Flamefall
Flamefall

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Series: The Aurelian Cycle Vol. 2   

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Annotation: After a brutal revolution Callipolis is ravaged by famine and the Pythians are ready for revenge, so it's up to Annie, Lee, and newcomer Griff to decide what to fight for, and who to love.
Catalog Number: #254925
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Penguin
Copyright Date: 2021
Edition Date: 2021
Pages: 483 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-525-51824-X Perma-Bound: 0-7804-8870-9
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-525-51824-2 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-8870-0
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2020049819
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Kirkus Reviews
With war on the horizon and civil unrest brewing at home, what options are left for the dragonriders of Callipolis?Picking up where Fireborne (2019) left off, the dragonlords are eager to start their siege of Callipolis while the Guardians struggle with famine and unrest on their own shores. As Firstrider, Antigone sur Aela is responsible for leading the charge, but with her best rider, Lee sur Pallor, suffering from flameshock, she must change her strategy. As things unfold, Lee and other riders begin to ask questions: Hunger, rationing, and withheld information make them wonder if maybe the rebels are right. In New Pythos, the old regime’s dragons have sparked and are ready for war. But will the cruelty of the dragonlords push the humble-riders to rebel? Can the Guardians and the humble-riders work together to build something new? Class rather than race is significant in Callipolis; those who test into Gold or Silver have resources that Bronze and Iron classes can never dream of. While framed as equity, this doesn’t sit well with those who remember what came before and is the catalyst for unrest. Point-of-view chapters show complexities, provoking readers to think. In addition to the central will-they, won’t-they love story, there is a lovely subplot with a same-sex, cross-class romance.Exciting aerial battles, political machinations, and a bit of romance make this hard for readers to put down. (author’s note) (Fantasy. 14-18)
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 7 Up Nearly 10 years ago, First Protector Atreus led the people of Callipolis in a bloody revolution, overthrowing and slaughtering the aristocratic rulers and their families. Although the rebellion's intent was to build a new society based on merit rather than noble birth, most citizens still struggle under the new system. Now, as the city's food supplies dwindle and citizens rally for equal rations and free speech, dragonrider Guardians Lee and Annie must balance keeping the peace with serving the people. Meanwhile, on New Pythos, the few surviving dragonborn aristocrats, known as the Triarchy, are forming a dragon army augmented by "humble riders"poor conscripts trained to ride muzzled dragons into battle. Griff is one such rider, squire to the sadistic Firstrider Ixion. When Ixion attempts to kill Griff's family, Griff's tenuous loyalties snap and he plans to betray his oppressors. Much like its predecessor, this second book in the "Aurelian Cycle" trilogy finds its strength in complex, compelling characters and thought-provoking socio-political intrigue. By interweaving the perspectives of Annie, Lee, and Griff, the author gives readers insight into each character's ethical struggle while keeping the plot moving forward. Amid the politics there are plenty of dragon battles, clandestine missions, and secret meetings to keep readers flying through the pages, ending with a nail-biting cliffhanger. Many readers will also appreciate the authenticity of Griff's romance with his handsome friend Delo. Characters have various skin tones. VERDICT Readers who enjoyed Fireborne are sure to tear through this sequel. Highly recommended for middle and high school readers.Lara Goldstein, Forsyth Cty. P.L., NC
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* "Anyone can start a fire. The problem is what happens after." This second book in Munda's Aurelian Cycle is as swift and sure as the first (Fireborne, 2019). In Callipolis, Lee and Annie have begun a budding romance, but things aren't easy between them. Lee, reeling from betrayal and flameshock (i.e., PTSD), is drawn into the Passi, an underground group protesting the unequal distribution of rations during the famine. He no longer supports Atreus' noble vision t when it still draws deep divisions between people. Annie is similarly conflicted. As Firstrider, she's sworn to protect, but what does that mean between leading the war against New Pythos and suppressing the one growing at home? In New Pythos, Griff, a lowborn Norcian dragonrider, serves as squire to cruel dragonlord Ixion because he has no choice. When chance brings him into Annie's orbit, they hatch a plot to end the war and free Griff's people. Parallels between totalitarian New Pythos and Callipolis, which overthrew tyranny only to institute their own brand of class injustice, are razor-sharp, highlighting the complexity in building a morally just system. Munda balances nuanced political intrigue and subtle characterizations with thrilling scenes of battle and heartbreaking moments of love and sacrifice. Ending with a series of intense cliff-hangers, this volume will leave readers breathless for more.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (3/1/21)
Reading Level: 6.0
Interest Level: 7-12
Chapter One: New Pythos

GRIFF

Julia's missing, and I'm in a terrible mood. Not improved by the weather, which is cold and damp, but in New Pythos, it's always cold and damp. I'm gutting fish in a back room off the dragon lairs when Scully comes to find me.

"Dragonlord here to see you," the lair- master says.

That's the one way to make my day worse. Bran and Fionna, the other two squires on fish- gutting duty, exchange a look. We're up to our arms in bits of fish bone and scales; the stink of the fish oil will follow us out of the lairs, and now I'm going to miss the one perk that comes with prepping dragon feed-- sneaking the remains home. I rise, wiping my hands on the work rag.

Scully hates the sound of my perfect Dragontongue, which is why I always try to use it. "Which dragonlord"-- I pause just long enough for him to wonder if I'll add-- "sir?"

Scully scowls. This is why he keeps putting me on fish gutting. Lip. Not to mention our clans hate each other. "The one you serve," he says in Norish.

Most days, that would be good news. Today, I just wish it were Julia.

On the balustrade outside, Delo Skyfish waits for me.

I remember as a child being struck by the Callipolan exiles, when they arrived on New Pythos: at the ghostly pallor of the Stormscourge survivors, at the warm brown skin and tight curls of the Skyfish lords. Delo Skyfish no longer looks like the ragged urchin that washed ashore ten years ago, but he's still striking, and at the sight of his fur cloak and freshly coiffed hair, I'm conscious of my own stinking state.

I bow low.

"Your presence is an unexpected honor, my lord."

Delo mutters, "As you were." I straighten; Delo is scowling at me, like he knows I'm trying to discomfort him. He's my age, taller than I, but slenderer. "The Triarchy- in- Exile wants to speak with you."

I hug my arms around my chest, shivering from the sea spray coming in off the water. We're dwarfed by the cliffs above and the citadel atop them, and by the limestone pillars of karst that jut from the sea into the sky. "Did they tell you what for?"

I use the formal you, and when Delo answers, he uses the informal. When we were younger, and I was still figuring out Dragontongue, he tried to get me to use the informal, too, or speak to him in Norish, which he was learning at the same time, but I refused. In trials of will with Delo, I win.

"They want to question you about Julia," he says. "She's missing."

As if I haven't noticed.

"Why would I know where Julia is?"

Delo hesitates. "Ixion-- told them."

From the way he says it, I don't have to ask what.

The last time I saw Julia, her lips were on mine. In the dark I could feel, not see, her smile as she bunched my shirt to raise it. She always smiles, like what we're doing is a game, and it amuses her to win.

Ixion told them.

I've stopped walking, and Delo stops, too, turning back to me. His face says everything I need to know about what's about to happen in the Glass Hall. He doesn't say I'm sorry, and I don't say Ixion had no right. By now, I'm no stranger to the humiliations Ixion devises.

Like being called before the Glass Hall as Julia's peasant lover stinking of fish.

As if he'd heard me think it, Delo reaches into his satchel. "I brought you a fresh shirt."

Most of Delo's clothes are blue, the color of his House, but this shirt is plain, undyed-- appropriate for a peasant. Even so, it's finer than anything I've ever owned, and I'm likely to ruin it with muck. I pull it over my head, and when I look up, Delo's watching me. He looks away, down. The shirt smells like him.

I follow Delo up the winding outer stairs, carved into the side of the cliff and looking out over the North Sea, that connect the lairs where I work to the citadel at the summit. Both were built by the ha'Aurelians in the original conquering, when they invaded Norcia with their dragons, subjugated my people, and renamed our island New Pythos. The dragons' bloodlines dried up in the cold not long after, but the lords remained.

And now, for the first time in generations, they have dragons again. Twenty-five dragons, brought as eggs by the Callipolan exiles ten years ago.

Dragons for revenge.

Dragons for the exiles' surviving sons. Dragons for the sons of the lords on whose hospitality they imposed. Titles for their children in a future, greater Callipolis.

But there weren't enough sons. The exiled Triarchy was forced to present the remaining hatchlings to others. Female dragonborn, like Julia. Bastards, who trickled in from Callipolis's vassal islands, once despised for their illegitimacy but now needed.

Dragons were still unclaimed.

So, with a fleet not yet filled, the dragonborn resorted to a measure few believed would work.

They had the remaining dragons presented to the sons and daughters of their Norcian serfs.

And the dragons Chose.

They call us humble-riders.

Excerpted from Flamefall by Rosaria Munda
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Revolutionary flames ignite around Annie, Lee, and a brand new character in the follow-up to FIREBORNE.

After fleeing the revolution and settling into the craggy cliffs of New Pythos, the dragonlords are eager to punish their usurpers and reclaim their city. Their first order of business was destroying the Callipolan food supply. Now they're coming for the dragonriders.

Annie is Callipolis's new Firstrider, charged with leading the war against New Pythos. But with unrest at home, enforcing the government's rationing program risks turning her into public enemy number one.

Lee struggles to find his place after killing kin for a leader who betrayed him. He can support Annie and the other Guardians . . . or join the rebels who look to topple the new regime.

Griff, a lowborn dragonrider who serves New Pythos, knows he has no future. And now that Julia Stormscourge is no longer there to protect him, he is called on to sacrifice everything for the lords that oppress his people--or to forge a new path with the Callipolan Firstrider seeking his help.

With famine tearing Callipolis apart and the Pythians determined to take back what they lost, it will be up to Annie, Lee, and Griff to decide who--and what--to fight for.


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