Silence, daughter. Stay alive.”
WOW!! What an enchanting story! This book was beautifully written, stunningly imaginative, poetic, thrilling, romantic, and exciting. Reading it was like going on an adventure and being swept away in a fantastical fairy tale filled with danger, magic, and woven together with a love story! I’ve loved this author’s writing for a long time and this story was exceptional!! If you’re looking for new book to read that is captivating and unique, definitely try this!
I’m sure you can guess from reading the blurb, but you should know for sure that this is a Fantasy Romance novel — we’re talking kings, queens, and kingdoms in peril, not to mention magic and monsters — which is totally different than the Contemporary Romance novels I usually read. But the kinds of stories that captivate me the most are the ones that step outside the lines while still staying true to the elements I love and crave from the Romance genre. Amy Harmon’s writing is some of the very best I’ve ever read so when I heard she’d written a Fantasy novel, I honestly didn’t even need to see the blurb to know I wanted to read it. And I was truly impressed with how seamlessly she slipped from the Contemporary genre into this sweeping Fantasy epic that I now consider a favorite.
“In a land purged of enchantment, love might be the only magic left.”
The story takes place in another world, somewhat similar to our Middle Ages in feeling. In this world, many are Gifted and Words have power and, if used correctly, a Word may come to life and manifest as true actions. But such powers are feared and forbidden and as such anyone with them must keep them hidden in order to survive…
“Swallow, daughter, pull them in, those words that sit upon your lips. Lock them deep inside your soul, hide them ‘til they’ve time to grow. Close your mouth upon the power, curse not, cure not, ‘til the hour. You won’t speak and you won’t tell, you won’t call on heaven or hell. You will learn and you will thrive.
Silence, daughter. Stay alive.”
The day my mother was killed, she told my father I wouldn’t speak again, and she told him if I died, he would die too. Then she predicted the king would sell his soul and lose his son to the sky.
My father has a claim to the throne, and he is waiting in the shadows for all of my mother’s words to come to pass. He wants desperately to be king, and I just want to be free.
But freedom will require escape, and I’m a prisoner of my mother’s curse and my father’s greed. I can’t speak or make a sound, and I can’t wield a sword or beguile a king. In a land purged of enchantment, love might be the only magic left, and who could ever love… a bird?
I really don’t want to give too much away but just to give you an idea of the story. The heroine has powers that even she doesn’t really understand but that you see develop over the course of the book. The young king, who remembers her from the fateful day they met as children, captures her and brings her back to his kingdom where their story truly begins. His intent for her capture was at first political, but as they spent more time together, an unexpected love began to grow between them…
“I think I will keep you.”
This is truly a Fantasy novel so if you’re intrigued, be prepared to be swept away into a world of wars, love, and magic. I found myself completely enthralled by this story. I lost track of time while reading it and barely noticed the hours ticking away. It was such a wonderful experience to read a book so different than my norm.
‘I am not a weapon. I don’t want to be a weapon!’
“You are what you are. I am what I am. It matters little what we want… I never wanted to be king. But it is what I am. It matters little what we want,” he repeated. I turned and stared up into his face, filled with an anguish that wouldn’t abate.
‘You’re wrong. It is the thing that matters most.’
“Why?” he murmured, his eyes intent.
‘Because without desire, there is only duty.”
Given that I am a true Romance reader at heart and often have a hard time stepping too far outside of my preferred genre, I was pleasantly surprised to see that this was a Fantasy novel that completely stayed true to the rules of Romance. I loved that the story was always developing and constantly moving forward, keeping me eager to read more and find out what path their journey would take them down next. It was a thrilling adventure that culminated in an epic battle that I could easily see playing out in my head like a movie.
The love story is quite beautifully woven into the story. It’s quite poetic and the epilogue’s final words brought happy tears to my eyes as it truly brought the story full circle. It was a beautiful ending for a beautiful book!
“You were not supposed to love me. I did not set out to make you love me. And I was not supposed to love you. But… I have loved you every moment of every day, and I will love you until I cease to be. Bird, man, or king, I love you, and I will always love you.”
I can’t say enough good things about Amy Harmon’s writing. She is such a gifted storyteller and her books are one-of-a-kind gems. If you’re new to her books, I highly recommend checking out Making Faces (a contemporary novel) as well as this one because I consider it to be one of the best books I’ve ever read… and if you’re either already a fantasy fan or if you’re looking for something unique, different, and amazing, then I highly recommend this book.
“Wait for him,” she pressed, and there was an urgency that belied her simple advice…
‘For how long?’
“As long as it takes.”
Rating: 4.5 stars! Standalone Fantasy (Romance) novel.
But… the writing itself is 5 stars all the way!