DNF Review: Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan

January 16, 2016 Review 42

DNF Review: Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan
Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: Edelweiss
Pages: 384
Release Date: January 19th 2016
Series: Sword and Verse #1
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Royalty, Young Adult
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.

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


SWORD AND VERSE and I did not start off well, and clearly, we did not end well. I do have to say that I was in a reading slump when I started this so that definitely could have affected my feelings. This was one of my most anticipated reads because fantasy (YES!) but in reality it turned out to be romance (NO!)

I am generally pretty lenient when it comes to fantasy novels because it’s my favorite genre. As long as it is that-fantasy. One of the main reasons I disliked SOUNDLESS was because it lacked fantastical elements and SWORD AND VERSE was the same way. Since I did DNF it around 30%, I can’t say whether or not that aspect ever picked up.

So what was the main focus? The romance. It was apparent from first 5% and wasted no time making itself known. Not only did it feel forced, it was pretty much insta-love. And insta-love?

dont like.
There just wasn’t much going on in SWORD AND VERSE. The characters were flat and the plot, outside of the romance, was almost nonexistent and bland. I was waiting for that special something to happen and make reading this one less of a chore. Anything to pick up the pacing and make me care.

It may have been my mood at the time, or the standard I hold my fantasy books to, but I was not impressed with what I read from SWORD AND VERSE. However, if you find yourself having a hard time with the fantasy genre this might be one to check out.

Rating Report
Overall: 1.5

42 Responses to “DNF Review: Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan”

  1. Bec

    You are the second person I’ve seen complain about the romance in this. I think it’d be best for me to stay away. Which sucks because it sounds so awesome :/

  2. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    I’ve heard about this book but not much. Judging by the way you felt about the romance, I’m not going to bother checking this one out! It’s not like you DNFed it at like 5-10%, you gave it quite a good chance to develop something else other than the romance and well, it just didn’t deliver – which sucks. When you read as much fantasy as we do, you just expect more :)
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Review: Ready Player One

  3. ShootingStarsMag

    I don’t really read a lot of fantasy, but this one doesn’t sound like it would be good fit for me because it’s focusing too much on the romance AND the insta-love. Not my most favorite thing – insta-love, I mean. I like romance, but I’m not always looking for a PURELY just a romance novel.
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Unique Formatting Challenge: Book Ideas!

    • Alise

      It sounded really good and I was definitely hyped up for it, that could have contributed to me putting it down, for sure.

    • Alise

      If I trudge through a book I tend to hold a lot of resentment towards it in the end, haha. The cover is nice, definitely!

    • Alise

      That’s how I feel as well. If you’re still interested you could still give it a try, I had a lot of outside circumstances that probably contributed to me not liking this one.

  4. Kara @ Diary of a Teen Writer

    I’m so sorry you didn’t love this one!! Despite that, though, I think I’m still going to give this one a chance (I seem to be more forgiving when it comes to romance in books than other people, haha.) The cover is utterly gorgeous, and I’m soo weak-minded when it comes to that. ;) Lovely review!
    Kara @ Diary of a Teen Writer recently posted…FRAYED Cover + Other Writing Updates

    • Alise

      I like fantasy books because they introduce a new world with interesting elements, the romance (if there is any) shouldn’t be the main focus. It was definitely frustrating.

  5. Omobola

    When I saw this book on the list of upcoming books on goodreads, I was a bit skeptical since I didn’t like the blurb but with your review, you have confirmed my fears. Thanks

    • Alise

      It took me two tries to even get into it, and once I did I was immediately bombarded with this insta-love romance – blah.

    • Alise

      If this hadn’t been a fast romance I think I would have liked it more. The Wrath and the Dawn is pretty romance focused and I actually really liked that one.

  6. Lola

    I enjoy both romance and fantasy books, but it is nice to know beforehand which book you’re getting. If you expect a fantasy book and most of the focus is on the romance that’s annoying or it isn’t marketed right. And when the romance feels both forced and is insta-love, yeah I can see why you DNF’d this one. I hope you’re out of your reading slump by now!
    Lola recently posted…Review: Hapily Ever Now by Jen Meyers

    • Alise

      Exactly! The romance is barely mentioned in the synopsis around all the other things I thought were going to be the focus of the novel :( Thanks, I think I am :D

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