Series: The Bird and the Sword Chronicles #1
Published by Amazon Digital Services (5.6.2016)
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Format: Audiobook, 328 pages
Length: 11 hours, 3 minutes
Narrator: Trina Nishimura
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?
I’m so sad that I didn’t love this one. The hype for this book is UNREAL! Everyone talks about how beautiful the writing is, but it didn’t wow me. In fact, I found this story to be somewhat dull. I loved the idea of the magic system, but the middle got pretty boring when Lark was in the castle. I didn’t care at all for the romance, either. There was zero chemistry between Lark and Tiras, and it borderlined controlling and rapey at times (“I’m going to put a baby in you” he says, be still my beating heart *rolls eyes*).
I did like the way the curse played out and the ending. View Spoiler »I thought it was super cool that Tiras turned into a hawk! « Hide Spoiler
Writing style: 4/5
Overall rating: 2.5/5
Prison Healer by Lynette Noni
Series: The Prison Healer #1
Published by Clarion Books (4.13.2021)
Genres: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Format: Audiobook, 416 pages
Length: 14 hours, 40 minutes
Narrator: Jeanette Illidge
Seventeen-year-old Kiva Meridan has spent the last ten years fighting for survival in the notorious death prison, Zalindov, working as the prison healer.
When the Rebel Queen is captured, Kiva is charged with keeping the terminally ill woman alive long enough for her to undergo the Trial by Ordeal: a series of elemental challenges against the torments of air, fire, water, and earth, assigned to only the most dangerous of criminals.
Then a coded message from Kiva’s family arrives, containing a single order: “Don’t let her die. We are coming.” Aware that the Trials will kill the sickly queen, Kiva risks her own life to volunteer in her place. If she succeeds, both she and the queen will be granted their freedom.
But no one has ever survived.
With an incurable plague sweeping Zalindov, a mysterious new inmate fighting for Kiva’s heart, and a prison rebellion brewing, Kiva can’t escape the terrible feeling that her trials have only just begun.
I probably set myself up for failure with this book. This screams generic fantasy, and something that I wouldn’t like…it’s even compared to Sarah J Maas, whose books I am not a fan of. But I couldn’t help it. The reviews for this book are wild, and my curiosity got the better of me. Everyone LOVES this book. The average rating on GR is 4.28 for crying out loud, which is quite high. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
What IS all the fuss about?!?! DID I READ A DIFFERENT BOOK THAN EVERYONE ELSE?! This felt like every other high fantasy out there. It brought absolutely nothing new to the table. The characters, plot, story, magic…everything about this book is generic AF. And the writing isn’t even good enough to make that okay.
The “Ordeal” was a joke, and things kept happening deus ex machina WAY too conveniently. This book was a serious struggle for me. I don’t even know why I kept going. Probably out of sheer morbid curiosity, because I kept hoping to see in this book what everyone else found so amazing. I never did.
The ONLY thing I liked about this book was the nice twist at the end.
Writing style: 3/5
World building: 2/5
Overall rating: 2/5
Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
Series: Legendborn #1
Published by Margaret K. McElderry (9.15.2020)
Genres: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Format: Audiobook, 501 pages
Length: 18 hours, 54 minutes
Narrator: Joniece Abbott-Pratt
After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC–Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape—until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus.
A flying demon feeding on human energies.
A secret society of so called “Legendborn” students that hunt the creatures down.
And a mysterious teenage mage who calls himself a “Merlin” and who attempts—and fails—to wipe Bree’s memory of everything she saw.
The mage’s failure unlocks Bree’s own unique magic and a buried memory with a hidden connection: the night her mother died, another Merlin was at the hospital. Now that Bree knows there’s more to her mother’s death than what’s on the police report, she’ll do whatever it takes to find out the truth, even if that means infiltrating the Legendborn as one of their initiates.
She recruits Nick, a self-exiled Legendborn with his own grudge against the group, and their reluctant partnership pulls them deeper into the society’s secrets—and closer to each other. But when the Legendborn reveal themselves as the descendants of King Arthur’s knights and explain that a magical war is coming, Bree has to decide how far she’ll go for the truth and whether she should use her magic to take the society down—or join the fight.
Yet ANOTHER book where the hype monster got me. I went into this book with sky high expectations and the result was that I ended up being disappointed. Not to say that I didn’t enjoy it at all, because it was still good. Just not great. I wanted so badly to love this more.
I do think the narration saved it for me a bit. I listened on my trip to North Carolina, which was funny because this book is set in NC. But to me, this book felt kind of generic and full of cliches despite the cool Arthurian descendants concept. It reminded me a lot of the Shadowhunters world. There wasn’t a whole lot happening in the middle, and I found the pacing to be rather slow, so I was pretty bored. I also don’t think I had a very good grasp on the world or the terms used.
I did love Bree as a main character! The side characters were pretty meh. I didn’t care for Sel (he’s an arse, sorry not sorry), and Nick was boring, so I wasn’t really a fan of the romance. Plus I hate love triangles anyway. I just wanted Bree to be badass by herself without the need for anyone *shrugs*
Even though I was underwhelmed with this one (baa, baa, black sheep), I still might pick up the second book to see where the story goes.
Writing style: 4/5
World building: 3/5
Overall rating: 3/5
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