I’d like to start this review off by saying, if you’ve never read a book written by Amy Harmon, it is highly recommended that you go to your nearest bookstore and pick one up. Her writing is highly appreciated due to her story-telling abilities. The content of her writing tends to always have a rare quality: pure originality.
“The Bird and the Sword” is no different. As an amateur writer reading the works of an experienced writer such as Harmon, there is always inspiration to be gathered from her words. With that being said, let’s begin with this review shall we?
About this book:
Released May 10th, 2016
Genres: Fantasy-Magic, Romance, Young Adult
“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?” -Goodreads
Bird. Mute. Strange. All words to describe our main character, Lark. Lark’s mother named her after a lark, which is a small bird:
The story’s main theme is that of magical origin, with different magical abilities that are kept hidden due to law. There are Healers, Tellers, Spinners, and Changers. Lark’s mother is a Teller, meaning that she could see things others could not.
Her gift was handed down to Lark, who is able to produce actions with her words. She can give an inanimate object a word, and it will follow her command. Using her words on people is a more difficult task, and one that is highly unforgivable. This is how her story begins, with her using her words, and having the magic being discovered. But it is not Lark that gets the punishment for it, it is her mother, killed by the King. Moments before her mother’s demise, a curse is placed on her by her mother herself to take away her words. Not only does she place magic on Lark: “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 also on the King and the King’s son, Prince Tiras: she predicted the king would trade his soul and lose his son to the sky.
Years later, Lark still cannot utter a word, but can still speak them with her mind and attempt to mold the things around her with them. She helps an eagle to feel comfort in its last moments, and realizes that while her magic may not be as strong as when she can speak, she can still make a small impact at the very least.
The king has been deceased for some years now, but his son Tiras is now ruler. He makes another visit to Lark’s home, and decides to kidnap her to anger Lark’s father. From there the story evolves with romance, action, and adventure.
Read it now → Amazon “The Bird and the Sword”
For the most part, I was pleased with this book and its unique storyline.
I grant it FOUR out of FIVE hearts
The one issue I did have with “The Bird and the Sword” (and this just may be a personal issue of mine, not entirely related to the actual book) was that I couldn’t seem to feel a connection with the characters. While I felt for them, I didn’t necessarily feel along with them, if that makes any sense? Read it for yourself and let me know your reactions! Comment below.
Here are my highlights from “The Bird and the Sword” by Amy Harmon:
♥ “Often times, grass was more useful than gold. Man was more desirable than beast. Chance was more seductive than knowledge, and eternal life was completely meaningless without love.”
♥ “Suddenly yearning had a flavor. It tasted like a king, a beautiful, frightening, infuriating man who flew into my life and began to free my words.”
♥ “The words had risen from his skin even when he wasn’t speaking, and I had called them to me, collecting them like fallen leaves, pressing them between the heavy pages of my memory so I could keep them.”