Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: July 5th, 2022
Genre: Fantasy – Historical – Romance
Rating: 5/5 Stars
I’ll admit I was completely and utterly swept away by this book. Set in a fantasy version of Spain, where instead of bulls, they fight dragons, Zarela is the daughter of a flamenco dancer and a Dragonador. Her father fights in their arena, part of their family for generations. Until disaster sees him injured and Zarela finds herself trying to keep the family business going, and dealing with the Dragon Guild. She’s determined to save her home and family, and enlists the help of Arturo Díaz de Montserrat, a dragon hunter, to train her. And she won’t take no for an answer.
Together We Burn is the story of a young woman fighting to save her home. She steps up and defends herself and her family against ruthless men who would love nothing more than to see her torn down, and she is determined to prove herself to those who would underestimate her. I loved Zarela’s relationship with her father – it’s not perfect, and at the start it is a little strained, but he never seemed to think she couldn’t handle things, and he trusted her. The main issue he has is the possibility of injury. There’s also a lovely wider cast, from Zarela’s best friend to Arturo’s employer, and they fill out the world nicely.
The dragons were written really well, and I loved the way Ibañez conveyed their presence, their danger, and their majesty. These dragons are not just vicious beasts, as Zarela comes to learn, and the scenes where she gets up close to them are some of my favourites in the book.
Of course, I absolutely freaking loved him. He’s a bit of a broody hero, and like Zarela’s father, despite his reluctance to help her he never seems to believe she can’t or won’t do what she sets out to do. Even angry at her, he supports her, and I liked their interactions throughout.
There were so many moments where Arturo’s pain was clear, and where it was obvious he was hiding something, but not what – it worked really well to have that undercurrent of mystery to it and Zarela didn’t push it too much, either. And the world around them felt fleshed out and vivid, with the various guilds and characters and the setting around Zarela. I liked the direction it took, and it had me completely captivated.
This was a really enjoyable read and easy to get swept up in, with a nice blend of fantasy and history. Definitely worth a read if you’re considering it.
Thank you to Titan Books for providing me this ebook via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Views remain my own.