| ARC Review | Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan - A Wave of Disappointment

Title: Sword and Verse
Author: Kathy MacMillan
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Release Date: January 19th, 2016
Publisher: Harper Teen
Raisa was just a child when she was sold to work as a slave in the kingdom of Qilara. Despite her young age, her father was teaching her to read and write, grooming her to take his place as a Learned One. In Qilara, the Arnathim, like Raisa, are the lowest class, and literacy is a capital offense. What’s more, only the king, prince, tutor, and tutor-in-training are allowed to learn the very highest order language, the language of the gods. So when the tutor-in-training is executed for teaching slaves this sacred language, and Raisa is selected to replace her, Raisa knows any slipup on her part could mean death. Keeping her secret is hard enough, but the romance that’s been growing between her and Prince Mati isn’t helping matters. Then Raisa is approached by the Resistance—an underground army of slave rebels—to help liberate Arnath slaves. She wants to free her people, but that would mean aiding a war against Mati. As Raisa struggles with what to do, she discovers a secret that the Qilarites have been hiding for centuries—one that, if uncovered, could bring the kingdom to its knees.

When I first came across this debut, I was immediately intrigued. Not only was the cover absolutely gorgeous, but the synopsis hooked me and I felt like I needed this book like I needed air. Needless to say, I was highly annoyed that this ended up being an entire flop for me.

Upon reading the synopsis for this book, like I said above, I was instantly intrigued. A high fantasy? A sacred language? A forbidden love? SIGN. ME. UP! However, when I started, my first thought was, did I pick up the wrong book? This was definitely not a fantasy novel. It felt more like a dystopian/historical and what disappoints me is the fact that I was misled! As a reader who absolutely loves fantasy, I was frustrated that I got none of that in this debut, even though it was being promoted as a fantasy. In a way, this book reminded me of The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutoski with the many resemblances I noticed between the two.

Trying to dull out my disappointment from the lack of fantasy, I continued reading in hopes of connecting with the characters. But to my sheer luck, I was yet again smacked in the face with a ball disappointment. When I say that Raisa, the heroine and main character, was one of the hardest characters that I've tried connecting with, I mean it. I wanted a heroine that was a true kick ass warrior, one that didn't let anyone push her around and a character that stood up for what she believed in. Instead, Raisa was not only reckless, but also immature and her only sole thought and focus was on the love interest, Prince Mati, which leads me to the next thing that left me shaking my fist at the sky.

As readers, we always want to relate to characters and connect with situations that could possibly relate to us and our every day lives. So you can imagine how frustrated and annoyed I was when I landed on page eighty and the characters had already professed their undying love for one another and had gotten their groove on in the library! *nudge, wink, nudge* By this point I was ready to throw the book out the window and call it a night, but I decided to continue on and brave though it like warrior. Needless to say, it didn't get any better and I ended up taking many reading breaks to get away from it all.

Now even though it seems like I wanted to burn and rip apart this book, there were actually some things I liked about it. One of the aspects being, the writing. Although there was a bit of showing instead of telling in some parts, MacMillan's style was elegant and intriguing and I was drawn into it. Another aspect I enjoyed was the world that the author had created. I found it so intriguing that she had literally created a language for this book and I applaud her for that accomplishment! 

I'm sad to say that Sword and Verse, one of my most anticipated releases of this year ended up being one of my biggest disappointments instead. MacMillan had a wonderful idea/plot, but unfortunately it's execution didn't exactly sit well with me, but I do hope that you guys enjoyed/will enjoy it more than I did!

What are your thoughts on insta-love? Love it or hate it? Have you picked this debut up yet? If so, what were your thoughts on it? If not, will you be picking it up? Don't be shy in letting me know down in the comments below! I love hearing your thoughts!

Happy reading!


  1. Insta-love tends to bother me if I notice it, though sometimes, if I like the characters enough, I'll let it slide. I'm sorry to see that this one wasn't for you. :/ I may still give it a chance!
    Krystianna Downright Dystopian

    1. Usually I try to ignore it but in this case, instead of it being a fantasy novel, it felt more like a romance and that's why I couldn't let it slide, unfortunately. :( I do hope you'll love it more than I did though! Thank you so much for stopping by and reading!

  2. Oh no, that sucks! I have been looking forward to this one and someone else mentioned the fact that it was not really fantasy. : / I might have to put this one on the back burner. Great review!

    Ang @ The Gilded Pages

    1. It does! I was super excited for this one, but sadly it didn't live up to my expectations. Totally hate when that happens! If you happen to pick it up, I'd love to hear what you thought of it though! :) Thank you so much for stopping by!

  3. I've read so many reviews saying how much of a disappointment this was! :( I don't like insta-love at all, but I'm wondering if (since I can expect it) I'll end up enjoying this book. My expectations are set really low now so maybe that'll give me the chance to like it for what it IS and not what it lead me to initially believe? Idk. But anyways, great review!

    1. I noticed that too! I was a bit relieved I wasn't the only one bothered by how much romance there was in here instead of fantasy and how it had some major insta-love. Hm, maybe! If you end up picking it up, I do hope you end up liking it and feel free to send over your review--I'd love to know what you thought of it! :) Thank you so much for stopping by!


Thanks so much for stopping by!

Latest Instagrams