Thursday, February 20, 2014

Moth and Spark by Anne Leonard

Standalone
384p.
Publisher: Viking Adult
Published: 2/20/14
Source: From Edelweiss and publisher for review
A prince with a quest. A commoner with mysterious powers. And dragons that demand to be freed—at any cost. 
Prince Corin has been chosen to free the dragons from their bondage to the Empire, but dragons aren’t big on directions. They have given him some of their power, but none of their knowledge. No one, not the dragons nor their riders, is even sure what keeps the dragons in the Empire’s control.

Tam, sensible daughter of a well-respected doctor, had no idea before she arrived in the capital that she is a Seer, gifted with visions. When the two run into each other (quite literally) in the library, sparks fly and Corin impulsively asks Tam to dinner. But it’s not all happily ever after. Never mind that the prince isn’t allowed to marry a commoner: war is coming to Caithen.

Torn between Corin’s quest to free the dragons and his duty to his country, the lovers must both figure out how to master their powers in order to save Caithen. With a little help from a village of secret wizards and a rogue dragonrider, they just might pull it off.
My thoughts:
Oh dragons! I have also been in the mood for a good fantasy. This one delivered, but still had a few problems in the telling. I have to say, first that the characterization was superb! I just loved Tam. She was nothing of a capitulating courtier that was expected. In fact she arrived at the palace for the experience and not to find a husband. So, it was completely unexpected to find the love of her life in the castle. The Prince was also a great character. Instead of insisting that Tam become what was expected, he decided to open himself completely to her and treat her as an equal rather than a subservient woman. He had an example of that with his parents, so it didn't come from left field.

Even though you know the relationship would have to be unequal (he is a prince and she is not only a woman but a commoner) they still acknowledged it and were able to skirt that line between equality and commanding and it was believable. I also enjoyed the secondary characters. We get a smattering of her more common friends and I would have liked more of that, but the other royals were quite engaging. I also really enjoyed the wizard people who seemed to hold more knowledge and power than they were willing to admit, but their fierce loyalty seemed to cancel out any worry that they may turn on our couple.

My biggest complaint is also one thing I enjoyed about the novel. It was very descriptive. I enjoyed it at times as it helped to explain the more magical parts of the book as well as some of the vistas important to the unraveling on how to help the dragons. However, it also slowed the book down considerably and even the more mundane things were explained in great detail. This can often happen in fantasy and it happened here. I would have loved some of the more mundane scenes edited a bit more. Still, I did enjoy really seeing those vistas and mystical visions when it became important.

I give this book 3 1/2 stars. It is a good fantasy with dragons. It can be slow at times, but you will love the characters and romance in this book.

30 comments:

  1. I'm a huge fan of strong details and world-building, so perhaps I'll have better luck with this than you did. It seems like such an engaging read and I already love the sound of the romance within these pages. Fantastic review, Melissa - I need to pick up a copy of this ASAP!

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    1. Oh you will love the details on this book! I still really enjoyed it.

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  2. It would probably be to overly descriptive for me but it does sound like otherwise it was a fantastic fantasy book :)

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  3. Sounds like a book right up my alley so I will be on the lookout for it, thanks for the great review!

    Thea @ Gizzimomo's Book Shelf

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  4. Having sickened myself of this genre I'm having a break but will keep a look out for this as I have a fascination with dragons.

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  5. This one seems really interesting despite it being overly descriptive. I don't enjoy many books with dragons, Seraphina being the exception because that book was full of win, but I think I might give this one a try since the characters and the romance seem great.

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    1. If you enjoy fantasy, this one might be right up your alley. :D

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  6. Hmm, sometimes too much detail can slow down the pace of the plot. But on the other hand, I do enjoy seeing every aspect that I can.

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    1. I think you would really enjoy the romance in this one. :D

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  7. "However, it also slowed the book down considerably and even the more mundane things were explained in great detail."

    I'm reading this one right now and the above is the exact problem I'm having Melissa! Your review sums my thoughts up PERFECTLY, I almost feel like I don't even need to write a review anymore. I'll just link to yours, yes? :) I so enjoy Tam and Corin together, but I struggled in the beginning because it was so slow for me, but I'm over halfway now and their relationship is fabulous. Looking forward to seeing how it ends, because DRAGONS.

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    1. Aw... you are such a flatterer! :D However, I know how I write and I know how you do and it doesn't compare girly!

      ...and oh yea... loved the dragons!

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  8. Is this a series?

    I have problems with the fantasy genre because of all the detail and descriptions. I love the world building but sometimes it takes over the plot.

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    1. I think it is a standalone. It seemed complete to me and I didn't see indication of a series. You still might enjoy this one.

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  9. Hmm I am usually okay with descriptive writing, but I know I am the exception. For instance, a lot of people gave up on Jay Kristoff's book for that same reason. Is it worse than that?

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    1. Yea, it is more than that. I can handle a lot of description and it doesn't bother me. Kristoff's book didn't bother me at all.

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  10. I love description and don't mind if it slows down the story as long as it is beautifully written. It sounds like a bit of editing might have made this one stronger, but I do love the sound of it. I'm going to be reading this one very soon! Lovely review :-)

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  11. I really enjoyed the descriptions, though I can understand why you both liked and disliked them. :)

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  12. DRAGONS? I've seen this gorgeous cover around, but never read the synopsis. I'm glad you somewhat enjoyed it, and I don't mind descriptions in my fantasy. Great review, Melissa!

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  13. Dragons? You had me at dragons. But I know what you mean about the descriptions and slowing the story at times. That's hard to balance. But sounds very good. :)

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  14. Well I love my deets, so I got lost in them but yes totally agree this was wonderful from the characters to the dragons!

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  15. Dragons you say? And romance? And great characters??? I loved Jay Kristoff's Stormdancer. I'm listening to Kinslayer. I can handle description or skim it. I love dragons!! I think it comes from reading so many fairy tales as a child. They all had dragons in them. Or maybe I was reading the same one over and over again :)

    Awesome review, Melissa!!!

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  16. I am currently reading this one. Yes it is feeling a bit slow at times, but every time Corin and Tam get together I savor their moments heh

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  17. The descriptive fantasy is something I struggle with. I think that it can elevate the novel to EPIC but it skirts a fine line because it can also draw things out too long. I do prefer YA fantasy these days cause it's lighter reading. This is one I've been thinking I might enjoy. I just knew I couldn't fit it in so I had to turn it down for review. :( That was hard. It sounds so good!

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  18. Ah yes it's sometimes difficult to have many descriptions in a book like that but I know we usually need it. I read a great review about this one, I'm not a lot into fantasy but it makes me curious.

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  19. This sounds good, adding it to my wishlist.

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