Sunday, December 6, 2015

Book Review: Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan

Members of the Vise Library were selected to review Sword and Verse.  We received a copy of Kathy MacMillan's book for an honest review.

About the book:

In a sweeping fantasy that award-winning author Franny Billingsley calls "fascinating and unique," debut author Kathy MacMillan weaves palace intrigue and epic world-building to craft a tale for fans of Rae Carson and Megan Whalen Turner.

Raisa was just a child when she was sold into slavery in the kingdom of Qilara. Before she was taken away, her father had been adamant that she learn to read and write. But where she now lives, literacy is a capital offense for all but the nobility. The written language is closely protected, and only the King, Prince, Tutor, and Tutor-in-training are allowed to learn its very highest form. So when she is plucked from her menial labor and selected to replace the last Tutor-in-training who was executed, Raisa knows that betraying any hint of her past could mean death.

Keeping her secret guarded is hard enough, but the romance that's been blossoming between her and Prince Mati isn't helping matters. Then Raisa is approached by the Resistance--an underground rebel army--to help liberate the city's 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.
Sword and Verse is an interesting read that takes you to the Kingdom of Qilara through the eyes of Raisa.  Raisa lives as a slave in a place that does not allow certain people to be read or write (BOOOOOOOOOO).  However, as luck would have it (or not, depending on how you look at it), Raisa finds herself in the only job that allows a slave to read or write: the tutor-in-training.  Her job is not super secure since the last person that held this position was executed for aiding a group of slave rebels.  The Resistance actually approaches her for help and Raisa's world is thrown upside down.  If she does decide to join them she will have to betray Prince Mati (her in secret beau) or betray her kind by not helping them.  I won't give much more away, but Raisa has to learn who to trust and who can earn her trust (throughout the book I kept wondering "is this person or that person good or bad??" keeps you on your toes!)  Raisa learns how to be strong in her own right and how vital it is to do the right thing.  She is clever and is able to bring the unlikeliest of forces together.  As I read this book I felt sorry for everything she experienced, but Raisa never let that keep her down.  This book has a lot of great lessons lurking within the story and I love books like that (especially ones that can apply to everyday life)!  If you enjoy fantasy novels, make sure you check this one out in 2016 when it is released!  It is so much fun and something to get you through the first few weeks of freedom January before the Spring semester starts (our copy will be made available for checkout when it releases, and yes we are open through winter break, yay!).  Also, Kathy MacMillan is a librarian, so how can we not love this book???  

PS if you preorder MacMillan's book you will receive your name written in the language from the book!  Click here for more info!
Buy the book:
       Barnes and Noble
      Parnassus Books

About the author:

Kathy MacMillan is a writer, American Sign Language interpreter, consultant, librarian and signing storyteller. She holds National Interpreter Certification from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.  Her diverse career includes working as a children’s librarian at public libraries, working a school librarian at the Maryland School for the Deaf,  leading the Eldersburg Library Bookcart Drill Team, and performing as Scooby-Doo, Velma, and a host of other characters at a theme park.  Kathy presents American Sign Language storytelling programs through her business, Stories By Hand, and also runs the storytime resource website Storytime Stuff.  She is a volunteer director and board president of Deaf Camps, Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides camps for deaf children.  Kathy holds a Master of Library Science from the University of Maryland, a Bachelor of English from the Catholic University of America, and a Certificate of American Sign Language Interpreting from the Community College of Baltimore County. She lives in Owings Mills, MD with her husband, son, and a cat named Pancake.

Connect with the author:

No comments:

Post a Comment