Audiobook Review: Together We Burn

Expected publication: May 31st 2022

Author: Isabel Ibanez

Narrator: Ana Osorio

Audiobook Length: 13 hours 7 minutes

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 is a standalone story that follows a flamenco dancer and daughter of a famous Dragonador (matador for dragons), Zarela Zalvidar. One day her father is injured, and Zarela must take over as Dragonador. To save her family’s legacy, she seeks out the assistance of Arturo Díaz de Montserra, a former dragon trainer.  Together the two characters work to try and unlock the mystery of what happened in the incident.

A slow-burn romance grows between Zarela and Arturo as they try to unlock the secrets. Arturo was the more classic grumpy and mysterious character that slowly opens up over time. While this is a more common character type, it was well done in this story, and he was an enjoyable character. Zarela provided a nice balance to Arturo as the tenacious headstrong type who was determined to save her family’s legacy. Their characters and romance follow many YA-type tropes, but they were well-incorporated into the story. There were a few moments where some of these felt forced, but it was not enough to take away from my enjoyment of the story.

I loved the incorporation of historical Spain into the story with the use of phrases and cultural references throughout. The author also did a great job in the creation of the dragons in the story. Each was unique and well-thought out, which I greatly enjoyed. The side characters, such as, Lola, Zarela’s friend, were also well-thought out as Lola brought some nice levity to the story.

Overall, this story was captivating, and I enjoyed listening to it. The narrator for this story did a great job at the pacing and pronunciation to make it easy to understand and follow. As for the pacing of the actual writing, it begins slower as the story sets itself up and goes along at a decent pace. The story does pick up greatly towards the last quarter of the book where I felt it went by a little too quickly. I wish this quicker ending was spread out a little more as it felt a little rushed. The novel was interesting and I am interested to read more from the author in the future!

***Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan Audio for the copy of the audiobook. The opinions stated in this review are completely my own.***

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