trialbyfire

I enjoyed this book as much as the others, but at the same time it felt a bit like a placeholder (kinda like how Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince advanced things very little, but was still quite necessary).

Bryn is forced to move into the Blue dorms, and she rooms with Rhianna for a while. Her grandmother, who she’s now grown closer to, even spends time with the girls and redecorates both their rooms. However, Bryn still isn’t accepted by the majority of Blues; nearly all, with the exception of Rhianna and the students she healed after the attack in Dragon’s Bluff, throw dirty glances her way and want nothing to do with her. Despite that, Bryn begins to understand more of the way Blues think – either because of the time she’s spent with her grandparents, her friendship with Rhianna, her animosity with Jaxson (more likely a combination of it all) – and it begins to worry her. Especially when she finds herself even slightly agreeing with or defending Jaxson to Ivy, Clint, and Valmont, to the surprise of everyone.

Bryn is still working on finding non-violent hybrids like herself, as well as trying to find a way around a marriage contract to Jaxson. She and Valmont find a series of books banned by the Directorate that lead back to the library. With the discoveries she makes, she’s able to gain some leverage for herself and get a friend’s initiative backed and funded by the Directorate. Unfortunately, she’s still looking at a future that involves Jaxson and multiple double standards.

I would have been okay with less relationship woes because it seemed to drag the focus away from other happenings that have major implications: a group passing themselves off as the Directive and kidnapping and drugging Green dragons, students being drugged by the Directorate in means to intimidate and terrorize, another attack on Bryn’s life from an unexpected direction, and the knowledge of other hybrids on campus.

More of that, less of hot-and-cold Valmont. Once there was the scare because of their dragon-knight bond concluded, there should have been less not so subtle shows of the side effects the bond has on the emotions of Bryn and Valmont.

By the end, Bryn seems more resolved than ever, on several fronts. I don’t doubt that she’ll keep that focus and get even better at playing the political games while still managing to blaze trials in the Dragon community.

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