This book was actually a lot longer than I thought it would be, haha. At almost 500 pages its pretty lofty for a read in a single day, I’ll give myself that.
Customary warning: This is a reminder that these are my personal opinions. My thoughts and feelings are not your thoughts and feelings. I may not always be the target audience for a book; sometimes I am. If I do not like a book, that doesn’t mean you’ll dislike it. If I love a book or simply like a book, you may hate it. Take everything I say with this knowledge. If it sounds interesting to you despite what I’ve said, then go ahead and read it. You’ll only know you like something if you read it yourself.
That being said… Spoilers ahead.
Onyx & Ivory by Mindee Arnett
Synopsis From The Book
They call her Traitor Kate. It’s a title Kate Brighton inherited from her father after he tried to assassinate the high king of Rime.
Cast out of the nobility, Kate now works for the royal courier service. Only the most skilled ride for the Relay and only the fastest survive, for when night falls, the drakes—deadly flightless dragons—come out to hunt. Fortunately, Kate has a secret edge: She is a wilder, born with forbidden magic that allows her to influence the minds of animals.
And it’s this magic that leads her to a caravan massacred by drakes in broad daylight—the only survivor Corwin Tormaine, the son of the king. Her first love, the boy she swore to forget after he condemned her father to death.
With their paths once more entangled, Kate and Corwin must put the past behind them to face this new threat and an even darker menace stirring in the kingdom.
Initial Thoughts Before Reading:
I’ve had this book on my TBR list for a while, it just took me a while to actually get the book. The version I have now is beautiful, and I can’t believe the cover (under the dust jacket) is white. I’ve been reading a lot of first novels out of late and so to say I am dreading this a little… Just a little though, not too much because I really want to read this book. I just don’t want another cliff hanger.
Initial Thoughts After Reading:
It was a good book, and I’m happy that it ended in a way that was positive. Instead of there being the drama in the romance, we have drama in the plot itself. I hope it continues on this path. I truly do.
Kate is a Relay rider, traveling between the city-states of her country to deliver news and mail. The night is not safe in their lands, for Nightdrakes exist and thrive on the blood of men. She is known as Traitor Kate, after her father’s failed assassination on the king. When prince Corwin comes to her city, she is forced back into her emotions of love for him, and the betrayal she felt with him not believing her that her father did not do it.
When Corwin is traveling between cities, he is attacked in the day by the drakes. Kate saves him, and it is believed that a group called the Rising is behind the attacks. Kate was able to save him due to a new invention by her friend who is a wilder. Wilders are those with magic that is not sanctified by the League nor accepted by the High King. Kate is a wilder for horses and emotions.
Corwin invites Kate and her friends back to the capital, and Kate agrees hoping to find more clues about her father and why he did what he did. It is when they arrive that Corwin realizes that the uror, a sign from the gods for the competition to choose the next king, has come. Corwin and his brother begin to compete as Kate discovers the truth of her father and the Rising. Her father had a bastard son, and the Rising is a group of wilders who just want to be able to live in peace (instead of being hunted). Kate’s brother is a wilder as well. Kate trains her powers and learns she can use them on humans.
Corwin passes the first two of three trials before Kate tells him the truth of her abilities. He asks her to learn the truth of her father, by looking in his father’s head. She does so, and sees that his father was cursed by another. This other has been under their nose the whole time and is trying to wipe out wilders. Corwin’s brother also is close with the man. They have ties to another empire who is trying to control the world.
Kate is captured and Corwin goes to free her. A massive battle breaks out and Corwin is declared a traitor. KAte helps them all flee by knocking out the opposing forces.
What I Liked:
Kate; She’s charming, and all her actions make sense for the situations she is placed in. She’s strong willed and strong minded for the abuse she has had to put up with.
Corwin; I do really like him. He makes choices based on his notions, and when Kate tells him her truth he listens. He may not trust her because of what she is, but he wants to believe her. So he sets her up to hear the end and when she is knocked out, he believes the few words she is able to tell him.
Relationship; Corwin and Kate loved each other since they were young and that love grows and changes. What was once a pure childish love, changed in this book and was tested. Their love and trust in each other was tested, and they stood by each other. I adore it.
World; A world of magic, and creatures that make it impossible to live at night? Sign me up. City-states ruled by a single king due to the world structure? I love it. We get a few notes on some of the other cultures of the world and they were nice to see.
Selection of the King; The only part of the magic I like. Their king selection ceremony is amazing, having to go through a god ordained trial by magic in order to prove themselves king. I love it.
Paramour & Wives; I like how this was addressed in the series, in regards to how paramours for kings and princes were the ones they loved, and wives were the ones they had to take. It also spoke on how much political control these paramours had.
What I Would Have Liked or Changed:
Magic; I don’t care much for their magic system as a whole, outside a few things. It seems like a great magic system, but it really hasn’t captured me. I feel as if the second book will.
Time Taken To Read
“She’s as friendly as a half-starved rattlesnake.” – Dan about Kate, pg 116
“Because silence is the coward’s favorite tool.” – Some woman to Corwin, pg 133