Friday, January 15, 2016

ARC Review: Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan

Title: Sword and Verse (Sword and Verse #1)
Author: Kathy MacMillan
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication date: January 19th 2016
Pre-order the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

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.
(Image and summary taken from Goodreads)

My thoughts:





Sword and Verse was, in a word, magical. I never knew a Fantasy novel about language and writing could affect me so deeply.  The proverb "The pen is mightier than the sword" is well known amongst everyone, and Kathy MacMillan managed to emulate that in her novel. She managed to spin a gorgeously intricate novel about political strife with beautiful and explicit Fantasy elements. I was completely wow-ed by the end of it. I fell for Sword and Verse; and I fell for it hard.

Raisa ke Margara is shaping up to be one of my most favourite heroines of all time-- being an Arnath slave and in love with the Qilarite crown prince, she was torn between her two selves; and it was her struggle between those two aspects of her lives that truly called to me. What really made Raisa so special to me was that she isn't your average swashbuckling, exciting heroine, her voice was soft but keen and intelligent. She relied on her passion and thought things through before acting, which is more than I can say for most YA female MCs out there. I loved that she worked so tirelessly to learn how to read and write, and managed to use those gifts as a weapon, finding strength in what others would consider insignificant in the face of battle.

Oh my god, I am trying not to fangirl too much over the romance in this book but I can't. My heart is filled to bursting, I seriously have so many feelings right now... Let me start off by introducing myself: My name is Louisse and I am a Prince Mati fangirl, and I never want to be cured of this fever. Throw away all those ideas of bad boys and brooding YA heroes and grab a copy of Sword and Verse to meet your next book boyfriend, the extremely sweet and undeniably attractive Prince Mati. The romance between Raisa and Prince Mati was shy, lush and will definitely, definitely captivate you. It's like finding out the copy of a book  you just bought and you've been dying to read is signed, you feel your heart burst and possibly even cry a bit, that's what I felt while I was reading about Raisa and Prince Mati's love. *happy sigh*

I absolutely love the mythology of this novel, the idea of gods and their need to keep their words exclusive (and one goddess trying to share it to the world). It was beautiful and very interesting. I liked that in every chapter heading, there would be a small bit about the gods' story that, in a way, relates to what will happen to Raisa in the chapter. It was a very neat and creative idea, it made the book all the more interesting.

Sword and Verse was a slow burn, you had to work through it but the deeper you get into the novel, the more explosive the scenes become. Kathy MacMillan's writing was gorgeous and the pace of the book made so much sense, I could not find a thing that I did not love about it. And I'm amazed that she was able to wrap everything up in just one novel, it was concise and so different from the books out there that insist on ending with a cliffhanger. If you're looking for an intelligent and unique Fantasy novel that will take you to the newest and most beautiful of heights, Sword and Verse is for you. It is easily already in my favourites of 2016.



  1. Very happy you loved it. This book is so awesome and Prince Mati is so great.

  2. I really want to read this book! It sounds really amazing.
    So glad you enjoyed it!