Sunday, 23 February 2014

Moth and Spark

Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: BUY! 
Source: Proof courtesy of Headline
For Fans Of: Game of Thrones

While out with his soldiers checking the North, Prince Corin stumbles across a Dragon Rider, he's given an impossible task, to free the Dragon's from their bondage to the Emperor, he's made to forget until he's ready and the time is right. Tam, a doctors daughter, is at the court with her sister-in-law Cina, she's turning heads at court, but when a courtier is poisoned, she's the only one who knows what did it. A Sarian poison, an act of war.

When Tam and Corin meet by chance in the library, sparks fly. Corin begins to court her, even though he can never marry her, as a Prince, he's forbidden to marry a commoner, but war is coming to Caithen. As they fall in love, Corin's memories are returned, he knows what he must do, the Dragon's have given him their power, but no-one, not even the Dragon Rider's know how the Dragon's where enslaved. When Tam finds out she's a Seer, gifted with visions, she realises she's the only one who might be able to find out. But as the war comes to fruition, the two are seperated. Torn apart, and torn between love and duty, they must work together to uncover what happened in the past, and save their country from destruction. 

I was very kindly sent a copy of this by Frances at Headline, and I must say, I'm incredibly glad she was kind enough to do so. This book is incredible. 

I was really shocked to read that this is the authors first book, it was written with a skill that most author's acquire after years and many books. The prose was incredible, it was so descriptive, the words chosen created sentences and chapters that where beautiful to read, and the images where beautiful to imagine. The images painted where so clear, so vivid, I could see it all in my minds eye. The world building was simply astounding. There was so much detail put in to the world we're entered in to, and so much detail in the descriptions, that the world consumes you, and it's liked you've stepped straight in to the story and are a bystander watching it all happen right in front of you. 

The characters where wonderfully written, and very fleshed out. Each character was vibrant, and even the secondary characters had a lot of depth and detail to them. I loved Tam. She was strong, very funny and witty, independent, strong willed and headstrong. She doesn't let it show if she's overwhelmed by the situations she's in, she's level headed and calm at all times, unlike other girls of her time which I imagine to be quite vapid. Corin was so incredible in how he handled the burden that's been put on him, and how he dealt with Tam, loving her even though he couldn't marry her, he was protective, but Tam was having none of it, and they where such a good pairing. 

I will say that the book isn't a light read, it requires concentration. There's so many threads to the story that you don't realize connect, and the plot is quite complex. The details of the world and the plot where very rich and you can really sink your teeth in to the book. We get chapters from Tam and Corin's point of view. While Corin's point of view in one chapter may be of what happened after the events of Tam's chapter, some of them where showing the same situation from both points of view, but you weren't being told the same things just from a different person. You got the perspective of both, but a different angle on it, and it was done very well. 

I loved the book, but I'm not going to lie, I did find it slow going at first, until Tam and Corin met for the first time it was hard to get in to for me personally, but once I got comfortable in the world, and in the story, I was gripped until the last page. The pace picks up from the two meeting, and from there it's fast paced, and full of action, with a very slick flow, from the different point of views and from chapter to chapter. 

Moth and Spark is a soaring adventure, it's like reading two books, and I mean that in a good way! We start off with an intriguing prologue, swiftly moving in to getting to grips with life at court and the build up. Next up is the electric romance, with fierce attraction developing to love, but ultimately forbidden. We have hints of intrigue and mystery while the romance is developing, all with the war looming on the horizon. We then switch swiftly to war raining down on our heroes, the two are seperated, we see a country at war, and Corin must take up his mission as directed by the dragons, while Tam is learning more of her power, with plenty of action. It's like a song reaching the crescendo. 

We switch smoothly from a romance book with a bit of intrigue and backstabbing politics, to a story of war and sacrifice, it was very well done, and engaged you the whole way through. I also liked how we learned about Tam and Corin as they learned about each other. 

Moth and Spark is kind of like what would happen if a Jane Austen novel was set in the world of Game of Thrones with the intense forbidden love of Romeo and Juliet without the death and sorrow. Moth and Spark is classical fantasy, and I think it will become a well known classic, much like Game of Thrones. 

Moth and Spark is atmospheric, you can see the looming castle, the stone hallways, the flickering candles to read by. It's beautifully written, with a beautiful romance and a rich plot with engaging characters. And it's got Dragons. I mean c'mon. Who doesn't love a Dragon?! Moth and Spark is truly a hidden gem of a book, and I'm besotted with the book and it's characters! I cannot wait to see Leonard's next work! 

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