Sword and Verse was not what I expected it to be…
Book Review: Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan
Title & Author: Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan
Genre: Young Adult – High Fantasy
Release Date: January 19, 2016
How I Got the Book: ARC via the publisher
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.”
Not For Me
Full disclosure: I DNF’d this book at 50 percent.
The world of Sword and Verse was not one I could easily understand or feel like I could immerse myself in. Only the dominant master race can read and write, but there’s always one member of the slave race who is chosen especially to be a tutor to the royals and teach them the language of the gods.
Raisa is chosen to be the tutor-in-training and seeks to learn the hidden depths of language. There are two main problems with this premise in my view – first, it’s not explained well WHY the slave race, the Arnathim, is chosen for the tutor position. And second, the slaves vs master tension never really served a purpose other than to create tension between Raise and the prince.
To say I wasn’t a fan of the romance is an understatement. It was dragged out and kind of a bummer the entire time I was reading.
By the time I reached the halfway point in Sword and Verse, I was frustrated how little I understood about the world and how bland Raisa was. She’s a bit of a blank slate – little is shared about her past, motivations or personality.
Also by the time I quit reading, there was zero momentum. I was left dangling with little motivation to continue.
The whole “rebel WITH a cause thing” is so old to me by now that I just couldn’t get behind that angle of the story, which is totally a personal preference.
I really wanted to like this story that seemed like high fantasy fun. It just fell flat for me.
Unfortunately, I have to say that I cannot recommend this book. The main character is weak and bland and the story didn’t push me forward. Sword and Verse doesn’t offer enough for fantasy lovers to make them stay.