Monday, March 31, 2014

Review + Giveaway: Moth and Spark

MOTH AND SPARK
Anne Leonard
Fantasy
368 pages
Viking Adult
Available Now
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
A prince with a quest. A commoner with mysterious powers. And dragons that demand to be freed—at any cost.

Prince Corin has been chosen to free the dragons from their bondage to the Empire, but dragons aren’t big on directions. They have given him some of their power, but none of their knowledge. No one, not the dragons nor their riders, is even sure what keeps the dragons in the Empire’s control.

Tam, sensible daughter of a well-respected doctor, had no idea before she arrived in the capital that she is a Seer, gifted with visions. When the two run into each other (quite literally) in the library, sparks fly and Corin impulsively asks Tam to dinner. But it’s not all happily ever after. Never mind that the prince isn’t allowed to marry a commoner: war is coming to Caithen.

Torn between Corin’s quest to free the dragons and his duty to his country, the lovers must both figure out how to master their powers in order to save Caithen. With a little help from a village of secret wizards and a rogue dragonrider, they just might pull it off.


MY THOUGHTS
Moth and Spark is a rich fantasy story, delighting us with dragons, royalty, magic and romance all intricately linked together to create a truly beautiful fictional tapestry. Though the mere mention of dragons brings a smile to our faces and our main couple Corin and Tam prove themselves to be characters we won't soon forget, this story does take some time to get started, sparse dialogue and long descriptive passages dominating the first quarter of the book as we're introduced to the politics responsible for an impending war. The fact that Corin and Tam don't even officially meet until nearly the 75 page mark is one of the main reasons the pacing in the first section seems to drag a touch, our desire for an emotional connection so strong that it causes us some disappointment when we're met with detailed descriptions instead of the forging of new relationships between the characters. It's not to say that the writing isn't gorgeous because it quite simply is, but we can't help but wish the pages turned with a little more speed.

Once Corin and Tam have their fateful meeting in the palace library things pick up a bit, the joy of seeing them together piquing our interest and the complications of their respective social statuses transfixing us in a way the early chapters of the book didn't. Tam is a woman who's mouth gets away from her on occasion, much to her chagrin and our amusement, her dry wit and sense of humor bringing a smile to our faces as she and Corin begin their courtship. She's not shy about speaking her mind nor is she suddenly demure when she learns who Corin actually is, instead she has to open her mouth entertainingly wide in order to accommodate her foot again and again. Their romance develops quickly—just a matter of days passing before love is declared—but with a war hovering on the horizon it's not difficult to understand how their feelings might carry greater weight in a shorter amount of time. Corin is charming, respectful and never threatened by Tam's sharp mind and tongue, and the two of them are beautifully honest with one another throughout, reassuring us every step of the way that theirs is a relationship that will overcome all that faces them because a united front simply cannot fall.

Despite a fairly slow beginning and some tedious moments here and there in the middle, Moth and Spark ends strongly in a dramatic flurry of flapping wings and ancient magic, the dragons finally taking center stage in all their fantastical glory. We're left with things nicely concluded, no unsanswered questions or jaw-dropping cliffhangers to make us age prematurely, instead a lingering smile dances across our faces as we close the back cover, content and satisfied with the resolution romantically, politically and militarily.

Rating: 3.5/5



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This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

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GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the fabulous team at Viking, I have a copy of Moth and Spark to give away on the blog today! To enter, please just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway is open to US addresses only (no PO boxes).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

55 comments:

  1. Dragons, you say?? Heh, oh yes that's all I need to hear to bring a smile to my face! Although the same can be said with dry wit, which I love. It's too bad this one had such a slow start because otherwise it all sounds good to me and I'm definitely intrigued! Nicely reviewed, Jenny.

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    1. I do love me some dragons Aylee! I wish there had been more of them throughout rather than just coming on strong at the end, but I loved the time we did get with them:)

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  2. I really enjoyed this but felt it could have been longer, and wanted more dragons. The characters were great and I didn't want it to end.

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  3. Oooo I didn't know about the Dragons.. Oh how we love Dragons:) I also love how you describe Tam..

    I love fantasy and despite your mediocre rating I think I will look into it!

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    1. It's a lot of world building and explaining of politics in the beginning, and while I could appreciate the thoroughness of it, I wanted Corin and Tam to meet already!

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  4. Haha - Tam sounds like an entertaining character. The slow beginning is a turn-off, but the rest sounds good.

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    1. I very much enjoyed Tam Christy!

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  5. I am a bit worried about the beginning, slow makes me lose interest so fast

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    1. I had read a lot of great reviews for this one so those kept me going through the slow beginning and I'm glad for it:)

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  6. What an awesome cover this book has! I know what you mean by the two not meeting and hence the book dragging a little. It happened to me with The Immortal Rules as well as The Darkest Minds. I'm glad the plot and pacing pick up a little after they meet. Corin seems like a charmer indeed :) I'm glad the ending was strong despite the lack of a cliffhanger which is nicer than a wicked cliffhanger. Great review, Jenny!

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    1. I'm a romance girl Siiri, so I like my couple to meet early on at the very least, even if the romance takes a long time to actually get going. In this, it took them a very long time to meet and then the romance happened quickly which wasn't ideal for me, but I did really like them together overall:)

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  7. I love the sound of this book, and as long as I know going into it that it drags a bit in the beginning (which I do now ;) ), then I can normally wait it out. REALLY looking forward to this one.

    Jessica @ Rabid Reads

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    1. I'm always much better off too if I know about a slow beginning ahead of time rather than discovering that for myself:)

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  8. Yeah, it is a little slower than what I usually read but I was completely drawn into the world and enjoyed the descriptions (though, yeah, I could have handled it being a tad bit faster).

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    1. I appreciated all the world-building for sure, I would have just liked the relationship between Tam and Corin to maybe happen a little more alongside it rather than after it:)

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  9. I have heard some good things about this one and it has been forever since I read anything that had dragons in it. I think even with the slow start, it sounds like this is one that is worth the read.

    Gorgeous review Jenny!

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    1. I will always read a book about dragons Ali!

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  10. Lovely review, Jenny. I bought this one after Kim recommended it to me and I'm looking forward to reading it sometimes soon. It's good to know about the slow beginning. I don't typically mind books with descriptive passages, but it's always good to know before reading just in case I wind up being bored. I love the sound of the main characters. Corin sounds interesting and I'm looking forward to seeing the humorous scenes with her.
    Lovely review, Jenny!

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    1. I think you'll really like Tam and Corin Nick! And the beginning may not be slow for everyone, I just don't typically read much adult fantasy like this, so it seemed a little slower-going for me than YA fantasy.

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  11. I really like the sound of this one, Jenny, but the slow pace has me a bit worried. I read two books that were very, very slow and thought it would never end! It made me restless and I couldn't concentrate. I think I'll put this one on my maybe list.

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    1. I did have to tell myself to keep going for those first 70 or so pages, but once Corin and Tam met I was good to go:)

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  12. I love dragons and I love that this is a standalone. I am becoming more and more a fan of standalones versus a series.

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    1. I'm a big fan of series, but sometimes it's really nice to reach the end of a book and have that be it. *sigh*

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  13. I'm all for no cliffhangers, and a strong ending, but throw in some dragons and I'm sold! It's hard to find a good stand-alone novel, but this one sounds like it's a real winner. Great review!

    Carmel @ Rabid Reads

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    1. It was so nice to reach the end and have no cliffhanger Carmel! I kind of wanted to do a happy dance:)

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  14. It sound like there is a tedious start to this one, which has very much been the kiss of death for me lately. I love the setup and story idea of this one, but I'm not sure I could overcome the difficulties. Lovely honest review, Jenny! :)

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    1. I did struggle early on Melissa, but then it picked up and it ended strongly which was good:)

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  15. I like the sound of Tam, although I'm cautious about a book where the romance develops so quickly - even if it makes sense in context.

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    1. I was just so happy they'd finally met after the slow beginning that the quick declarations of love didn't bother me all that much:)

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  16. I need to give this one a try since I really liked the other Fantasy type book I read recently. This just seems like a good place to try again :)

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    1. Fantasy just keeps growing on me Felicia! I used to steer clear of it, but now I can't get enough.

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  17. This book reminds me of Game of Thrones! I've recently started watching it and I'm completely addicted to it. So the dragons, the quest and an Empire, totally sparked my interest. This seems totally up my street and I will look forward to reading it soon! :) Lovely review, Jenny!

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    1. GAME OF THRONES!!! Love that show. Luckily this book isn't quite as complex in terms of characters and politics as GoT (because oh my god it's hard to keep track of everyone in that show!), but there are some definite similarities:)

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  18. How am I supposed to resist book with such cover and not to mention dragons, royalty, magic and romance all in one book. I mean no way. Honestly I think it's good you pointed out some problems with this cause I'd expect way too much. Great review, Jenny :)

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    1. Draaaaaaggggggoooonnnnnnssss. I love that everyone's comments have to do with dragons. Clearly we need more books with them!

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  19. Hmmm, even if it sounds like it had some dull moments there, the fact that it had dragons is quite tempting!!

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    1. There were slow moments for sure, but I enjoyed this one overall:)

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  20. I am still on the fence on this one. I am interested but I am not thrilled about the slow pacing in parts. At least it ends nicely with no cliffhangers that is definitely a positive.

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    1. I had a rough start with this one Heidi, I won't lie. It felt like it took me twice as long to read as a book normally would, but once Tam and Corin found there way to one another things picked up for me:)

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  21. I enjoyed the review and honestly, when a story has dragons in it, it doesn't take much for me to like it. :D And I always love a story that has a proper ending, with questions answered and no cliffhangers.

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  22. You had me at dragons! This book sounds great,even if the beginning is slow. I'm sure it'll be fine though, especially since you said it picks up after that and is still enjoyable :)
    Victoria @ Chapters on a Page

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  23. For some reason, I have been getting into more adult reads this year and I love a good fantasy, so I will have to add this to my TBR list. I also like that there isn't a cliffhanger at the end of this book…that's like a breath of fresh air! Great review, Jenny, and thanks for putting this book on my radar!

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  24. Like you, Jenny, I enjoyed this one but didn't outright love it either. I thought the romantic scenes were sweet, but moved too quickly and I definitely wished the fantasy elements from the dragons to the politics had taken a far more central appeal. Wonderful review, dear!(:

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  25. I have been waiting for you to review this one. I have seen it sitting on the sidebar for a while now and wondering what it's about.

    I absolutely loved this line " jaw-dropping cliffhangers to make us age prematurely," LOL how many of those have we suffered through?

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  26. Ooooh... this does sound fantastic :) Thanks for the great review!

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  27. Looks very interesting and who doesn't love dragons?!

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  28. I've been anxious to read this book and your review makes me want to even more! I've had enough series for now and the idea of a nicely concluded fantasy novel with dragons sounds perfect.

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  29. Thanks for the review and giveaway! This looks great!

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  30. Oh, I really like the sound of the heroine Tam, and the romance the does that developed between her and Corin. And Dragons....Yes! I don't mind a bit of yumm description that you described, the ending sounds fantastic. I have this book on my tbr list and can't wait to read it. Great review, Jenny :)

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  31. This one sounds REALLY good but I've had trouble with books really holding my attention lately so I've been more careful in picking up fantasy. I think this is one I'll definitely have to read in the future though!

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  32. I NEED to read this!!!!!
    thank you for the giveaway!!

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  33. I'm glad you enjoyed this! I really had a good time with it, and especially loved Tam, I just thought she was the type of character I'd want to be friends with. It did have its slow moments, but didn't bother me too much either. Lovely review!

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  34. The characters sound interesting

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