Eighteen-year-old Zarela Zalvidar is the daughter of famous parents. Her mother was the most cherished flamenco dancer in Hispalia prior to her death and her father is the most celebrated Dragonador.
For a time, the family seemed to have it all. Their own arena, their own dragons and flocks of adoring spectators arriving for all of their shows.
After the tragic death of her mother, however, things begin to spiral for the Zalvidars, made worse after another tragedy strikes during their 500th-anniversary show.
Zarela’s father is seriously injured during the incident, as well as many others, and since it involved some of the Zalvidar’s dragons, the family is being blamed.
Now they face punishment from the Dragon Guild and could potentially lose their ancestral home, as well as their livelihood.
Zarela must keep the arena running on her own. She has to keep money coming in. In order to do so, she decides she needs to take her father’s place in the ring. She needs to become a Dragonador.
To prepare herself for the ring though, she’ll need training, and more dragons. Therefore, she ends up reaching out to dragon hunter, Arturo Díaz de Montserrat, to basically beg him for his help.
While at first Arturo turns Zarela away, she is determined and not taking no for an answer. Ultimately, after an amazing show of will, he’s impressed by her stubbornness. It’s clear she’s not leaving without a yes.
Arturo agrees to help and along with two dragons, they return to Zarela’s home to train and prepare for the show.
During all of this, Zarela also has suspicions that the tragedies involving her family and their shows haven’t been accidents. She thinks someone is purposefully trying to bring them down and she means to get to the bottom of it.
Sweeping through this intricate and wonderfully-developed world, Together We Burn had me completely entranced from start-to-finish!
I absolutely adored this. It’s not a very complicated story, but what’s here is beautifully done.
It’s a story of family, tradition, legacy and a new generations forging their own path while simultaneously paying tribute to those who came before.
I found the world to be extremely creative. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything quite like it. The whole concept of the dragon fights, that practice, the similarities to traditional bullfighting, was very interesting to read about.
I liked that Ibañez gave her two main characters opposing views on the practice, as that let her give voice to both sides of the controversial issue. Personally, I thought that was handled very well.
At first I was a little concerned about that aspect of the story. I mean, even though dragons are fictional, I love them and don’t want to see them harmed.
I also enjoyed the characters so much and the mystery that ran throughout. Zarela was a great character to follow and the dynamic between her and Arturo gave the story just the right amount of humor and romance.
Finally, I really loved how this wrapped-up. I am more of a series girl, overall, as I feel some standalones leave me wanting more, but I was so pleased with the way this concluded. I walk away a happy girl!
Thank you so much to the publisher, Wednesday Books and Macmillan Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review.
I can’t wait to read more from Isabel Ibañez!!