The Bird and the Sword (The Bird and the Sword Chronicles, #1) by Amy Harmon
Publication Date: May 6th 2016 by CreateSpace
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Genre: Young Adult, New Adult, Fantasy.
Find: Goodreads | Amazon
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?
A word of advice. Do not deprive yourself of the experience of reading an Amy Harmon book. The Bird and the Sword is a richly imaginative and evocative tale that introduces you to an incredible heroine and a fascinating magical world.
It’s a story of a young woman that’s thrust into the political games dominating the realm. Lark is one of the gifted, individuals that can harness and manipulate elements in this world. Lark’s gift is her voice. She can use her words to compel and control others. It’s a gift that, when in the wrong hands, can cause a lot of damage. Lark’s gifts remain a secret for many reasons. To start, the gifted are deemed the enemy. They’re hunted by those who fear and envy them. However, following her mothers death at a young age, Lark is left mute. To everyone else, Lark is no one. To them, her muteness is her weakness, but she is far from weak. Lark is a character that possesses a quiet strength. She is gentle, and her bravery in face of the experiences and hardship she faces is admirable. Even in her darkest moments, her kindness is still prevalent. This book highlights Lark’s journey to embracing ones self as she strives to find her voice.
Joining Lark on this journey is King Tiras. Having kidnapped her, Tiras looks to secure Lark’s father’s support in his campaign against a cunning enemy. It’s hard to make a judgement of his character at the beginning because he keeps himself closed. His cold demeanor may be offputting to start, but as we peel back the layers we see that this is a man that has the weight of his entire kingdom resting on his shoulders. It’s a heavy burden, one made harder to bear when you hold a secret that could have a devastating impact on his leadership. However, it’s the small, tender moments that truly reveals his nature. Even with his responsibilities to the kingdom and the threat of war looming over his head, Tiras takes the time to help Lark find her voice. It is in those moments that his patience and compassion shines.
The Bird and the Sword reads more as a light-fantasy novel. The world building offers just enough information to understand the magic system, the social and political hierarchy, and our main conflict. It’s easy to follow, but still has that layer of depth added to help strengthen our understanding of the characters motives and choices they make. There’s a fairy-tale like aura to the book and that is a testament to Harmon’s beautiful writing. There’s a poetic nature to her writing, but it does not take away from the pace or the events of the book. The writing enhances the experience bringing emotion to the forefront of this reading experience.
What’s your favourite Amy Harmon book?