I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan
Series: Sword and Verse #1
on January 19th 2016
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance
Source: the Publisher
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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.
Sword and Verse was one of the 2016 releases that I was highly anticipating. I’m going to tell you straight up that while reading Sword and Verse I debated DNFing the book about 1/4 in. I will try my best to explain to you why I wanted to, but at the same time I’m going to try and explain why I’m glad I pushed myself to keep reading.
The main character, Raisa, was quite infuriating. And when I say quite… It’s putting it mildly. She kept making these stupid idiotic decisions again and again and AGAIN (even though she knew -and told the reader repeatedly- that she shouldn’t). I could not connect with her whatsoever and I think that largely had to with the depth her character seemed to be missing.
However, my biggest problem with this story was that it seemed to revolve around writing, learning, kissing, more learning, and more kissing. Where is the storyline? Where is the structure? It felt like a bit of the background info was just dumped at the beginning of each chapter and the chapters itself revolved around learning and lots of kissing. A romance that I didn’t really enjoy because it felt rushed to me. It just happened all too sudden and I felt like it missed the development I search for in a good romance (SO MUCH FOCUS ON THE ROMANCE, GAH). Such a shame. It seems to me that the story could’ve been SO MUCH MORE, but it fell short for me.
So why did I keep reading? Well, about halfway in (a bit later I think) the story seemed to pick up and things actually started happening. I liked what happened near the end of the book. It seemed like the action picked up and the characters became a bit more interesting (others were introduced). Most part of the book was so slow, and then finally stuff was happening (interesting stuff!). And I want to say SO BADLY that that makes up for the rest of the book, but I just can’t.
Sword and Verse was a pretty big let down for me. Infuriating characters, underdeveloped romance, and it lacked a good storyline for the most part of the story. When the story finally does pick up near the end, the damage has already been done. I’m glad I kept reading, because this way I can at least tell you that the ending was pretty good (and interestingly done), but all and all Sword and Verse just wasn’t my kinda book.