the bird and the sword book review


 Welcome to the first Book Club discussion, folks! If you haven't been around and have no idea what this Book Club is, then here's a cheeky little link you might wanna click on. But now, onto the fun things!

This month's book club choice was The Bird and The Sword, a fantasy story about a girl who can't talk but feels every single word, a cursed, broken prince, soon the King to a Kingdom where people with special powers are persecuted and the magnificent yet very dangerous power of words.

It's safe to say that I'm not a fantasy fan. If you don't count Hary Potter (because I mean, it's Harry bloody Potter!) I've DNFed every fantasy book I've ever owned. Also, shoutout to my aunt that bought the 13-year-old me a massive, complete edition of The Chronicles of Narnia that stayed on the shelf and never been finished. 
And yes, you can say I bought this book just for the cover because I am that person. But c'mon, you guys! Look at this cover! It's bloody marvellous! Anyway, bought it, read it, loved it. Can I have a King Tiras too, please?

Set in a world where a long time ago, before this world even existed, God created children, two sons and two daughters, each with a different ability: the SPINNER, who could spin all manner of things into gold; the CHANGER, who could transform himself into whatever beast he wanted; the HEALER,  who had the ability to cure and the TELLER, who could predict what was to come. But with power comes fear and the people started being afraid of them, they started to want their gifts, everyone or no-one. So one by one, Spinners, Changers, Healers and Tellers were destroyed and those left with special abilities lived their lives in fear and never used them again. Every year, the King would kill all those with powers until one day, King Zoltev, kills a Teller, a woman who was trying to protect her daughter who lost control of her words. But before she dies, she cursed the King and his son and whispers something to her little girl that will leave her without her voice. Here we find our main character, Lark of Corvyn, now grown-up and still a mute, living with her father who all he wants is to be King. 
But things hardly ever go the way we want, and when King Tiras finds out Lark's father is not sending any help to the King's army to defeat the Vulgars, he takes his daughter with him to Jeru until the war is won. 

Lark is an incredible character. I really loved her and it was so easy to hear her even though she doesn't speak. She doesn't care to be queen, she doesn't care about fancy dresses and a palace, all she wants are the words her mother took away from her and that Tiras, day by day, gives her back. 
But King Tiras has a secret: he is gifted but his gift is quite weird.  He's a changer but not really, with time passing by he finds easier to be a beast, an eagle than to be a man and that really complicates things once the two start to fall in love with each other.
Suddenly yearning had a flavor. It tasted like a king, a beautiful, frightening, infuriating man who flew into my life and began to free my words.
They will soon find out that the curse wasn't really a curse and that Lark had more power than she thought she had, and Tiras' fate is in her hands right from when they first meet, as kids.

This book is marvellous. The writing is lyrical and feels like straight out of a poetry book, which I bloody loved. The way Amy Harmon writes, you can picture the whole setting very easily, finding it hard to get back to reality once the book is over. To tell you the truth, I was very happy to re-read this story because it's so beautiful and full of little details that every time it feels like you're reading it for the first time and that's very hard to find.
The characters, from the bad guys (and they were a lot!) to the good ones, were perfectly detailed, like people you know or you want to know (or kill) and they made the whole story unforgettable. 

Lark was my favourite. You might think it's because she's the main character but no, it was more because I really relate to her, to how she thinks, to the importance and the power she gives to the words she doesn't have and those stuck in her head. She was hungry with words. She wanted all the words, learn all the little differences in spelling and she couldn't get enough. I could picture her little face once Tiras gives her some of the words, the pressure she felt to learn them all, the hope and also the sadness once she thought she couldn't learn everything. I loved her. She was curious and strong and although she couldn't talk, (not with her mouth) she was fierce and everyone understood her. 
And then there's Tiras, my new found love. He reads Lark in a way no one does and falls in love with her even when he shouldn't, even when he knew he was better off alone. But he falls for her and she for him, fighting the curse that was tormenting him, the words she couldn't say and the evil that was coming to destroy them all.

Kjell (Tiras' brother) and Bojohni (Lark's little guardian troll) were also my favourites. They are always there for Tiras and Lark and I just loved them to pieces.

This is the story of a lark who fell in love with an eagle, and a king who gave his queen the words.
It's a story of power, of humanity, it's the story of special people with special abilities, the story of diversity and of how this diversity doesn't matter to all those who have a heart. 
But mainly, is a story about words, about how powerful they are if you don't have control over them and how they can set you free.
"Without wings?"  "Yes. You don't need wings to fly," she chirped.  "What do you need, Daughter?" I asked softly. She looked up at me, her big, black eyes alight with knlowledge, and she smiled.  "Words."

If you liked this book, remember there's the second one, The Queen and The Cure is already out!

Swallow, Daughter, pull them in, those words that sit upon your lips. Lock them deep inside your soul, hide them 'til the'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 heav'n 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 trade his soul and lose his son to the sky.

My father has a claim to the throne, and he is waiting and 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?