Thursday, September 29, 2016

Review: The Bird and the Sword

Amy Harmon
New Adult/Fantasy
352 pages
Available Now
Source: Bought

THE STORY (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?

The Bird and the Sword is immensely satisfying from beginning to end, giving us a heroine robbed of words on a beautifully-told journey to find them again amidst the backdrop of a sweeping fantasy epic.

Lark is a Teller, gifted with words that create a call to action when spoken, bringing to life inanimate objects, controlling animals, and healing when needed. After her mother's dying rhyme rips away her ability to speak, she's assumed to be deaf and dumb in addition to being mute, but we're treated to her innermost thoughts and feelings and therefore know she's as smart and strong as they come. She quickly finds herself a pawn in a game of politics, taken from her father and held as insurance to make sure he provides promised assistance to the young king in his war against the monstrous Volgar (vulture-like birdmen). She could have easily spent her days wallowing in self-pity for the position in which she finds herself – in a strange place and forced to be a weapon in the service of her king – but instead she does as she is asked with a quiet pride and a lick of defiance, one that brings a smile to our faces every time she wields it. 

Her romance with King Tiras is of the slow burn variety, one with a start rooted in antagonism as she resents being made into the tip of a spear and hurled at the Vulgar with little care for anything other than her usefulness. Her feelings for Tiras seemingly develop quicker than his for her (though it takes her plenty of time to begin to see him in a romantic light), and she keeps those feelings close to her vest because she knows he's unlikely to return her affection. She is a means to an end for him, an ace up his sleeve in the war against an impossible enemy, and she protects her heart as best she can by defying him in the most perfect of ways when he proves to be too presumptuous.

Their story has my highest recommendation for all those who love apparent underdogs with unparalleled strength, love interests who challenge at every turn, and grand romances that share the spotlight with well-executed paranormal and political wars.

Rating: 5/5

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  1. This was NA? I always thought it was YA (fine I still do not see the difference, more sex in NA only thing)

  2. Jenny, I am so, SO thrilled you enjoyed this one! I adore a well-written fantasty and can't wait to pick this one up. Beautiful review, dear! :)

  3. Jenny, yay! I'm so thrilled you decided to pick this one up and even more so that you loved it! :) The romance was definitely one of the best parts for me. I love how they grew to trust each other in the slowest way. I still think about this book from time to time!
    Lovely review!

  4. *sobs* I did not have a great time with this one. I'm glad you loved it, though. I don't know what it was that didn't agree with me. It's been so long now that I can't remember. Bah.

  5. Per your recommendation I have downloaded this book. Thanks for sharing! Must be wonderful if you gave it a 5!

  6. Jenny I seriously need to make room for this on my shelves. Beautiful review!

  7. Gorgeous review - I'm sold!! This sounds so romantic and with a touch of fantasy I need this in my life. I know Nick loved this as well so I need to try this :)

  8. Wow. You don't give out five stars lightly, and I am even more impressed that this is self pubbed. I will have to look it up.

  9. I love that self publishing has come so far. Thanks for the great review!

  10. I love that self publishing has come so far. Thanks for the great review!

  11. This was one of my favorites of 2016! I am not a fantasy reader, but this was gorgeous.

  12. I am so glad that you reviewed this book! I have really been wavering on whether I want to read it or not. Thank you for making my decision a positive!

  13. Wow. I will be adding this to my tbr shelf my friend - it sounds amazing! Glad you enjoyed it so much and thanks for putting it on my radar. It sounds seriously unique and I'm already rooting for the MC!

  14. Aaaaand I've just added this to my GR list and grabbed it for my Kindle! If it got 5 stars from you, I MUST READ IT! Thank you for putting this one in my radar Jenny!

  15. Aaahhh! I added this to my Goodreads list a while ago and, based off of this review, it's shooting to the top of my have-to-buy list. Thanks!

  16. I’ve known Amy Harmon as a contemporary writer, I’ve read and enjoyed a couple of her books. To my surprise I see that she’s wrote a fantasy. While I don’t often venture in this genre I’m intrigued. I like ths sound of slow-burn romance, interesting world and Lark sounds like a very interesting character. Wonderful review, Jenny!