Onyx & Ivory
By: Mindee Arnett
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Genre: High Fantasy, YA
Synopsis: 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.
The high king’s second son, Corwin Tormane, never asked to lead. Even as he waits for the uror—the once-in-a-generation ritual to decide which of the king’s children will succeed him—he knows it’s always been his brother who will assume the throne. And that’s fine by him. He’d rather spend his days away from the palace, away from the sight of his father, broken with sickness from the attempt on his life. But the peacekeeping tour Corwin is on has given him too much time to reflect upon the night he saved his father’s life—the night he condemned the would-be killer to death and lost the girl he loved. Which is why he takes it on himself to investigate rumors of unrest in one of the remote city-states, only for his caravan to be attacked—and for him to be saved by Kate.
With their paths once more entangled, Kate and Corwin have to put the past behind them. The threat of drakes who attack in the daylight is only the beginning of a darker menace stirring in the kingdom—one whose origins have dire implications for Kate’s father’s attack upon the king and will thrust them into the middle of a brewing civil war in the kingdom of Rime.
The first section of this review will be spoiler free.
*note* I was going through my old posts and I found this one and realized that for some reason the last part of the review had been deleted before I posted it. I decided to repost it with the full review finished! But I actually finished this book over two years ago
Wow ok first of all that synopsis was way longer than I thought it would be, I don’t think it gives too much away though, which is good. I received this in my latest Fairyloot book box and I was beyond thrilled. I loved Mindee Arnett’s other series, Avalon, so I was pretty sure I would like this one, and I was right. Right from the start Kate is a captivating character and I loved that we got both her and Corwin’s perspectives, it really rounded out the story. The mystery aspect of Kate’s past was also well written, I wanted to find out what had happened to her and it kept me glued to the story. I love how Mindee Arnett does her world building, it’s slow and mixed in with the story so it doesn’t overwhelm you. Judging by how this book ended there is hopefully at least one more to come and maybe we will even get some other perspectives to read as well.
The plot moved at a great pace and nothing felt too rushed. I also appreciated that this book almost read like a stand alone. Now I know it is a duology; however, this book had a nice story arc all on its own. I am a sucker for anything to do with fantasy royals so I was hooked the moment Corwin stepped into the picture. I loved his character, and the way he and Kate balanced each other throughout the story was very nicely done. The world kind of reminded me of the Grishaverse in a way, minus the magical powers of course. I just thought the night drakes were similar to the creatures in Shadow and Bone. I did like how Kate was the badass rescuer slaying the dragons and not Corwin, it was a nice way to turn a traditional trope on its head.
Overall, this was an excellent read, and I think I ended up speeding through it in about a day and a half, so for me that is the mark of a truly addictive story! I would recommend this book for fans of Serpent and Dove, Heart of Thorns or of course, Mindee’s other great books.
have you read this series? what were your thoughts? let me know how you liked it down in the comments!