REVIEW: Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan

Thursday, May 26, 2016

   I had so many mixed feelings with this YA fantasy. While I really found the beginning and middle to be really entertaining and enjoyable to read, the ending was a bit lacking and rushed...

Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan 

Release Date: January 19, 2015
Publisher: Harper Teen
Format: Print ARC
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Series: Standalone
Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

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Raisa was just a child when she was sold to work as a slave in the kingdom of Qilara. Despite her young age, her father was teaching her to read and write, grooming her to take his place as a Learned One. In Qilara, the Arnathim, like Raisa, are the lowest class, and literacy is a capital offense. What’s more, only the king, prince, tutor, and tutor-in-training are allowed to learn the very highest order language, the language of the gods. So when the tutor-in-training is executed for teaching slaves this sacred language, and Raisa is selected to replace her, Raisa knows any slipup on her part could mean death.

Keeping her secret is hard enough, but the romance that’s been growing between her and Prince Mati isn’t helping matters. Then Raisa is approached by the Resistance—an underground army of slave rebels—to help liberate Arnath slaves. She wants to free her people, but that would mean aiding a war against Mati. As Raisa struggles with what to do, she discovers a secret that the Qilarites have been hiding for centuries—one that, if uncovered, could bring the kingdom to its knees.

   *Thank you so much to Epic Reads for providing me with an advance reading copy in exchange for an honest review.*

   I was completely caught off guard by how beautiful the writing was You'll easily sink into the world that Kathy has created. And the sizzling romance is just as amazing!! While I did have problems as the story was nearing the end, I still thought this was still very enjoable.

   When Raisa was little, the island she lived with her family was raided by Quilara and she was sold as a slave to the palace. When the tutor-in-training is killed, Raisa is chosen to take her place. It's the highest rank a slave can obtain in this world where it's forbidden for slaves to be able to read and write. An unexpected complicated relationship forms between the prince, Mati, and Raisa. And then she's reached by the Resistance on taking on a risk that could lead to her death if she gets caught.

   I loved our heroine, Raisa, who's 16 years old at the start of the story. She was such a freshing change for a main character. She's mentally strong and caring and loyal to those she loves. And she'll do anything to protect them.

   A big part of the book deals with Raisa being taught the language, writing, and symbols of the gods. But it's beautifully crafted in a way that's not a handful to read. I loved how each chapter had like two or three paragraphs about the gods and how the world came to be. I found it interesting but at the same time, it was hard to read that and shift my focus on the actual story.

   There was a lot of information in the first couple of chapters. I was able to keep up with it all. But it was still overwhelming because I had to read it slowly to let the information sink in. I feel like someone can easily become confused if they don't pay too much attention.

   The development of the romance went at a modest pace which I found satisfying. It was not a love triangle, which I really appreciated. It had me completely swooning, breaking my heart, and throwing lots of feels at me!! Though I have to say that it feels like the romance kind of sprung out a little too fast after going at a modest pace at first. I did see the chemistry between Raisa and the prince, Mati, but I think it also feels like it came out of nowhere at the same time. I obviously have lots of mixed feelings about it but I still enjoyed it, nonetheless.

   I was originally going to give this 4 stars but I realized that I was losing interest fast when I was nearing the ending. I wasn't into the whole plot with the resistance.

  Overall, Sword and Verse is very engaging to read even though so things did throw me off. The writing is beyond gorgeous!! Even though I didn't love this to it's high potential, I still thought it was very enjoyable. Just beware that I felt like this was more historical than fantasy.

3 Sea Stars: I Liked It

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