Review: Together We Burn by Isabel Ibañez

Together We Burn by Isabel Ibanez

Together We Burn
Isabel Ibañez
Wednesday Books
Published May 31, 2022

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About Together We Burn

Eighteen-year-old Zarela Zalvidar is a talented flamenco dancer and daughter of the most famous Dragonador in Hispalia. People come for miles to see her father fight in their arena, which will one day be hers.

But disaster strikes during their five hundredth anniversary show, and in the carnage, Zarela’s father is horribly injured. Facing punishment from the Dragon Guild, Zarela must keep the arena—her ancestral home and inheritance —safe from their greedy hands. She has no choice but to take her father’s place as the next Dragonador. When the infuriatingly handsome dragon hunter, Arturo Díaz de Montserrat, withholds his help, she refuses to take no for an answer.

But even if he agrees, there’s someone out to ruin the Zalvidar family, and Zarela will have to do whatever it takes in order to prevent the Dragon Guild from taking away her birthright.

An ancient city plagued by dragons. A flamenco dancer determined to save her ancestral home. A dragon hunter refusing to teach her his ways. They don’t want each other, but they need each other, and without him her world will burn.

Together We Burn on Goodreads

My Review

When I started reading this book, I intended to read a few chapters and then quit to go do some other things. Instead, I ended up reading almost the whole thing in one sitting, and then rushing back to finish it as soon as I could the next day.

I was immediately taken with the story world– a world in which Dragonador fighters perform fights against dragons for huge crowds. I loved Zarela and her love for flamenco and the way that kept her connection with her mom. The way that love plays out in the story was incredible, too. I didn’t expect that at all. I love that it elevates the story beyond “dancing girl becomes fighting girl,” even though I would have loved that story, too.

The beautiful thing about it is that not only did the story challenge its traditional gender roles by Zarela’s learning to fight a dragon, it also showed the need to go beyond those traditions and the possibilities of new and amazing things to be found there.

I also loved Zarela’s character– her devotion to her family and her stubbornness. Arturo is awesome as well. I loved how grouchy and scowling he is, and the sweet boy beneath that mask.

I really liked (still like!) WOVEN IN MOONLIGHT, this author’s debut, but TOGETHER WE BURN might be my new favorite of her books.

Together We Burn on Bookshop

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 16 up.

All characters are Latinx.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Mild profanity used infrequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between boy and girl. In one scene they make out. In another they have sex with some description.

Spiritual Content
Magic spells are derived from parts of a dragon and each contained in a wand. The spell is released when the wand is broken.

Violent Content
In several scenes dragons attack, injuring and killing people. Zarela discovers the bodies of dragons and a trainer who’ve been murdered.

Drug Content
Characters drink alcohol in one scene.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support this blog. I received a free copy of TOGETHER WE BURN in exchange for my honest review.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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