Time for a new review, and this one is for The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen!
I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Raincoast Books!
Let’s jump into the review!
Goodreads Rating: 4.14/5
Pages: 336 Pages
Published: June 5th, 2018
Publisher: Blazer + Bray
Genre: Fantasy and YA
As a slave in the Kipchak Khanate, Jinghua has lost everything: her home, her family, her freedom … until she finds herself an unlikely conspirator in the escape of Prince Khalaf and his irascible father as they flee from their enemies across the vast Mongol Empire. On the run, with adversaries on all sides and an endless journey ahead, Jinghua hatches a scheme to use the Kipchaks’ exile to return home, a plan that becomes increasingly fraught as her feelings for Khalaf evolve into a hopeless love.
Jinghua’s already dicey prospects take a downward turn when Khalaf seeks to restore his kingdom by forging a marriage alliance with Turandokht, the daughter of the Great Khan. As beautiful as she is cunning, Turandokht requires all potential suitors to solve three impossible riddles to win her hand—and if they fail, they die.
Jinghua has kept her own counsel well, but with Khalaf’s kingdom—and his very life—on the line, she must reconcile the hard truth of her past with her love for a boy who has no idea what she’s capable of … even if it means losing him to the girl who’d sooner take his life than his heart.
⭐ ⭐ ⭐
I’m writing this review just seconds after I have completed this novel, and let me just start off by saying… you need to read this novel.
Let’s start from the beginning.
I went into this novel with no high expectations. This was the third YA Fantasy novel I was reading consecutively and I found myself just going through the motions.
I was interested, but not interested enough to never want to put it down.
You know the feeling?
The writing in this novel was definitely one of the best parts about it. There was poetry and music and just beautiful writing throughout and I couldn’t get past how lyrical I found this novel.
The characters were ok. I didn’t hate them but I also didn’t find them absolutely amazing. There was only one character that I enjoyed for the majority of the novel and that was Timur.
Timur went from being a powerful ruler to a lowly beggar in just a couple chapters and seeing his transition from being spoiled and thinking too highly of himself to being caring and aware of others was a beautiful character arc and I really wish we had an opportunity to see more of him.
I can’t complain about the other characters too much because nearing the end of the novel I saw so much growth and change within them. This is especially relevant for our main protagonist, Jinghua. Throughout this novel all I wanted was to know more about her, and I never really got that until the last 100 or so pages. I wish that we got a more even distribution of her past throughout this novel, but I’m understanding of the author’s reasoning for placing the information where she did.
I found Khalaf to be a boring character throughout the novel. He only really caught my interest for the last 10 pages, so I wish we could have gotten more of him as well.
The plot is where I had most of my issues, and I definitely have a lot less to complain about since finishing the novel, because that ending.
The biggest thing I find myself complaining about and disliking about this novel was the intense romance that was being forced down our throats. I understand that the romance was a huge part of this novel, and that is ok, but make it discreet. I love a good romance just like any other YA reader, but no one likes to have every plot point revolve around it. If there was one thing I’d like changed for this novel, that would be it.
Overall, the novel before the last 50 pages was ordinary. It was getting boring and it was something I wouldn’t really recommend to many people, just because I feel like we have already seen something like it before.
The last 50 pages however. Read this novel for the last 50 pages. Read it because those last 50 pages will make you gasp, tear up, and rage all at once. Read it because those 50 pages tie everything up tremendously. Just read it for those pages and I swear you will not regret picking up this novel.
That is all.
That concludes my review for The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen!
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Until next time,