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Going Down in Flames #3
on April 4, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Bryn’s hopes for a peaceful new semester at school go up in smoke when someone tries to kill her—again. She’s not sure which is scarier, facing the radicals who want to sacrifice her for their cause, or her impending nightmare-of-a-Directorate-arranged marriage to her nemesis, Jaxon.
The one bright spot in her life is Valmont, her smoking-hot knight who is assigned to watch over her twenty-four hours a day. Is what she feels for him real, or just a side effect of the dragon-knight bond? At this point, stopping the impending civil war might be easier than figuring out her love life.
The author/publisher provided a free copy of the book for review purposes - thank you! Receiving a review copy does not guarantee a positive review and therefore do not affect the opinion or content of the review.
It goes without saying that the Going Down in Flames series and I have had a rocky history – I wasn’t a fan of the first book (but I totally saw potential!) and I became a little more fond by the second book.
The latest installment in the series doesn’t make too much of a blip aside from the fortunate fact the series does not get worse. The series is very slow paced and Trial by Fire doesn’t get any faster, but there are other aspects of the book that are much more redeeming and there is definitely plenty of excitement going around for the dragon shifters at the Institute.
In the midst of trying to figure out her love life (which is about as sad as mine if not sadder), trying not to get killed/attacked by rebels, and trying to figure out her connection to Valmont (her knight), Brynn continues to attempt changes to the Directorate’s values that have been around for hundreds of years. Bryn actually starts some of those changes in the second book, Bridges Burned, but further progress is definitely made in Trial by Fire as her peers slowly begin to support her – including Jaxon himself.
Jaxon is the Draco Malfoy of Going Down in Flames – I’m serious. This dude worships his father and just has a Draco air about him ever since the very beginning of the series (it does not help that he occasionally says, “MY FATHER WILL HEAR OF THIS.”). But as the series progresses, Jaxon is beginning to shape himself into a memorable character – he’s certainly not a jerk as he was depicted in the first book. And his hate relationship with Bryn?
It’s really gotten to the point where their jabs are hilarious and entertaining to the book overall, because Jaxon’s feathers get ruffled so easily. Clint and Ivy are fantastic side characters who provide Bryn with an overwhelming amount of support and I just adore love how they continue to play major roles in the series (YOU CAN NOT KILL THEM, CHRIS CANNON). Valmont just adds to the whole, “Jaxon’s feathers get ruffled so easily.”
And Byrn? Well… Bryn’s okay as the main character. Still worries about her love life a lot, but it’s not overshadowing the plot anymore. And since Trial by Fire further proves the slow progression of the revolution in the series, I’m sure it’ll be well worth the wait by the time the last book comes out.