Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle #1) by Rosaria Mundo

Annie and Lee have already lived through a revolution that changed their lives. Now with the chance for lowborn to become dragon riders, they’ll face their fiercest competition yet: fighting against each other for the top commanding office spot. While Annie’s family was executed by dragonfire and Lee’s was killed by revolutionaries, their friendship was forged in the orphanage they grew up in. When old enemies come creeping in to try and overthrow the new regime, Annie and Lee will face their toughest choices amidst old buried secrets.

I loved the atmosphere of dragon riding in this! Annie’s bond with her dragon was amazing and I loved her so much. Annie got a lot of crap for being lowborn, but I don’t specifically recall any gender discrimination which THANK GOD for. I am so sick of the female hate that abounds in YA fantasies. I know it’s based on the current world and is meant as a big F you to the patriarchy, but there’s only so much female hate I can take. It’s tiring.

The relationships and secrets in this world had my head spinning. Once I thought I had a character figured out, they’d turn around and reveal something or do something and I would be like did not see that coming. The world building was really well done as well. I enjoyed how the history of the past regime was always a breath away, but we could still how this new regime functioned.

Lee was okay for me. I felt like he led certain characters on and it really irritated me. But what he did in the end saved him in my eyes. I love this kid so much, but boy am I worried for him now. He painted a huge target on his back after revealing his secrets and I’m not sure Annie can save him. I am really interested to see where this will go.

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