The price of freedom is everything.
When forced to choose between safety with the dragon organization Talon and being hunted forever as an outcast, Ember Hill chose to stand with Riley and his band of rogue dragons rather than become an assassin for Talon. She’s lost any contact with her twin brother, Dante, a Talon devotee, as well as Garret, the former-enemy soldier who challenged her beliefs about her human side.
As Ember and Riley hide and regroup to fight another day, Garret journeys alone to the United Kingdom, birthplace of the ancient and secret Order of St. George, to spy on his former brothers and uncover deadly and shocking secrets that will shake the foundations of dragons and dragonslayers alike and place them all in imminent danger as Talon’s new order rises.
Diving into Julie Kagawa's Soldier over a year after I read Rogue as an ARC was pretty difficult, I'll admit! I couldn't really remember much of what happened besides the bit of a cliffhanger that we ended with when Garret told Ember how he felt and then left because she didn't say stay...and basically put me in a turmoil of a wreck! And thankfully things pretty much pick up where we left off!
Garret is headed to London to see what he can learn about the St. George, he's looking for answers because he's been awakened to the fact that the Order has been lying to him and the other soldiers, for many years. And not only does he learn a whopper of a secret, but he also meets a new dragon of the Eastern Orient type, the cousin or brother or whatever you want to call it to the Western dragons! It was definitely an interesting situation he found himself in, plus learning about a whole new dragon specie! In a way, this was a Garret book because we got to learn a lot about this soldier and his past. I kind of liked how his flashbacks were titled Sebastian rather than Garret, because it obviously shows us that he was a different person back then!
Moving back to the other dragons of the story, Ember and Riley have been on the move nonstop with Wes in tow as they try to outrun Talon and the Order. In the meantime they've been given a bit of lead on a possible breeder location from Griffin who is wanting their protection in exchange and this basically leads us into the thick of action and more secrets!
There was quite the bit of intrigue in this one! We're learning more and more about the secrets from the Order and Talon! They're both knee deep in them it seems! The Order keeping things from Garret, Talon keeping things from...everyone! It's insane! But it's the good kind of insane in some ways! Because it makes for a plot thick with tension and suspense! There's still a good deal of action as well!
Then there's Dante, Ember's twin brother who still gets his occasional chapter. Before I believed that maybe Dante wasn't as immersed with Talon as we thought...or at least I was apparently thinking that when I wrote my review of Rogue! But after reading Soldier I realize how ridiculous that notion is! Dante is getting deeper and deeper into Talon it seems and becoming their perfect employee! It's kind of scary in some sense since he still fully believes in everything Talon stands for and doesn't know the things that Ember and Riley know.
Which brings me to my next point, the romance. We have here one of the most difficult love triangles ever! I was conflicted in my choice for Ember. Granted I leaned more heavily towards Garret for reasons and I did still like Riley. But after reading this one, I can firmly say that I am definitely Team Garret. I have no love for Riley anymore. I'm not sure what changed about him or if maybe his true colors are just finally coming to fruition. I just couldn't help but feel like Riley was getting too possessive of Ember. Already claiming her as his. That she belongs TO him. Not with him, TO him. I can't remember exactly where in the book that he says this, but there was clearly a TO and that started giving me very bad vibes. It was starting to feel to me that Riley just wants to possess Ember, she's a thing to be owned. His dragon wants her and that's that. It doesn't really help matters that poor Ember is still conflicted. She's very much in tune with her human side as well as her dragon side and despite her dragon claiming Cobalt as hers, Ember isn't sure if Riley is meant for her. I guess having Garret back in the picture doesn't really help matters either for it's not long before his trip to London has him running back to the states to help Ember and Riley out of the unknown dangers.
The bad part about reading a series so far apart from one another is never being able to remember the past details. At least for me. Binging series is highly recommended! Lol! But in the long run, I kind of felt like Soldier read like a spy book in some ways, which isn't a bad thing! It was so intriguing! There were secrets being revealed, enemies to be dealt with, and you're always wondering if other new interlopers could be trusted! It definitely made for an intriguing storyline and an even more gripping pace!
In true Julie Kagawa fashion, she ends this one with a jaw-dropping cliffhanger! I didn't feel as pained with the Rogue ending but this one? This one was painful!! If you have yet to pick up this series, so far I'd recommend waiting until you have Legion at the ready, but knowing Julie, she might have a killer cliffhanger there too! And there's only one more book in the series after that, so I may even go as far to say to wait to binge read this incredibly amazing series until all the books are out!
The Talon series so far has been a fast paced and incredible journey! I mean DRAGONS people! I've never realized I was longing for a dragon read until I read Talon! I love seeing this mythical creatures in action! And Julie's dragons are one of the most amazing ones I've seen to date! If you've yet to read her amazing series I highly recommend you do...possibly starting next year. I'll let you know if it's safe to read Legion after I've finished it! LOL!
Overall Rating 5/5 stars