Book Review: Onyx and Ivory by Mindee Arnett

They call her Traitor Kate. It’s a title Kate Brighton inherited from her father after he tried to assassinate the high king years ago. Now Kate lives as an outcast, clinging to the fringes of society as a member of the Relay, the imperial courier service. Only those most skilled in riding and bow hunting ride for the Relay; and only the fastest survive, for when dark falls, the nightdrakes—deadly flightless dragons—come out to hunt. Fortunately, Kate has a secret edge: she is a wilder, born with magic that allows her to influence the minds of animals. But it’s this magic that she needs to keep hidden, as being a wilder is forbidden, punishable by death or exile. And it’s this magic that leads her to a caravan massacred by nightdrakes in broad daylight—the only survivor her childhood friend, her first love, the boy she swore to forget, the boy who broke her heart.

I admit, this book took me longer than usual to get through. It grabbed me from the first few chapters, but when Corwin’s POV was introduced, the story slowed down. In the beginning, he came across as a bit whining and “woe is me.” He came around, through.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. The first fourth of so really pulled me in, but the rest of the book didn’t live up to that same sense of adventure. The plot itself seemed to slow about the midpoint and never picked back up. The ending itself felt lackluster and lacked a sense of closure.

Character wise, I liked Kate. She had a drive to prove herself that was often dampened by her sense of self-defeat. Corwin didn’t see his own self-worth and let past mistakes weigh him down. They were both admirable and likable. Our lovable side characters: Dal and Signe both had rounded personalities, though they didn’t come across that way at first. They both grew on me.

I think I would have liked this book better had there been less romance forced between Corwin and Kate. It felt so…rushed and a bit forced at times. Their relationship wasn’t built up. It was just there.

So, overall, Onyx and Ivory gets a 4 warhorses out of 5. I probably won’t look into the sequels; the first didn’t hold my attention enough.

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