Onyx & Ivory

Onyx & Ivory

Book - 2019 | First paperback edition.
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"At once fresh, at once classic, Onyx and Ivory is a page-turning blend of monsters, magic, and romance." --Susan Dennard, New York Times bestselling author of Truthwitch

Acclaimed author Mindee Arnett thrusts readers into a beautiful, dangerous, and magical world in this stunningly epic and romantic fantasy for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Sarah Raasch.

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.

Publisher: New York : Balzer + Bray, 2019.
Edition: First paperback edition.
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780062652676
0062652672
Branch Call Number: TEEN ARN
Characteristics: 497, 20 pages :,map
Alternative Title: Onyx and Ivory

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Gingergenius
Jan 02, 2019

Although this one started off strong for me, the plot got a little convoluted and twisted around to the point where I lost interest. It may just be because the story headed in a different direction than I had anticipated. Overall it was... fine.

PimaLib_ChristineR Oct 16, 2018

4 ⭐ - As a YA fantasy enthusiast, one of the first things I liked about this book is that it gives pretty equal time to the male lead as the female. It feels lately like almost all YA fantasy is about the strong female lead, which, hey, is a nice change in the big picture, but on a year-to-year level can get to feeling stale. Kate is burdened by her father's actions. He has tried to kill the king and been executed for his treason, but with newspaper stories she can never get far enough away. Corwin is the second son of the king and Kate's love interest. Their relationship seemed to be going alright until Corwin ignores Kate's pleas to exile her father in place of his execution.

Characterization: I liked both Kate and Corwin. They both grow and change through the story. While there is tension between them, it isn't forced and doesn't continue as an unnatural crutch for the story. Dal, Signe and Bonner were all well-written sidekicks.

World Building: Rime was a cool combination of the old and new and reminded me of Pony Express-era United States with walled cities and killer dragon-things (drakes). Kate works for the royal courier service, special riders that carry news from walled city to walled city. Arnett has built a great political backstory. Drakes, killer beasts, come out only at night and are practically unbeatable. This has left the kingdom of Rime with walled cities that are overpopulated and must either provide everything for its citizens or trade with other cities. Rime is also the only country with both condoned magic, through magisters who learn spells; the drakes; and wilders, citizens born with different types of magic that don't have to be learned or use a separate medium like gemstones to be used. Magisters have worked to eliminate wilders through royal-approved tortures and executions. Magisters have huge power because of the prices they can command for their work. Arnett has a wonderful scene where the magisters offer their services to either control the population or to protect the trade routes, but not both.

Plot: Although you can guess the romance part of the plot, I liked the addition of the contest to become King. As for the climax, let's just say I did not see that coming. I've read stories where it's not so much a plot twist as a feeling that the author couldn't write their way out of a situation and picked something random. This, on the other hand, was one of those where I could go back and pick out the dropped hints that I had missed the first time around. I knew those gold guys were no bueno, but the rest of it...wow.

My one star off is because we see the split between the magisters and the wilders, but it's not clear where this division started or why. Also, even if Rime is the only country with magic, does that mean no one ever leaves the country? Do they just lose their magic if they move away? It didn't add up for me. Regardless, with the plot planning that Arnett did, I'm sure she'll come up with something in the next installment, and I'm looking forward to it.

w
Wattage
Sep 20, 2018

A rich and brilliantly constructed world, complex and intriguing characters, heart-stopping action and intrigue. This is a fascinating tale of political maneuvers.
Also happens to be a book for horse lovers.

s
swatt_lightly
Sep 18, 2018

Mystery, adventure, thrills and romance; what's not to love about this book. Brilliant YA fantasy at its best.

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