. I was never good at sitting in one place for long periods of time, though my teachers had tried their hardest to instill "a little patience" into me. Patience, stodgy Mr. Smith had told me on more than one occasion, is a virtue that holds especially true for your kind. The best-laid plans are never conceived in a day. You have the luxury of time—time to think, time to plan, time to calculate and see everything come to fruition. Talon has survived for centuries, and will continue to survive, because it knows the value of patience. So what's the blasted hurry, hatchling?I rolled my eyes. The "blasted hurry" was that I rarely had any time that was truly my own. They wanted me to sit, listen, learn, be quiet, when I wanted to run, shout, jump, fly. Everything in my life was rules: can't do this, don't do that, be here at this time, follow the instructions to the letter. It had gotten worse as I got older, every tiny detail of my life regulated and laid out for me, until I was ready to explode. The only thing that had kept me from going completely nuts was looking forward to the day I turned sixteen. The day I would "graduate" from that isolated corner of no-man's-land and, if I was deemed ready, begin the next stage of training. I'd done everything I could to be "ready" for this, and it must've paid off because here we were. Observe, assimilate and blend in, that was our official mission, but all I cared about was that I was out of school and away from Talon. I'd finally get to see the world I'd studied all my life.The sedan finally pulled into a cul-de-sac of smaller but no less elegant villas and rolled to a stop in front of a driveway in the very center. I peered through the window and grinned with excitement at the place that would be home for an indefinite length of time.The structure looming above us sat across a tiny lawn of short grass, scrub and a single palm tree encircled in brick. Its walls were a cheerful, buttery yellow, the tiled roof a deep red. The top floor had huge glass windows that caught the afternoon light, and the front door stood beneath an archway, like the entrance to a castle, I thought. But best of all, through the gap between the house and its neighbor, I could just make out the silvery glint of water, and my heart leaped at the thought of the ocean right in our backyard.I wanted nothing more than to yank open the door, jump out and go sprinting down the sand dunes until I hit the ocean waiting for me at the bottom. But Mr. Ramsey, our official escort for the day, turned in his seat to eye us, particularly me, as if he knew what was going through my mind. "Wait here," he said, his rather large nostrils flaring with the order. "I will inform your guardians you have arrived. Do not move until I return."He opened his door, letting in a brief, intoxicating rush of warmth and salt-drenched air, slammed it behind him and marched up the worn brick path to the waiting villa.I drummed my fingers against the leather seat and squirmed."Wow," Dante breathed, peering over my shoulder, craning his neck to see the whole house. I could feel his presence behind me, his hand on my back as he steadied himself. "So, it's finally happening," he said in a low voice. "No more private school, no more getting up at 6:00 a.m. every single day, no more being stuck in the middle of nowhere.""No classes, no study hall, no evaluators dropping by every month to see how 'human' we are." I grinned back at him. The driver was watching us, listening to us, but I didn't care. "Sixteen years, and we finally get to start our lives. We're finally free."My twin chuckled. "I wouldn't go that far," he murmured, gently tugging a strand of my short red hair. "Remember, we're here to blend in, to study the humans and assimilate into the community. This is just another phase of training. Don't forget, at the end of the summer, we start our sophomore year of high school. But more important, our real instructors will show up, and they'll decide where we fit into the organization. This is a brief respite, at most, so enjoy it while you can."I made a face at him. "I intend to."And I did. He had no idea how much. I was tired of rules and isolation, of watching the world go by without me. I was tired of Talon and their endless string of policies, laws and restrictions. No more of that. The summer was mine, and I had big plans, things I wanted to do, before it ended and we'd be forced back into the system. This summer, I was going to live.If I was ever allowed out of this stupid car.The front door opened again, and Mr. Ramsey waved us forward. But instead of disengaging the child locks, the driver himself got out of the sedan and opened the doors for us. Of course he let Dante out first, and I almost slid across the seat to exit the car behind him. I was literally bouncing with impatience by the time the driver walked around to my side and finally let me out.When my feet hit the ground, I stretched both arms over my head and yawned, breathing in the sun-soaked air, letting it warm my skin. I already loved how this place smelled. Ocean and sand, surf and hot pavement, the sound of distant waves caressing the beach. I wondered what Mr. Ramsey and my future guardians would say if I blew them all off and went skipping down to the ocean without looking back."Ember! Dante!" Mr. Ramsey stood in the shade of the archway, beckoning to us. I sighed and had taken one step toward the trunk to get my bags when the driver stopped me."I'll bring in your luggage, Miss Ember," he said solemnly. "You go on up to the house.""Are you sure? I can get it." I stepped forward, holding out a hand, and he cringed back, averting his eyes. I blinked and stopped, remembering that some humans in the organization—the ones who actually knew what we were—were afraid of us. Our teachers had told us as much; though we were civilized and had slipped perfectly into human society, we were still predators, higher up on the food chain, and they knew it."Come on, sis," Dante called as I stepped back. He stood at the edge of the walkway with his hands in his pockets, the sun gleaming off his crimson hair. He already looked perfectly at home. "The sooner we meet everyone, the sooner we can do what we want."That sounded good to me. I nodded and followed him up the walk to Mr. Ramsey, who ushered us into a charming, well-lit living room. Through the large bay windows off to the side, I could see a rickety picket fence and, beyond that, the beach, a long wooden dock and the ever-tempting ocean. A pair of humans stood in front of a green leather sofa as we came in, waiting for us."Ember, Dante," Mr. Ramsey said, nodding to the pair, "this is your aunt Sarah and uncle Liam. They'll be taking care of you until further notice.""Nice to meet you," Dante, ever the polite one, said, while I hung back and observed our new guardians curiously. With a few distinctions, all humans looked basically the same to me. But our teachers had instructed us that it was crucial to see the differences, to recognize the individual, so I did that now. "Uncle" Liam was lanky and wind-burned, with russet hair and a neatly trimmed beard peppered with white. He had a stern face and unsmiling, swamp-water eyes that swept over us critically, before he gave a short, brisk nod. "Aunt" Sarah was plump and cheerful looking, her brown hair pulled into a neat bun, her dark eyes watching us with hawklike intensity."Well," Mr. Ramsey said, tucking his tablet under an arm. "My job here is done. I'll have Murray deliver your bags to your rooms. Mr. O'Conner, you know who to call if there is an emergency. Ember, Dante." He nodded to us, fixing me with a firm glare. "Obey your guardians. Remember your training. Your evaluators will be in to check on you in three months."And, just like that, he swept from the room, out the front door and was gone. He didn't say goodbye, and we hadn't expected him to. Sentiment was not a big thing among our kind."Ember and Dante Hill, welcome to your new home," Uncle Liam announced, sounding like he'd done this speech before. He probably had. "I'm sure your instructors have informed you of the rules, but let me remind you, in case you forgot. While you are here, Sarah and I are your guardians, thus we are responsible for you. Meals are served at 8:00 a.m., noon and 6:30 p.m. You are not required to be home for mealtimes, but you are to call to let us know where you are. You should already have the numbers memorized, so there is no excuse not to. Talon has provided you with a vehicle—I understand you both have driver's licenses—but you must ask permission before taking it out. Curfew is strictly at midnight, no exceptions, no questions asked. And, of course, the most important rule." His green-gray eyes narrowed. "Under no circumstances are you to Shift into your true forms. And you are never to fly, for any reason whatsoever. With the amount of people, technology and hidden threats, the risk of being seen is far too great. Your old school was on Talon property and they controlled the airspace around it, so the risks were minimal if you needed to Shift, but that is not the case here. Unless you receive a direct order from Talon itself, flying around in your true forms is strictly, one hundred percent forbidden. Is that understood?"I managed a brief nod, though the thought made me physically ill. How did they expect me to never fly again? They might as well just tear my wings off."If you fail to comply with these rules," Liam continued, "or if we deem you unfit for human society, Talon will be informed at once, and you will be evaluated to see if reeducation is necessary. Other than that, you are free to come and go as you please. Do you have any questions?"I did. I might be completely earthbound, but that didn't mean I had to stay here. "So, the beach," I said, and he arched an eyebrow at me. "Can we go down there any time?"Sarah chuckled. "It's a public beach, Ember. As long as you're home by curfew, you can spend as much time down there as you want. In fact, it's a good place to meet the locals—a lot of kids your age go there to hang out." She turned, beckoning to us with a chubby hand. "But here, let me show you to your rooms and you can unpack."Music to my ears.

Editorial Reviews

"Kagawa...uses alternating points of view...to good effect, weaving a dance of adolescent desire. It's a strong, promising start to the Talon Saga." -Publishers Weekly"This modern-day fantasy with a splash of romance is an entertaining read. Kagawa weaves an evenly paced narrative with a strong theme of loyalty." -School Library Journal"The militarized conflict between Talon and St. George provides plenty of excitement...and Kagawa knows just how to end a first volume for maximum cliff-hanger drama." -Booklist"Kagawa's fine storytelling elevates this novel within the crowded field of fantasy romance. The first in a new series, Talon leaves readers perfectly balanced between satisfaction and anticipation." -BookPage"A believable, exciting world...readers will swoon." -RT Book Reviews