Title: The Bird and the Sword
Author: Amy Harmon
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Goodreads Synopsis: 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 have so many feels about this book. This is my first Amy Harmon novel, but if this book is any indication of what the rest of them are like, sign me up fam. I understand that this was her first attempt at a fantasy novel too, in which case, BRAVO. I think fantasy is hard to get right sometimes, especially in the world-building category. Some authors are good at creating a world and explaining it to their readers without an information dump, others… not so much. There was a little dumping in this one, but not so much that I felt overwhelmed.
Once upon a time, the Gifted: Healers, Changers, Spinners, and Tellers, walked freely in Jeru. Some using their gifts for good and others using them for evil. Now, they are hunted. Lark’s mother, murdered for a crime she did not commit, was one of these such Gifted. When her soul left her body, so did Lark’s voice. From that day forward, Lark lived in silence until she is captured by King Tiras and brought back to his castle.
Lark was born with a power she does not understand, but over the course of the novel she is able to gain some understanding of what she can do and develop it over time. All the while, fostering a blossoming romance with the King. While King Tiras’ initial capture of Lark is truly for political gain, the two unexpectedly fall in love with each other.
My biggest complaint, and the reason I docked half a point, is King Tiras’ personality. I give his personality a 3/5. He looks at Lark as a possession and frequently refers to her as a “stubborn woman.”
“I think I will keep you.”
Wtf?? Lark is treated as less than human by her peers because she doesn’t speak, and the one person who can hear her refers to her as a “Stubborn. Woman.” Fucking romantic if you ask me.
I came into this novel fully expecting a fairy tale retelling, but it ended up being so original that I would fully expect to see it in a Brothers Grimm anthology. The way it read, the pacing, the characters…everything about this novel felt like folklore that had been passed down and told for generations. This book was beautifully written, imaginative, poetic, thrilling, romantic, and of course, magical. I would highly, highly recommend it to anyone craving a unique and captivating read.