Review: Rogue by Julie Kagawa (Talon #2)


Rogue by Julie Kagawa // VBC ReviewRogue (Talon #2)
Julie Kagawa
Published: April 28, 2015 (Harlequin Teen)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: purchased

Reviewed by: Jannelle

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

Note: While review will be spoiler free, it does make reference to previous books in the series. If you haven’t started yet, check out VBC’s review of book 1, Talon.

Rogue begins exactly where Talon left off: Ember has decided to leave the organization she was born into, Talon, with a rogue dragon named Riley/Cobalt. After the epic battle at the end of Talon involving Talon’s lethal assassins and their age-old enemy, the soldiers of St. George, Ember ends up not just leaving behind her old life and her twin brother, Dante, but Garrett as well, a soldier of St. George she had begun to develop feelings for.

At the beginning of Rogue, we are introduced to the multiple narrators seen throughout the novel: Ember, Garret, Riley/Cobalt, and Dante. While Ember is off with Riley, hiding from both St. George and Talon, Garret has been taken prisoner by his own people as a traitor (and “dragon-lover”) and Dante is now working more closely with Talon in order to find his twin sister. With Riley’s help, Ember attempts to release Garret from his cell within a St. George compound—every dragon’s enemy—with an ultimate goal of freeing her brother from Talon as well.

Rogue wasn’t the anxiety-filled story Talon was, but that’s not to say it was a walk in the park either. There is a great deal more action in this installment of the series, seemingly fast paced thanks to the multiple perspectives throughout; the same scene being told three, and sometimes four, different ways depending on who is present. That being said, while I enjoyed the multiple perspectives, it slowed the pace a bit, stalling the story’s progression. The positive side to the multiple perspectives, however, is the insight it gave me to the complex behaviors and personalities of the many characters.

Of course, having both Riley/Cobalt’s and Garret’s perspectives made it incredibly difficult to pick a side as the love triangle from the first installment continues and throws you for a loop in Rogue. At the end of Talon, I was mostly team Cobalt and now, I don’t know. I think being able to continue the journey through Garret’s point of view enabled me to see him as more than just a soldier of St. George. The same can be said for Cobalt as he is more than just a rogue dragon. Whose side are you on? I think I would be happy with whomever Ember chooses, though her constantly changing emotions make me continuously frustrated with her.

While reading, I would often forget I was reading a young adult novel because all of the characters here are insanely focused, goal-oriented and passionate about their cause, with the extensive life-altering experiences within their organizations making them seem more adult-like. Then Ember sways her feelings from Riley to Garrett or vice versa or acts impulsively, endangering herself (and others) and I am reminded of the conflicting emotions of a teenager and a hatchling dragon.

Rogue was a fantastic summer read for me with a pretty steadily paced plot, romance, and easy dip into fantasy, surrounded by enchantingly lethal dragons. After a series-changing reveal at the end, I’m excited for the next installment in the series, Soldier, which I will be purchasing the second it is released.

Sexual content: kissing

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