ARC Review: Sword and Verse


Title: Sword and Verse
Author: Kathy MacMillan
Series: Sword and Verse #1
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: January 19th 2016
Pages: 384
My Rating: 4.5 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.

  When I first started to read Sword and Verse I thought, “Oh, this is just another fantasy novel.” In fact, I was even a little bored at the beginning of the novel. But my gosh, the story just kept building up to be better and better, and by the end of novel, I just fell in love with it!

  In the kingdom of Qilara, only the King, Prince and Tutors could learn to read and write the higher order writing, and only the Scholars could learn the lower order writings. Raisa is an Arnathim - a slave - but she has a deep desire for learning it because her father was a Learned One. Then one day Raisa got chosen to become the tutor-in-training. Now she studies the language with Prince Mati, and they just can’t deny the connection between them.

  In the beginning of the story, I was really annoyed. I just felt like the Raisa and Prince Mati and even the story were all juvenile, and I hated it. I thought that this would be a pointless world. I thought, the author did a great job with the world building, but why is everything just centered on romance? Would this world just go to waste discussing this naive romance? By 20% of the book, Prince Mati and Raisa already confessed their love for each other, and so far that’s all that there is to the story. There was no foundation, no build-up, and that just sucked.

  Then as I read on, the story just became better and better. The world building was incredible, the character development was phenomenal, and the plot became more and more exciting and climatic! The progression of everything was just amazing, and I couldn’t help but fall in love with the story, despite my earlier complaints. Oh my gosh, just, the feels of this book! And the feels is not even because of the romance, but because of how the story turned out to be; because of all the excitement! Gah, this book just makes me feel giddy!

  Up until now I still can't believe just how amazing this story turned out to be because I don't usually encounter books that end with a bang! The ending wrapped up so nicely, and I really commend the author for that because I feel like it's usually hard to end fantasy books with just one novel. Just, wow, this novel is amazing!

  For those of you who are having a hard time with this book, just push through. I can't promise anything really because our preferences might be different, but for me, the story just got better and better. And I was also close to giving up on this book in the beginning because of how childish it all started out to be, but it just ended so fantastically! In fact this is one of the best endings I've ever read! Gosh, I just loved this book! I can't wait for the companion novel!

4.5 excitement-overload stars. Eeep!

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