SUMMARY (goodreads):

Raisa was only a child when she was kidnapped and enslaved in Qilara. Forced to serve in the palace of the King, she’s endured hunger, abuse, and the harrowing fear of discovery. Everyone knows that Raisa is Arnath, but not that she is a Learned One, a part of an Arnath group educated in higher order symbols. In Qilara, this language is so fiercely protected that only the King, the Prince, and Tutors are allowed to know it. So when the current Tutor-in-training is executed for sharing the guarded language with slaves and Raisa is chosen to replace her, Raisa knows that, although she may have a privileged position among slaves, any slipup could mean death.

That would be challenging enough, but training alongside Prince Mati could be her real undoing. And when a romance blossoms between them, she’s suddenly filled with a dangerous hope for something she never before thought possible: more. Then she’s approached by the Resistance—an underground army of slaves—to help liberate the Arnath people. Joining the Resistance could mean freeing her people…but she’d also be aiding in the war against her beloved, an honorable man she knows wants to help the slaves.

Working against the one she loves—and a palace full of deadly political renegades—has some heady consequences. As Raisa struggles with what’s right, she unwittingly uncovers a secret that the Qilarites have long since buried…one that, unlocked, could bring the current world order to its knees.

And Raisa is the one holding the key.


What a disappointment. I had high hopes for Sword and Verse. The author created a new language just for her book! If you can create a language, you MUST be able to use it, right?


I think she spent a little too much time on linguistics and not enough on her plot. Let me put a disclaimer that I skimmed a LOT of this book, but this was what I got from it:




Page 20: Raisa is already raised from lowest slave level to Tutor-in-training: training WITH the prince. Yeah, sure. And she avoided execution somehow, which was also unclear. Then there were the names and the places- an info dump if there ever was one. Raisa was the most normal name of any of them. I’m all for creativity, but please don’t give me 15 crazy names of people, places and things in the first 20 pages that I’m supposed to remember.

Page 30: She and the prince, who have never spoken before, ARE IN LOVE. Kissing ALL THE TIME.

Page 50: They sneak off to the library to have sex, and continue to do so several times throughout the book, even after the prince is betrothed to another girl, who’s super nice. Did I mention that she’s fifteen? But she was 14 when this love affair got started, and she barely breaks 16 by the time you actually get to the plot? Unrestrained teenage hormones are obviously a key factor in pushing this plot.

The rest (because after I spent 50 pages flipping through shivers and coos and the laughable idea that the ONLY PRINCE could sneak off so easily, for so long): There’s some kind of revolution, but Raisa is only concerned with how long it is before the prince gets married to the other girl- who is SUPER NICE, as far as I can tell. But it doesn’t seem to matter, because they still sneak off together anyway. Raisa only joins (begrudgingly) when people- important people- get kidnapped. And then there’s hardly any action, just some planning and suddenly, BAM. Raisa is the ruler of the whole place, some kind of priestess that can consult with an oracle and all sorts of random stuff like that. Good grief! A language rebellion wasn’t enough? It’s frustrating because I thought this would be in the vein of The Pledge, by Kimberly Derting, which was a great book about language and class separation. Maybe that was my mistake. But I certainly expected more than this.

I am very, very disappointed in this one. Insta-love, 8000 random characters, NO real action that I could find, and a very sketchy way of trying to have a happy ending. It would have been much more satisfying if there had been any true sacrifice from ANYONE in this book.

WHAT TO WATCH (more spoilers)

There was the bad romance, of course. Lots of not-so-innuendo about what they were doing and how. That permeated the book.

There was some violence, though not nearly as much as expected when you see the word sword in the title and a picture of it on the cover. Isn’t it supposed to be a revolution?

As far as drugs and drinking go, I couldn’t tell you, because I didn’t get that deep into it, to catch those details. The same goes for language, though I think I can safely say that since the author created a language, the curing wouldn’t be what we normally see.

The resolution of the whole affair seemed to rely on her suddenly becoming the magical priestess, something I am so not on board with. Can’t have a happy ending? THAT’S FINE. Don’t add some random plot element at the end so that everything can be hunky-dory.

This book was not for me. I thought it was awful, and yet, it was so hyped! Maybe I’ll write a post up about hype- because this is happening more and more. It’s a travesty, especially when people pre-order books based on some contrived excitement. A synopsis does not a good book make.



  1. Lila · February 5, 2016

    I’m about 50 pages in and OMG THE INSTALOVE!!!! no real plot just hitting you over the head with unfounded teenage love!


    • kayrosela · February 5, 2016

      I’m glad it wasn’t just me!!! I hope it gets better for you- it didn’t for me :/

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lila · February 5, 2016

        thanks i thought i was going insane because the hype!


  2. Sierra Abrams · February 7, 2016

    NOPE NOPE NOPE. WHAT EVEN IS THIS MESS?! I am legit scared to read this now….because I was so excited about it??? Ugh. Thanks for the honest review… I will let you know what I think when I read it. Eeek!


    • kayrosela · February 7, 2016

      Please do let me know!! I hope it’s just me because I wanted to LOVE this book. *crosses fingers for you*


  3. Laurie · February 8, 2016

    Actually, I read and enjoyed this book very much. I found Raisa’s situation to be really tense–between wanting to help her people, but not liking the way they were going about making change. The revolution was portrayed in a very realistic manner–detailing the complex political and historical issues, as well as showing us why each side hated each other. I also felt strongly for Raisa and was really pulling for her. She had one impossible decision after another to make…choosing repeatedly between helping her people, hurting the guy she loves, or going after the better (if impossible-seeming) future that she envisions down the road. To each his own, of course. There’s not a book out there that everyone likes. I do wonder, though, if it would have tied together better for you if you’d actually read it. It doesn’t seem fair to blast a book you only read 15% of. 😦


    • kayrosela · February 8, 2016

      I often find myself disliking books that others enjoy because my reading preferences are very specific. I’m really glad that you enjoyed it- and of course, on my blog it is just my thoughts. I wish that more of the political tension would have started the book, because my biggest problem was (as I said above) with the romance that really dominated the beginning. That really set the tone of the book for me and made it difficult for me to take it seriously after 100 pages (yes, I did read more than 15%). Of course, that’s why this is a Baby Book Review- because I DNFed it and may not have all the information. I have too many other books to read to spend too much time on one that not only bored me, but frustrated me as well. But I’m really glad that you liked it, because the premise was really interesting, at least. Happy reading!


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