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Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan

Thursday, November 19, 2015

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.

Goodreads Summary

Raisa is in love with the Prince of the people who enslave her people and poised to help her own people rise out of servitude.  The reader meets her while she is cleaning the Library on a scary scaffold.  Many children like Raisa die trying to clean from way up high.  She is soon chosen as Tutor to the Prince and learns the forbidden reading lessons only given to the Prince and King.  She discovers that the scrolls written long ago are not what they seem and give her clues that may help her own people.  The book has interspersed stories about the gods and goddesses of old that factor in to the story and make the entire book more interesting than a typical intense story-line.  

I really enjoyed Raisa's and the Prince's romantic and friendly relationship.  I appreciated that the author did not try to turn it into a love triangle.  It was sweet, organic, and developed over the course of the book.  The Prince wasn't entitled or stuck up; I liked how he cared enough to save Raisa when she needed it.  The threads that began in the beginning of the book wove together perfectly at the end and this book would be very enjoyable for young adult/teen readers.

4 Stars

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  1. This does sound really good, and I am crazy about the cover!!!