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.
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.
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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