Review: The Bird and the Sword by Amy Harmon

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Summary:

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?

Review:

Wow! Since the very first chapter I was captivated. A stunning tale, beautifully written, and with magical characters.

My mother made words. She was a Teller, and her words were magic. She spoke and the words became life. Reality. Truth. My father knew it, and he was afraid. Words can be terrible when the truth is unwelcome.

Amy Harmon builds an eerie world, in which there are people who are gifted. But those people soon became feared, and then hunted. Lark’s mother died  to protect her, compelling her not to speak a word until the right time comes; because Lark has the power to make her words come true. Not speaking, allows her to hide her gift, but she attracts the new king’s interest; he remembered her from that day when his father killed her mother, and their life changed forever. So she’s taken as a pawn, as a prisoner, for political reasons. But what was supposed to be a prison, actually becomes a home for Lark. She was a prisoner in her father’s hands, but Taris actually sees her as a human. They develop a tender relationship, trading words, and love.

He spent the day with me, and when he left, I wandered from one word to the next, touching them, saying them in my mind. As I did, I was unable to stop the moisture that rose in my eyes and slipped down my cheeks. It was the happiest day of my life.

The love story is perfectly entwined and balanced with the plot. Taris’s kingdom is in danger, there are a lot of secrets and twists impossible to foresee. Taris is a mystery himself, and as everything unfolds, I found myself completely hooked. At first I thought Taris was too controlling, demanding, but Lark is strong-willed characters, and become even stronger thanks to Taris, and she can definitely battle his will.

“You are dangerous little bird. But I think I will keep you.”

Amy Harmon is an amazing writer, her stories, mostly contemporary romances, always have something otherworldly about them, so I was immediately captivated by the idea of a fantasy novel written by her. And I was so right! Harmon’s words are powerful, and this story unique. A must read.

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