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Sworn to Raise Hardcover – February 3, 2016
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"Edun's complex magical system...and unpredictable plot twists set the stage for more adventures in this enchanted world."
~ Kirkus Reviews
"Teens will find Sworn to Raise a compelling saga of magic, romance, and one young woman's struggle to find and understand her role in her world."
~ Midwest Book Review
"Sure to whet readers' appetite for suspense and intrigue..."
~ RT Book Review - 4 Stars
A Kobo Most-Read Book of 2015
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This was a fun, captivating read, and I am eager for more of Ciardis' adventures. She is spunky without being snarky; her position at the bottom of society in her hometown has neither broken her nor made her bitter. She is smart and eager to learn, knows that she has a lot to learn, and does not give up when she encounters small failures or things that, briefly, overwhelm her.
Grammar Patrol Report (Yes, I know this is a change; I just got a domain name! Watch my profile for more information.): Erin falls prey to some of the all-too-common comma errors, putting in one's she doesn't need and missing some she does, making for some kind of humorous sentences if you know where they are missing, but she handles her pronouns well and avoids using words she doesn't actually know the definitions of. There were a few split infinitive, but after Star Trek, it is hard to fault anyone for those. On the whole, a B or B-. I did give some extra credit for such a good story!
I was drawn to this story for the fantasy and mage aspects. I liked the differentiation between certain types of mages as opposed to everyone having the same types of abilities. The protagonist's magical ability is magnifying the power of other mages. I kind of questioned how that would play out, as at first glance it seemed a little lackluster for a power. But it worked very well, as Ciardis could basically reap the enhanced benefits of any mage she came in contact with.
I thought the author did a good job with world-building and imagery. I liked that the characters were flawed and multi-dimensional. I plan to continue the series and look forward to what it brings. *crosses fingers* Especially if that something is puberty hitting the prince full-blast. =D
Let's start with the obvious, this cover is stunning, and it fits the mental image of Ciardis conjured by the author's description. Ciardis' fiery attitude makes her a witty and enjoyable protagonist and also seems to get her into quite a bit of trouble. I find her relationship with Sebastian, the prince, to be both exciting and fun as it is full of sibling-like banter and adventure. Aside from Ciardis and Sebastian, Edun has supplied supporting characters who, while not as dimensional, provide entertaining dialogue and help guide Ciardis in her journey to become a Companion.
Being a Companion appears to be an interesting and diverse occupation that both genders can be appointed to. While some Companions also become spouses, the position does not require romantic or sexual interaction. Companions are valuable, life-long acquisitions that provide their patrons with different skills and magical talents, although not all Companions possess magic. Ciardis' arrival to the Guild and the discovery of her rare Weathervane origins make her a particularly prized asset eagerly sought after by all.
I enjoy the world that Sworn To Raise takes place in. Magic interacts with both the land and the individuals in a new way. For example, weather mages can manipulate their magic into spells that maintain the temperature of an area, most commonly a room, and create a sort of air conditioning. I thought this to be a clever form of climate control! It's exciting to discover the various talents among the different types of mages introduced throughout the novel, and I'm sure that Sworn to Raise only scratches the surface of the different magical abilities in Edun's world. In an hierarchical society usually ruled by a king and succeeded by a male heir, I was also surprised and delighted to find out that families take the last names of their mothers.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. For a free ebook, there were minimal errors and the writing was fairly elevated. I thought the story line was creative and thrilling. I already own books two and three of the Courtlight series (seven books) and am looking forward to purchasing the other books. I recommend Sworn To Raise (free Kindle download here) to any reader looking for a lively adventure!