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.
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?
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.