ARC Audiobook Review – Together We Burn

Hello, everyone! Today I’m reviewing the audiobook of Together We Burn by Isabel Ibañez. This was an impulse request on NetGalley. Was it worth it? Read on to find out!

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.

***Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan Audio for the copy of the audiobook. My review contains my honest thoughts about my reading experience.***

This was an enjoyable YA fantasy romance with a bit of mystery. Zarela was a great protagonist, and I liked her persistence and tenacious attitude. She refused to back down when her family legacy was on the line and never gave up despite all the odds being stacked against her. Arturo was the poster boy for the grumpy love interest. He was hot, mysterious, gruff, and guarded. The romance was slow burn and slowly peeled back Arturo’s layers. The book and romance relied heavily on typical YA romance tropes. They’re tropes for a reason, though, and the author executed them well here. However, I did find it a bit unbelievable Zarela got over Arturo’s secret so quickly, but I can’t give any more info than that because of spoilers. The inclusion of the dragons was really cool, and the idea of dragon fights was interesting. I just didn’t really like how most of the characters treated the dragons, and it made me a bit uncomfortable at times to be reading from the POV of someone wanting to learn how to slaughter dragons for entertainment. I was happy with the ending, though, and I liked that it was set up in a way to make the reader think about the cruelty faced by animals in such situations. The general theme of tradition versus change was woven throughout this story, and its exploration was nuanced and complemented the story well. The writing was beautiful, and the audiobook narrator took the prose to an even more exquisite level. The pacing was a bit slow at times, but the intensity of Zarela’s character and the wonderful performance of the narrator kept me captivated even in the slower parts of the story. Therefore, I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

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