Skyborn by David Dalglish

Skyborn

The first in an all new fantasy series from USA Today bestseller, David Dalglish. The last remnants of humanity live on six islands floating high above the Endless Ocean, fighting a brutal civil war in the skies. The Seraphim, elite soldiers trained for aerial combat, battle one another while wielding elements of ice, fire and lightning. The lives of their parents claimed...

Title:Skyborn
Author:
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Edition Language:English

Skyborn Reviews

  • Mogsy (MMOGC)

    4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

    Look at me. This is my stunned face. As in, I could not believe how good this book turned out. Granted, the story was a little slow to take off (sorry, unavoidable pun), but the momentum gradually built up so that everything culminated into one of the most incredible and jaw-droppingly explosive endings I’ve ever read. In fact, if I had to rate this book based on just its second half alone, it would have been an easy 5 s

    4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

    Look at me. This is my stunned face. As in, I could not believe how good this book turned out. Granted, the story was a little slow to take off (sorry, unavoidable pun), but the momentum gradually built up so that everything culminated into one of the most incredible and jaw-droppingly explosive endings I’ve ever read. In fact, if I had to rate this book based on just its second half alone, it would have been an easy 5 stars. But the first half, despite not having the same level of excitement and energy of the second half, was no slouch either. In the first two hundred pages or so, David Dalglish made sure we got plenty of time to familiarize ourselves with the fascinating world of Skyborn. We also got to know our two protagonists, twins Bree and Kael.

    Readers take to the skies in this opening to a new series set in a richly imaginative world. Hundreds of years have passed since a disaster wiped out much of humanity, and survivors have established a new society on six floating island kingdoms which are constantly warring with each other. Aerial battles are fought by Seraphim, elite winged soldiers who command the powers of the elements.

    The story begins with one such conflict. Bree and Kael’s Seraphim parents are subsequently killed by soldiers from a rival island, but instead of turning away from a life of war, the twins become even more drawn to it. It is their dream to become Seraphim themselves, and at age sixteen, after finding out their elemental attunements, both siblings are accepted into the Seraphim Academy where they will learn how to fight using weapons powered by elemental crystals and fly wearing specialized wings.

    But something smelled fishy right from the start. Both Bree and Kael’s attunement tests led to strange results, arousing my suspicion that someone is going to great lengths to make sure the twins become Seraphim. But who would want to push them towards this fate? And why? It’s an irresistible mystery that sticks around for rest of the book, a teasing thread that kept my interest piqued even between all the breathtaking airborne skirmishes and elemental duels.

    The book started off slow for me, but if you enjoy academy settings and training school tropes, perhaps you may take to the intro with more ease and speed. This part of the story was rather typical, following the twins as they get settled into their new lives as Seraphim cadets. Bree and Kael are assigned their classes where they make new friends and enemies, and there’s even some romance involved as both siblings meet their respective love interests.

    Indeed, I sense the potential for strong YA crossover appeal…but with a wicked edge. Despite the familiar take on “magic school” themes, there are unpredictable plot elements in here that I never would’ve seen coming in a million years–including several dark twists and a couple violent and/or graphic scenes that would make this book less suited for younger audiences.

    No matter who you are though, I think you’ll love the twins. The two of them are as different from each other as their attuned elements; hot-headed and impulsive Bree is a prodigy at flying but she’s nonetheless helpless when it comes to controlling her fire, while even-tempered Kael is more balanced in his studies and adept at drawing on his ice affinity. Bree’s brashness might make you feel torn between wanting to throttle her and wanting cheer her on, but it’s clear she takes no crap from anyone, and there’s also no denying she has some of the best scenes. However, Kael is also able to hold his own, balancing his sister’s bold personality with his clear thinking and more inquisitive mind. As dynamic sibling duos go, they make one hell of a team.

    As events of the novel ramp up and relations between the islands continue to deteriorate, the plot also becomes increasingly edgy and suspenseful. Around halfway through the book, something huge and unexpected happens, turning one of the twins’ world upside down.

    The story took off like a rocket at this point. Unfortunately for me, I was reading Skyborn at night and reached this part right before bedtime. Good bye, sleep! From here on out, this book was impossible to put down. And after I was done, it was another couple of hours before my mind could calm down from that nail-biting, heart-dropping-into-the-pit-of-my-stomach conclusion.

    I’m tentatively rating this book 4.5 out of 5 stars for now, but I suspect as time goes by my love for it will only grow. Days after I finished, the heart-pounding aerial sequences are still playing out over and over in my head, and the euphoria from reading this book is not likely to fade away any time soon. These feelings are a bit of a surprise, but I sure wish more novels would shake up my expectations the way this one did.

    A unique and refreshing series-opener, Skyborn is a high-flying, whiplash-inducing adventure that took my breath away! What more can I say, other than I await the next installment with no small amount of impatience!

  • Matthew

    I really enjoyed this... highly recommended! Full review to come.

  • Elizabeth Fitzgerald

    I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

    was not my cup of tea. It has some interesting concepts but I found the characters flat and difficult to connect to.

    The story kicks off with a battle between Seraphim: aerial soldiers who utilise mechanical wings to fly and fight with elemental energy stored in prisms. It's an action-packed beginning, but one that struggles under the weight of all the worldbuilding jammed into it. The stakes are hig

    I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

    was not my cup of tea. It has some interesting concepts but I found the characters flat and difficult to connect to.

    The story kicks off with a battle between Seraphim: aerial soldiers who utilise mechanical wings to fly and fight with elemental energy stored in prisms. It's an action-packed beginning, but one that struggles under the weight of all the worldbuilding jammed into it. The stakes are high for Breanna and Kael, whose parents serve in the defending army. However, those stakes might as well not exist for the reader, who doesn't get to meet the older Skyborns until Breanna's mother dies in her arms. Without any kind of emotional connection, the sequence reads as a series of tropes solely designed to deliver information about the world.

    Perhaps I am being too harsh, because it does serve as a nice introduction to Breanna and Kael. Despite being told to stay with their aunt, Breanna sneaks out to watch the battle. While she dangles her legs off the edge of their floating island home, Kael sits back at safer distance. Inevitably, Breanna's recklessness gets them caught up in the battle and she doesn't endear herself by abandoning her brother when he, frightened, takes shelter.

    The symbolism in the book isn't exactly subtle. For example, the Skyborns grow up in Lowville, a community of earth-bound farmers and fishermen on graceless wings. When tested for their affinity to the elements, reckless Breanna shows a strong connection with fire while cautious Kael ends up with ice and light.

    I found the relationship between the twins was the most interesting aspect of the story. Alternating chapters (from a close third-person point-of-view) allow us to see things from the perspective of both Breanna and Kael. This slowed down the pace of the story because it meant developing two protagonists instead of one; the twins might attend the academy together but their lives are, for the most part, fairly independent of each other. I liked this. It meant that there was always one twin to take the place of the rising star at the academy--and it changed as the story progressed. Best of all, neither of the twins was resentful of their sibling in the limelight. They may sulk a little or have their own worries to contend with, but they were never hateful and their relationship always remained supportive (with the plot-driven exception of the prologue).

    As I mentioned, the pace is slow at first but picks up a bit past halfway, once the world and characters have been established. My interest picked up a little with the pace, but I often found myself skimming through paragraphs of description.

    On the whole,

    is a readable story but not an especially engaging one.

    This review first appeared on

    .

  • ☘Misericordia☘  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈   ❂❤❣

    Well, now, now, that's one hell of an original story.

    Theotechs, winged flyers, elements command, conspiracies and subterfuge, sky battles and earthly studies, all this makes for a very original world. Uh-huh, a really nice mix of genres and larger than life characters.

    I loved it and I'll have too look up the next book in this series to know what will further happen.

    Beware of spoilers :)

    “Stand up straight, smile wide, and pretend you belong,” Dean said as they reached the end of the hallway. “A

    Well, now, now, that's one hell of an original story.

    Theotechs, winged flyers, elements command, conspiracies and subterfuge, sky battles and earthly studies, all this makes for a very original world. Uh-huh, a really nice mix of genres and larger than life characters.

    I loved it and I'll have too look up the next book in this series to know what will further happen.

    Beware of spoilers :)

    “Stand up straight, smile wide, and pretend you belong,” Dean said as they reached the end of the hallway. “And if you’re not sure how to respond, just smile and laugh softly. You’ll be surprised by how many sticky conversation topics you can escape unscathed using that trick.”

    Bree did just that, standing up straight, pulling back her shoulders, and smiling as if the Willer mansion was the most amazing thing she’d ever seen.

    ***

    “Every four hours from dawn to dusk, we send two Seraphim carrying a message to Center to deliver to the theotechs,” Loramere explained, and he tapped the capped scroll that was chained about his neck. “One is experienced, one tends to be younger, but always two, and always every four hours. I’m sure you’ll come on plenty of these in the next few months, and no matter how impressive this first one feels, trust me, they’ll get boring fast.”

    “What happens if you don’t have a message to deliver?” Kael asked.

    “Never happens. Sometimes the message you carry is as simple as ‘I bear no message,’ which is a conundrum I’d recommend you not dwell on too much, especially given your current mental state.”

    “Why go if there’s no message?” Kael asked.

    “Because if we’re to declare war against an island, we need Center’s permission,” Loramere said. “Trust me, on our flight we’ll be spotted by men and women of all four other islands. It’s hard to take anyone by surprise if you only send out messengers when there’s an important request. That’s why we keep it nice and steady. Routine, Kael. You can disguise a lot of things by making them part of a boring old routine.”

  • Paul

    3.5 stars

    I really liked this 1st instalment of a new fantasy epic however I felt it suffered from following the current YA trend of being set in the future, teens being trained up to fight, lots of romance and teenage angst, before the big fight to the death at the end. Also, perhaps I am being old and hard hearted but the twins did seem to spend a lot of time crying and brooding. I know they have a lot of problems but come on, Get a Grip!!!

    Despite all this the story and setting save the book. W

    3.5 stars

    I really liked this 1st instalment of a new fantasy epic however I felt it suffered from following the current YA trend of being set in the future, teens being trained up to fight, lots of romance and teenage angst, before the big fight to the death at the end. Also, perhaps I am being old and hard hearted but the twins did seem to spend a lot of time crying and brooding. I know they have a lot of problems but come on, Get a Grip!!!

    Despite all this the story and setting save the book. What remains of mankind now live on islands floating above the ocean and are overseen by Control. Each island are protected by Seraphim, soldiers who have mechanical wings and can fire lightening, rocks, ice and fire.

    While there is a big section where our heroes are trained to be Seraphim, where there is romance, friendships and enemies made there is an underlying conspiracy storyline to keep things interesting.

    However things really get going in the second half and a surprising twist to the usual end of story battle. The battle scenes are bone crunching and exciting and the ending leaves you wanting to read the second. hopefully there will be less tears :-)

    Oh what the hell.... I am giving it 4 stars.

  • Stephanie  G

    Breanna and Kael have yet to take their test at Center. The test is to discover if they have the skill needed to become Seraphim, like their parents. Seraphim are soldiers for the floating islands. Theotechs from the center island create/make the prisms needed to fly as well as the elemental prisms Seraphim use to fight with. Despite the horror of their parents’ death, Breanna has always known she was meant for the air. A friend of their parents, a Seraphim from Center, convinces their aunt that

    Breanna and Kael have yet to take their test at Center. The test is to discover if they have the skill needed to become Seraphim, like their parents. Seraphim are soldiers for the floating islands. Theotechs from the center island create/make the prisms needed to fly as well as the elemental prisms Seraphim use to fight with. Despite the horror of their parents’ death, Breanna has always known she was meant for the air. A friend of their parents, a Seraphim from Center, convinces their aunt that it is time for their tests. Showing elemental skill the two are sent to the Academy where events build until a war between islands starts to brew.

    is the first novel in Dalglish’s

    series. It’s also the first book I’ve read by Dalglish, but won’t be my last. The story unfolds in both Breanna and Keal’s POV. I felt much more attached to Breanna. The novel is a lot like those epic fantasy stories we read as teens, which reminds me—I can’t figure out why this wasn’t labeled YA. Both characters are sixteen and training to be warriors for their island gaining skills that might put them on the path to saving their island(s).

     

    The majority of the book takes place at the academy as Breanna and Keal learn to be Seraphims. Breanna is the best flyer in the class but can’t figure out her element (fire) while Keal isn’t the best at anything, nor is he the worst at anything. He catches the eye of his island’s princess and confronts bullies, which isn’t a very strong story line in comparison to Breanna. Breanna learns swordsmanship from an older student at the academy and the two fall in love with one another until he decides to duel a man at another academy.

     

    Politics are brewing in the background. There is a man labeled a heretic who preaches against Center and its Theotechs. He believes the Throtechs, who keep the islands afloat and the elemental prisms working, are lying to the people. Is Center using them and pitting them against each other to control the population? Breanna and Keal start to notice that Center is watching them closely, slowly they start to wonder why.

     

    I enjoyed the world of

    . While it might sound complicated, it isn’t. It’s an easy read and enjoyable story about twins who I hope are on their way to saving the floating islands. I look forward for the next novel,

    My only reservation is that this should have been labeled YA. I think it’s a story both adults and teens would enjoy together.

     

    *On another note. I’m a little confused with the cover art of

    (not that it’s bad, I just don’t think it fits.) I mean the story is about floating islands, throwing around fire and ice, and fighting while flying through the air. The main characters are sixteen years old. I think this is supposed to be Kael, but Kael is skinny and as I’ve said before, sixteen. Then I thought maybe it was their father, Breanna’s boyfriend, or Keal’s roommate. I still don’t know, but FLOATING ISLANDS!! SKY FIGHTS!!!! TEENS!!! Why does it picture none of these things? The image isn’t bad, only the novel gave it the opportunity to be more.

    - Elizabeth

  • Cait (Paper Fury)

    I do like a good snack of fantasy with a side dish of mechanical angels (unique, yes?) but I sadly admit that

    I'm saying it's "me not the book"...and I mean it! It was exciting and unique and full of action, but it flew (har har har) into a lot of cliches that underwhelmed me. Have I read this before?? HMM? And I had exactly zero connection to the characters.

    To prove the cliche aspect, I told my sister (who hadn't read this) it had twins and asked her to guess

    I do like a good snack of fantasy with a side dish of mechanical angels (unique, yes?) but I sadly admit that

    I'm saying it's "me not the book"...and I mean it! It was exciting and unique and full of action, but it flew (har har har) into a lot of cliches that underwhelmed me. Have I read this before?? HMM? And I had exactly zero connection to the characters.

    To prove the cliche aspect, I told my sister (who hadn't read this) it had twins and asked her to guess their personalities.

    Sister: The girl is spunky and fiery and the boy is quiet and soft? She's fire to his water.

    Me: BOOM. GOT IT.

    (I've read this sibling combo in

    ,

    ,

    , and

    ...just to name a few.)

    And I think the siblings really followed all the stereotypes of that? Like the Bree was so epic at battle and wanted to save everything, while Kael was studying in the library and using his noggin.

    I didn't connect to either of them because, sadly, they felt shallow to me.

    BUT ANYWAY. Let's talk about the world building because

    It took me a while to get into...like I thought it was about angels. BUT NO. THEY ACTUALLY WEAR MECHANICAL WINGS. And they live on floating islands in the sky. I

    after a war on earth? (I kind of got fuzzy on that detail.) But needless to say,

    . I was envisioning those islands in Avatar. And the world seemed really well thought out and detailed. Although that detail

    come in the form of info dumps...but hey. At least I enjoyed this world, right?!?

    There were a lot of dialogue monologues too, which I find soooo unrealistic. Like people don't just stand and speak for half a page without being interrupted. And what about DOING things. Did they not do stuff while they talked? I felt so detached because the book just talked and talked and talked

    without drawing me into the story.

    So while it has copious amounts of delicious action, an enormously complex world, and MECHANICAL WINGS WHICH ARE COOL, plus elemental magic and sword fights and potatoes...

    A million times. Not even a delicious potato could save that for me. I want neeeeew things. (Although this is coming from a reader who gobbles like 200+ books a year, so yeah. If you don't? This book will probably be wonderful for you.)

  • Darren Hagan

    **No spoilers**

    Things I like in books:

    - Awesome brother/sister relationships

    - Elemental control

    - School settings

    - Unexpected things happening

    - Dual POVs

    - Sky colonies on floating islands

    This book has all those things so it has definitely become one of my favourites of the year. Okay so that last one is specific to this book because I can't think of any other books with sky cities in them but hey it definitely makes that list now.

    I was enthralled from the beginning and it kept my interest all th

    **No spoilers**

    Things I like in books:

    - Awesome brother/sister relationships

    - Elemental control

    - School settings

    - Unexpected things happening

    - Dual POVs

    - Sky colonies on floating islands

    This book has all those things so it has definitely become one of my favourites of the year. Okay so that last one is specific to this book because I can't think of any other books with sky cities in them but hey it definitely makes that list now.

    I was enthralled from the beginning and it kept my interest all the way through. I found it very easy to read, like I didn't think it was really dense writing like some fantasies can be and that definitely helped keep me intrigued.

    The characters were cool and likeable, and there were times when they were sad that I actually wanted to go and hug them haha. Bree is your badass (and sometimes reckless) female character, but she isn't cold hearted and feels a lot of guilt for stuff that happens. Kael is the quieter, more level headed and more adorable one that I would love to be friends with, and he is very loyal to his sister. The POVs switch which I like a lot. There were some great side characters too.

    The flying and elemental magic combination made for some unique and destructive fight scenes. The only thing I would've liked more about that is if the elements were able to be used together somehow.

    True the book didn't leave every mystery answered, but it's only the first book. I have every belief they will be explained more in the sequels (I preordered Fireborn halfway through reading this) and that cliffhanger ending made sure I will probably read the sequel as soon as I get my hands on it!

  • Denise

    In a world where all that's left of humanity lives on six islands floating in the sky, wars are fought in the air by the Seraphim, elite soldiers donning mechanical wings and wielding elemental powers and blades alike. Twins Breanna and Kael Skyborn enter the Academy to join them and do their part in the ongoing civil war between the islands that claimed the lives of their parents years ago. While they learn to fly and control their elements, however, the twins also hear whispers of things that

    In a world where all that's left of humanity lives on six islands floating in the sky, wars are fought in the air by the Seraphim, elite soldiers donning mechanical wings and wielding elemental powers and blades alike. Twins Breanna and Kael Skyborn enter the Academy to join them and do their part in the ongoing civil war between the islands that claimed the lives of their parents years ago. While they learn to fly and control their elements, however, the twins also hear whispers of things that might prove dangerous to know: Uncomfortable facts about the balance of power between the islands, and rumours of rebellion against the theocracy keeping everyone under their thumb. Whatever the truth behind these conspiracy theories, one thing is for certain: the war is ramping up and Bree and Kael will find themselves on its frontlines sooner rather than later, fighting for their lives with all they've got.

    As fascinating as the worldbuilding and general concept is, it took me a long time to get into the book. For the first part, the pace was almost agonisingly slow at times, and the time spent training at the Academy

    felt like I'd read the same thing about a hundred times before what with the usual predictable rivalries and teenage romance fumbling and all. The pace picked up in the second half, though, and things got a lot more interesting after the evaluations, with conspiracies to unravel, the twins off in actual combat and the story leaving off in a spot guaranteed to make me pick up the next book despite inital doubts.

  • Stacy

    It took me a little while to get into this, but once I did I was hooked! The writing style is accessible, the characters are likable, and I really liked the seeds sown towards the end about where the series is headed.

    Perhaps most of all, I really liked the relationship between the two main characters (twins) and their friends. It reminded me a lot of the friendship I have with my brother! They're supportive of each other, and when they have disagreements they actually TALK TO EACH OTHER about i

    It took me a little while to get into this, but once I did I was hooked! The writing style is accessible, the characters are likable, and I really liked the seeds sown towards the end about where the series is headed.

    Perhaps most of all, I really liked the relationship between the two main characters (twins) and their friends. It reminded me a lot of the friendship I have with my brother! They're supportive of each other, and when they have disagreements they actually TALK TO EACH OTHER about it. It was really refreshing! Excited for book 2!


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