Sunday, December 23, 2018

Review: Onyx and Ivory

Author Mindee Arnett 
Format e-book 
Print Length 512 pages 
Publisher Blazer + Bray 
Published May 15, 2018 

They call her Traitor Kate. It’s a title Kate Brighton inherited from her father after he tried to assassinate the high king years ago. Now Kate lives as an outcast, clinging to the fringes of society as a member of the Relay, the imperial courier service. Only those most skilled in riding and bow hunting ride for the Relay; and only the fastest survive, for when dark falls, the nightdrakes—deadly flightless dragons—come out to hunt. Fortunately, Kate has a secret edge: she is a wilder, born with magic that allows her to influence the minds of animals. But it’s this magic that she needs to keep hidden, as being a wilder is forbidden, punishable by death or exile. And it’s this magic that leads her to a caravan massacred by nightdrakes in broad daylight—the only survivor her childhood friend, her first love, the boy she swore to forget, the boy who broke her heart.

The high king’s second son, Corwin Tormane, never asked to lead. Even as he waits for the uror—the once-in-a-generation ritual to decide which of the king’s children will succeed him—he knows it’s always been his brother who will assume the throne. And that’s fine by him. He’d rather spend his days away from the palace, away from the sight of his father, broken with sickness from the attempt on his life. But the peacekeeping tour Corwin is on has given him too much time to reflect upon the night he saved his father’s life—the night he condemned the would-be killer to death and lost the girl he loved. Which is why he takes it on himself to investigate rumors of unrest in one of the remote city-states, only for his caravan to be attacked—and for him to be saved by Kate.

With their paths once more entangled, Kate and Corwin have to put the past behind them. The threat of drakes who attack in the daylight is only the beginning of a darker menace stirring in the kingdom—one whose origins have dire implications for Kate’s father’s attack upon the king and will thrust them into the middle of a brewing civil war in the kingdom of Rime. 

My Opinion 

Kate’s daddy was once a well-respected man in the kingdom, she lived at the castle and grew up with Corwin. They had a friendship that was more. That is until her daddy tried to kill Corwin’s dad, the king. Her father captured and executed, Kate labeled a Traitor and kicked out. Corwin disappears for years and is labeled the Errant Prince of Rime. On top of Kate being a traitor, she is also a wilder- one who wields forbidden magic. 

In Rime, you do not go out at night, for at night the drakes come out. The drakes who hunt the humans. No one knows where they came from, or how they got to Rime all they do know is that the sunlight is safe. Until now that is- what has changed? Can Corwin and Kate stop their kingdom from falling. 

Kate is confident, capable and independent. This alone makes her different than a lot of other characters out there. She has fought for her place in the world and continues to fight to keep it. There is no giving up on her future for the guy, or pushing herself into the background because of him. Instead she stands tall beside him. Corwin is a flawed prince. Kate’s betrayal or what he believes is her betrayal broke him. He has been trying to find himself ever since. Maybe even redeem himself. He is confident that his older brother will get the uror and so he does not see himself as worthy to rule. Both of them grow throughout the book and begin to accept that things are not as they seemed. That they have a history-of first love lost due to the actions of others, helps move the story line along. Plus, it moves us away from insta-love. 

The world building is very detailed yet not tediously so. The reader at times does not even realize they are reading the history of Rime and the rise of the drakes. The cause of the schism between wilders and the magist is also interesting. How the heir to the throne is chosen was unique enough for me to buy in and the trials were pretty emotionally driven. There is a lot of politics woven in the story that you can’t help but guess at everyone’s motives. 

Onyx and Ivory is a remarkable tale that captures the imagination and brings the reader to a whole new world. The pacing starts off slow, which could turn some readers off but once it starts to pick up it continues nicely. The ending is abrupt which can be annoying but good news there is a sequel coming out in June 4, 2019. 

My Rating 4 out of 5 stars 

Favorite Quote “There is no greater weapon than knowledge.” 

Other People 

Dal- Corwin’s bestie 
Signe- Kate’s bestie 
Bonner- Kate’s boy bestie 
Edwin- Corwin’s brother

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