The Bird and the Sword by Amy Harmon
Publisher: self-published
Publication Date: May 10, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: kindle book
Source: purchased

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?

4.5 Totally consuming stars. Lately I haven’t been into high fantasy books at all, or YA for that matter…but this is an Amy Harmon book, my friends. Also, as I skimmed the initial reviews (yes only skimmed because I’m a spoiler-phobe) I saw over and over again that this story held a romance. Right there, that is what pushed me to click and buy. It certainly helped that everyone was saying how powerful and poetic Ms. Harmon’s words were so I knew I had to have this and had to bump it to the top of my TBR. Boy am I glad I did. I loved it.

As I sit and reflect on what I just read, I realize this is not the first time that has happened with an Amy Harmon book. Her stories touch me and make me think. Whether it’s an emotional, spiritual, or just wow, that was a fantastic plot kind of thought. The first few chapters were scene setters and while I was anxious to get into the story I immediately loved this whole new world displayed before me. So different and lovely and magical, and before I knew it I swear I lived there too. 

I knew the moment as soon as we met her love interest…because he intrigued me just as much. So powerful, so masculine, so confident, so fair and just…and so full of his own secrets. Some I guessed, some I did not. I loved that I was constantly being surprised. The romance and love is pure, deep and meaningful. BUT for me it was not flaily, toe curling or heart fluttering. I appreciated it, but it didn’t make my heart skip a beat. I saw it’s beauty, but I didn’t get butterflies. However, believe me when I tell you I was 100% invested. There were several times my heart started to shatter and I didn’t know if things were going to work out. I believed in this love story and didn’t want it to end with them apart.

The secondary characters were also so magical. At first it felt like there were so many, but by the end I felt like I knew them all to some degree. Some were loyal to a fault and others were double crossers and traitors. I predicted some, but not all and I LOVED THAT.

The title…gah, the title. I have so much to say but at the same time can’t say anything about it. When I first “got it” I was loving it. But then as I continued reading I had to wonder, did I have it right or backwards OR omg, was that the genius of it? I don’t want to spoil but let me just tell you it gripped me and this perfect title is perfect.

The ending was crazy in the best possible way. So much finally came to a nail biting head. I can’t believe it’s over and I loved, loved, loved this beautifully woven journey to the Land of Jeru.

Rec it? Yes! If you love high fantasy stories this is a must for your TBR, or even if you don’t always pick them up you might be surprised and fall in love with this one too.

Happy reading!

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