- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 11 hours and 3 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Audiobooks.com Publishing
- Audible.com Release Date: October 20, 2016
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01M2YV3AS
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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The Bird and the Sword Audiobook – Unabridged
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The story is told from the first person POV of Lark, who cannot speak but eventually finds her “voice” as you delve deeper into the story. Even though she can’t talk, she finds a way to get specific people around her to understand what she’s thinking. I absolutely adored her characterization. She’s small in stature and overall quiet (I mean, the girl can’t speak), but the effects of her actions are profound and large. She finds herself under the captive of King Tiras, who was once cursed by her mother in the past. Despite these circumstances, his compassionate ways draw her out.
“Suddenly yearning had a flavor. It wasted like a king, a beautiful, frightening, infuriating man who flew into my life and began to free my words.”
In the kingdom, magic wielders are looked down upon. All the nobles rally against people who can heal, shapeshift, or manipulate items because of the power imbalance in the past. However, Lark’s introduction to the palace starts bringing out secrets in regards to these powers, and even helps the animosity between the Gifted and those without powers.
“I was not vivid or bold. I was small and scared, a swisp. Exactly as Kjell had once described – a tendril of pale smoke, hardly there at all. But the way tiras was looking at me made me believe I was vibrant and brave. He made me feel powerful.”
The magical element in this story doesn’t stop there, though. There are odd, mutant bird-like creatures called Volgars that have been spreading across the region like a disease, killing people. Lark and Tiras both try to discover where these Volgars come from and discover how to defeat them, and ultimately save the people in the kingdom. I love how connected everything was, and you’ll really appreciate it after finishing the whole story.
The romance in this story was so achingly sweet, I savored all the words (and reread them many times). Lark isn’t the boldest or most beautiful heroine out there, but her quiet words really touch Tiras. She has unwavering loyalty and trust towards him, and you could easily tell how devoted Tiras is towards her as well. They protect each other and the kingdom of Jeru with fierce devotion and pride.
“‘You said I chose you because you are of use to me. And I did. But know this, Lark.’ Tiras’s voice broke on my name, but he didn’t pause. ‘I have loved you every moment of the 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.”
In all honesty, I don’t know if words can convey how much I love this story. It’s a fantasy with a fairly simple plot that speaks volumes. The characters are especially touching, from Lark’s quiet strength to Tiras’s dedication to those he loves. Hamon’s lyrical writing was perfect for telling this touching story, keeping me entranced from start to finish. I recommend this for readers seeking an easy-to-read fantasy that has a fairly straightforward plot but manages to readers on their toes still; add to that the lovely romance and profound message the book sends, and it makes for a simply splendiferous read.
There are some breathtaking quotes in this story:
"You are easy to overlook. Slim and pale and so quiet. But now that I've studied your soft grey eyes and traced the fine bones of your face, now that I've kissed your pale pink mouth, I don't want to look anywhere else. My gaze is continually drawn back to you."
"Every second I am a bird, I long to be a man. For you. For me. For the child I was so desperate to create. Not for Jeru. For us. You said I chose you because you are of use to me. And I did. But know this Lark. 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."
Amy Harmon has once again proved what a wonderfully brilliant writer she is. She is an amazing story teller who grabs the reader's interest immediately and never lets go. In some of her books she has supernatural elements, but The Bird and the Sword is full on fantasy and it is fantastic! It’s a perfect blend of fantasy and romance, and is a clever and unique tale. It is so descriptive that I can see the story play out in my head like a movie. Her writing is exquisite and she continues to amaze me with her stories.
Lark lives in a world with kings, noblemen, commoners, and magic. Some people are born Gifted and though they were once welcome, they are now feared and despised. Punished for using their gifts, the Gifted have been forced into hiding to avoid persecution.
We meet Lark as a little girl and we quickly learn that she is among the Gifted. After witnessing a bit of magic, the King is unforgiving and he murders her mother, but not before she is able to tell her daughter one last thing.
“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 heav’n or hell. You will learn and you will thrive. Silence, daughter. Stay alive.”
Lark grows up a prisoner in her own home and without a voice. Her father has his reasons for denying Lark the knowledge of reading and writing, and she feels so alone, with only her servant, Boojahni, truly caring for her.
When lark is 20 years old she is taken by King Tiras, son of the king who killed her mother. She soon finds that this new king is not like his horrible father. He is different with Lark, and he is very gentle with her. He shows her kindness, gives her anything she wants, and offers to teach her, something that means everything to Lark. Slowly Lark begins seeing Tiras as a friend and savior.
Lark has constructed walls like ice around herself and does not let anyone in. But as Tiras and Lark grow closer we see their attraction and desire grow. Lark is feeling things she has never felt before and is trying to adjust to her new life.
"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."
The romance in this book is beautifully written. I loved seeing Lark explore her feelings and accepting them fully even if she did not want Tiras to know how he affected her. I enjoyed watching the fascination Tiras has for Lark and how intrigued they were with each other. Lark falls for Tiras but can they truly be together with everything that is going on around them?
"You chose me because I am of use. But I chose you because I wanted you. All I ever wanted was for you to love me in return."
Both Lark and Tiras were very unique characters. I loved Lark and think she was a wonderful heroine. She was innocent, pure, and good, but also fiesty which I loved. She showed her strength as she endured so much from the time she was little. I loved watching her develop her gift and enjoyed seeing the experience through her eyes.
And Tiras… I absolutely loved Tiras. He was so sweet to Lark and acted completely different with her. I loved his protective nature and that he truly saw her. I was glad he was a better king from the beginning and nothing like his father. He really wanted to save his land and had his peoples best interest in mind. He was handsome and charming, but dangerous and mysterious. I loved him from the start and he made me fall right along with Lark!
“I have loved you every moment of every day, and I will love you until I cease to be…I love you, and I will always love you.”
Of course, this book is definitely not only about romance but adventure and magic. There is a war between beast and man and you don’t know who will come out on top or how it will all be resolved. I loved the fantasy elements in this book. The decriptions of the beasts were detailed and I loved hearing about the different types of magic that the Gifted had. I also loved the way everything came together at the end. I adored the Epilogue, and though it was short, it was perfect and left a huge smile on my face.
The Bird and the Sword is entertaining from the very first word to the very last. There are twists I did not see coming and the whole book was well thought out. When I finished, I found myself searching back to parts for hints of what would transpire and kicking myself that I didn't see things sooner. I absolutely loved this book and can not wait to see what Amy has in store for us in the future. She definitely needs to continue writing fantasy because she nailed it with this book! It left me with a huge book hangover that days later I am still feeling!