My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Publication Date: May 11th, 2016
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Very Slow
Genres & Themes: New Adult, Fantasy, Magic, Romance, Prophecy, Kings and Queens
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 writing is truly enchanting:
‘‘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.’’
But sadly, that is the only element The Bird and the Sword is memorable for.
When I began my reading of it, I was sure I would end up giving it a five-star rating. The first chapters introduce the reader to the fantasy world created by Amy Harmon. We learn of the magic and discover the various magical creatures and abilities within the world-building.
It is quite compelling. Until it isn’t anymore.
The beautiful, intriguing storytelling does not last. From the moment Trias, the King, captures Lark, the story slowly starts to lose its appeal.
For one, the love interest is anything but romantic. His idea of romance is not one usually welcome in fantasy reads. I personally prefer my fantasy love interests to be charming, have a sense of humor and hold deep respect for the heroine.
Trias is the King and he knows it. Here are a couple of quotes of his that made me cringe:
Why do I have to be thought?
‘‘Because you just said you know nothing about being a queen. Because I am king. And because it is your duty to please me.’’
‘‘You are a great use to me. I will put a child in your belly. A son who will be king.’’
‘‘You were not supposed to love me, Lark. I did not set out to make you love me. And I was not supposed to love you. But I do. And it is terrible.’’
Any man who will ever dare utter such abominable words to my face will lose an arm.
So the romance does not even deserve half a star.
The story, however, is much better than the characters. There is very little happening – more telling than showing – but thanks to the formidable writing, it was not a bother to read it. I strongly suggest Amy Harmon reads more fantasy novels in her future because those are supposed to contain adventure and action and magic and The Bird and the Sword gives the feeling that it was written by a beginner in the genre.
Countless repetitions and many, many missed opportunities.
Like I said, the only memorable thing about it is the writing. Very beautiful indeed. But that is all.
PS. Not only does Trias not know how to speak to a woman, but he has no idea how to apostrophe one either. No, saying ‘‘you stubborn woman,’’ is not the best way to win a woman’s heart. Really, Lark, what were you thinking?