Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan

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 MacMillanSword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan
Series: Sword and Verse #1
on January 19th 2016
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
Buy on AmazonBuy on Bol.com
Goodreads
two-stars

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.

What I thoughtSword 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.

Final verdict IRISJEXX!

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.

Fire Falling by Elise Kova | Book Review

I received this book for free from the Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Fire Falling by Elise Kova | Book ReviewFire Falling by Elise Kova
Series: Air Awakens #2
Published by Silver Wing Press on November 19th 2015
Genres: Fantasy & Magic
Pages: 378
Format: ARC
Source: the Author
Goodreads
five-stars

Soldier… Sorcerer… Savior… Who is Vhalla Yarl?

Vhalla Yarl marches to war as property of the Solaris Empire. The Emperor counts on her to bring victory, the Senate counts on her death, and the only thing Vhalla can count on is the fight of her life. As she grapples with the ghosts of her past, new challenges in the present threaten to shatter the remnants of her fragile sanity. Will she maintain her humanity? Or will she truly become the Empire’s monster?

What I thoughtI am a big BIG mess over Fire Falling. I already loved Air Awakens, but in Fire Falling the stakes are even higher than before. The magic that intrigued and enticed us in book one plays an even bigger role and became even more powerful than before, we get to read more about that smoking forbidden romance that we glimpsed in the first book, and there’ll be twists that you won’t see coming and will BLOW your mind. Fire Falling was every bit the wild ride I expected it to be (and then some more).

Fire Falling pretty much picks up where Air Awakens ended. And it’s intense. This whole book is intense. The story progressed considerably and at a nice consistent speed, which kept me on the edge of my seat (frantically biting my nails). The plot twists were killer. I might have cursed the book a few times, and will not deny crying twice either. These twists came as complete surprises to me and left my heart in a pile of shattered fragments.

We got to read more about Vhalla’s friends in Fire Falling. And I really enjoyed learning more about Larel, Fritz, Daniel, and Craig. They got more depth, and gained some insight as to where they came from, whicht made it so much easier to get (even more) attached to them. They’re just such good friends: supportive and so incredibly brave. I am wholly invested in every single one of them.

You get to see a whole new side to Aldrik. I mean, I liked him after book one (even though I was hesitant about him, I mean he DID push her off a roof, which I am still NOT OKAY with), but we get to see so much more of him. And we get some insight as to how he feels and what he’s been through in life. SO MUCH more depth (and he already was a VERY well fleshed-out character)!

And Vhalla developed so much throughout the story. She’s so devoted to what she believes in and (her own words, not mine) the “queen of bad ideas,” which lands her in a few sticky situations. Her sorcery continues to improve, as expected, but her fighting as well. Her bravery shines through throughout the entire book, even though she was confused by everything she was feeling and was happening to her. She’s such a good character. She’s EVERYTHING and more. I felt for her, I felt everything along with her, and I continue to feel ALL THE FEELS even though I’ve finished the book.

The magic people, THE MAGIC, is AMAZING! There’s a few scenes that got my heart racing, blood pumping, all the feelings flowing. I was on my edge of my seat. Those scenes were THAT badass. I don’t want to spoil anything, you’ll KNOW what I was talking about when you get to those scenes, but honesty Elise takes the magic to a WHOLE NEW LEVEL (sorry for the excessive use of capital letters, but it shows my excitement and puts emphasis on everything I want emphasised, so I guess you’ll just have to deal haha).

That ending though… I honest to god am in a state of denial. Jamie from Books and Ladders told me this is the first stage in facing your grief… but hell no, it just can’t be, because what happened is impossible. I absolutely refuse to believe that cliff-hanger really happened. Or at least, there’s something I’m missing. I KNOW I am missing something. Period. Because as I said before, that ending CAN’T be.

I REFFUSE TO ACCEPT THAT ENDING ELISE!

Final verdict IRISJEXX!Fire Falling was everything I wanted to be and then some (even though some of the things that happened I most definitely DIDN’T want to happen). This book was heartbreak and love all wrapped up together. My heart is broken, and shattered into a million tiny pieces on the floor, but believe me when I say that Fire Falling is worth the heartbreak. Elise Kova is a master with words, and the story she’s spun is too good to pass up on!