Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Review of The Bird and the Sword

Title: The Bird and the Sword
Author: Amy Harmon
Publisher: Amy Harmon
Release Date: May 11th, 2016!

From Goodreads...
Swallow, Daughter, pull them in, those words that sit upon your lips. Lock them deep inside your soul, hide them ‘til they’ve time to grow. Close your mouth upon the power, curse not, cure not, ‘til the hour. You won’t speak and you won’t tell, you won’t call on heav’n or hell. You will learn and you will thrive. Silence, Daughter. Stay alive.

The day my mother was killed, she told my father I wouldn’t speak again, and she told him if I died, he would die too. Then she predicted the king would trade his soul and lose his son to the sky.

My father has a claim to the throne, and he is waiting in the shadows for all of my mother’s words to come to pass. He wants desperately to be king, and I just want to be free.

But freedom will require escape, and I’m a prisoner of my mother’s curse and my father’s greed. I can’t speak or make a sound, and I can’t wield a sword or beguile a king. In a land purged of enchantment, love might be the only magic left, and who could ever love . . . a bird?

My Review!
This was such a beautiful book. The fairytale quality to it was quite wonderful, and it had a lot of nods to fairytales, such as Beauty and the Beast and Rapunzel. It also reminded me of Uprooted by Noami Novik. It’s not exactly like these stories, but the feel of them? YES. So much yes! I was completely and utterly in love with this story from the beginning, and that never changed throughout the book. The writing was lovely, and the world was built up in a more subtle way, but I still had no problem learning it. It was such a uniquely told story. And I LOVED the characters so much, especially Lark, the woman who has no voice. And admittedly, her not speaking was one of the more interesting parts to this book. It made the communication between the characters, and Lark’s own voice, different from other stories.

When her mother died, she told Lark to hide her words, and so she did. She has spent much of her life in silence, and in chains. Figuratively speaking, sure, but she has no freedom. Her father resents her, and because of her mother’s curse, he keeps her locked away from everyone and everything, like Rapunzel. Except when she’s taken away by the King of Jeru, she finds her freedom, and her voice. I loved Lark’s journey, and I loved her. She’s quiet, curious, and determined to do what she wants. She has an almost childlike quality to her at times, especially when she learns how to read and write from Tiras. But she’s not naive. She’s strong, intelligent, and forgiving. Though it’s like she traded one prison for another, she makes a home in the castle, and she falls in love with Tiras.

Tiras honestly made me want to punch him at times. He’s so stubborn and gruff and guarded, and he didn’t always know how to communicate with Lark (and not just because she can’t speak). But there was a tenderness and goodness to him, his heart, that I just loved seeing come out. He’s a much better leader than his father, though at times he feels so inadequate and weak. Plus he’s dealing with something that keeps him up all hours and won’t give him a moment’s rest. He could be so impossibly obtuse as well, but I adored watching his and Lark’s relationship go from hate to love. He’s older than Lark by quite a few years, and so sometimes that showed. But their romance was well-developed, and so filled with little moments of love. And together, they could do so much.

I also loved the secondary character, Kjell. He’s about as gruff and guarded as Tiras, but there’s a story there, I KNOW THERE IS. I would definitely not mind a sequel involving him, Amy. ;) There were more characters, but much of them I didn’t care about, nor were they the good guys. Though a little predictable, I found the plot to be very engaging and interesting. Much of the story revolved around Lark’s and Tiras’s relationship, around the growing unrest within the kingdom and the monsters that are becoming harder to kill. It was so like a fairytale, but a little darker and a bit more modern, and in the NA genre. It was just so MAGICAL. I want so much more to this world that the author created. SO. MUCH. MORE. The Bird and the Sword was so wonderfully crafted.


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