January 12, 2016

You Don’t Need a Sword to Be Badass|Sword and Verse by Kathy Macmillian ARC Review

“I never knew Tyasha ke Demit, but her execution started everything”
ARC pg. 1

I don’t usually want to give anything away, even a line in a book that I love, but I had to share this line. It has been a long time since a book’s first line has gripped me like this first line in Sword and Verse. It kept me glued to the pages and didn’t let me go! I want to preface with this review that even though this book only earned a 4.5 it honestly was one of my favorite books by a debut author in a long time! I don’t think that my review will honestly do it much justice but I will try.
One of the things that I loved about this was the characters; especially Raisa. A slave Raisa is torn between duty and to her people. The thing that I loved about Raisa was how realistic she was portrayed. She was scared to help the resistance and did not want to mess up her chance at leanring something very important to her; her heart verse. I LOVED the fact that Raisa did not need to be a soldier or badass to be brave. Her power was in her pen and knowledge and that is so refreshing to me to read in a main character, especially one that is a woman!
I got a different feeling about Prince Mati. Honestly, I thought he was spineless and whiny for most of the book. He spoke about wanting to help the slaves but kept talking about how he couldn’t do anything about it. Come on guy, grab your nuts! He especially irritated me when it came to something that happened in the book. I won’t actually go into it, but he proved his spinelessness in spades. Afterwards though, I did warm up to him but couldn’t really get over his actions towards Raisa.
With that being said, one of the things that I wiffle waffle about this story is the romance. A part of me understands and applauds MacMillion on her realistic interpretation of how a slave and a prince, if they were to become romantic, would be like; both heart wrenching at times and hard to swallow. As much as the romantic part of me loves the idea of a forbidden romance I almost think that the romance took away from the story and hurt Raisa in the end. Hear me out, like I said, this romance was realistic but brutally so. On the same coin, there were times that I wanted to kick Mati in his soft prince head until he sobbed on the floor like the little sniveling asshole he was being. Dramatic right? Well there were scenes that I felt that he was being emotionally and verbally abusive to Raisa, someone that was a slave yes, but also someone you JUST got done telling her how much you cared for her. Raisa should have just dropped her pen and ink and threw her hands up and said “I’m out because I don’t need this shit. I got too many problems and your ego isn’t one of them”. That’s all I’m saying and leaving it at that.
The ending blew me away. I don’t think I have enough adjectives to describe how I felt about it so I’m just going to leave it at that. But I will tell you the most satisfying thing about it was the fact that it ended. This book is a standalone and the ending left it ended. I wish sometimes at night that there might be a sequel because this book and world was so FANTASTIC, but there doesn’t need to be one. That is such a rarity in the fantasy world and such a breath of fresh air!
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a heroine that doesn’t need a sword and shield to get things done. A heroine that is realistic and loves and hates just like everyone else. So pretty much READ this book!

Quotes I loved:

“All my life, I’ve made choices based on caution. But I saw them now for what they really where; cowardice.”


“It wasn’t rational I had just escaped punishment and should feel grateful but all I felt was anger – at Mati, at Janis, at my own folly. No matter what I did now, I would betray someone.”




  1. This sounds amazing! How have I never heard of it before!

    I love the power of language! The premise sort of reminds me of a hybrid between The Pledge by Kimberly Derting (the lead understood all the languages) and The Girl of Fire and Thorns (the heroine isn’t your physically strong heroine). I could be completely wrong but I love stories where the heroine is smart in other ways.

    Bummer about the romance though…Great review nonetheless!

    Lauren @ SERIESous Book Reviews #Commenting365

  2. This lovely just came in the mail the other day, and I think it’s going to be the next one I pick up! I have heard such wonderful and amazing things. 2016 has some amazing books coming out, and I just want to read them all right now. Great review!

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