The Bird and the Sword came out in May of 2016, but recently it has been resurfacing a lot on many of the social platforms, so I’ve decided to finally write a proper review for it.
To say that this book is one of my absolute all-time favorites is an understatement, so let’s proceed to a review.
!Very minor spoilers ahead!
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 sell 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.
I was looking for something to read and the premise of this book made me want to buy it – best decision ever. However, I will not be biased, and say that this story is very far from being original. What more, it reminded me heavily of Beauty and the Beast, except her beauty is not obvious and the beast... Well the beast is complicated. Wrap this up in a spectrum of all human emotions and you have magic.
The world is full of enchantment, and the magic system is very interesting (however, now that I have read Shadow and Bone (Grisha 1) I find two of them quite similar). There are these four types of people who are born into these magical abilities: The Spinner, The Teller, The Changer and The Healer. The book does not call it magic, but I viewed it as one anyway.
I nodded once more.
“Lark? That’s not a name”
I lifted my eyes to his, because it was a name. It was my name.
The main heroine, Lark, is mute by a curse, so the whole book we see her communicating through sighs and hand gestures, till her own power comes through and she finds another way to communicate. Lark is a wonderful main character! I also enjoyed the fact that she is 21, so we are spared many of the childish emotions that are often exhibited by main heroines of YA genre. On the outside she is feeble, mute and thus “invisible” to most people; on the inside she is proud, brave and compassionate. We get glimpses of the way she interacts with her family, of her horrid relationship with her father and her servant/friend Boojohni, who is the only one that can somewhat understand her. Once she is taken by the king, we see her trying to make sense of a palace life and political lies, and schemes that surround it.
The romance was absolutely beautiful. Lark was proud and strong-willed and king Tiras was even more so. Together they clashed and burned - and the result was dazzling. You can practically feel the love from the pages of this book. Love that is strong and gentle at the same time. A love that you know will last forever.
It was an unforgettable read for me - full of action, emotions and twists and turns. Many will find some parts of the story recycled from other stories, but in my opinion if those parts were to be recycled anyway – this is the way to do it. And Amy Harmon’s raw and enchanting writing style is more than enough of a reason to pick up this book (especially now that the second installment of it is coming out in 2 months). That said, this is a standalone, but Amy Harmon is expanding the story into a second book from somebody else’s point of view (Kjell's), while still bringing some of the old characters back.