Tuesday, May 29, 2018

4 Wine Glass #Review of Onyx & Ivory by Mindee Arnett

Title: Onyx and Ivory
Series: Rime Chronicles #1
AuthorMindee Arnett
Format:Hardcover, 512 pages
Published: May 15th, 2018 by Balzer + Bray
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Source: copy courtesy of Edelweiss
Reviewer: Lexi
Rating: 4 out of  5 Wine Glasses

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.

Lexi’s Thoughts:
Onyx and Ivory is a dual-POV fantasy that has enough mystery, magic, and action to keep the pages turning. A solid YA fantasy and start to the Rime Chronicles series.
For a YA fantasy series to score high with this reader, there has to be a lot at stake for the main characters with some puzzles to figure out, and a bit of romance to balance it all. Onyx and Ivory does that. Arnett’s worldbuliding is well done and the magic system along with the nightdrakes and daydrakes is exciting. 

Traitor Kate and Prince Corwin have history, and a romance that could have been if he hadn’t let her father be executed. Now, they are grown up and are different people. The chemistry is still there, a slow burn, but Kate and Corwin aren’t sure they want to get to know one another again. 

Corwin hasn’t found anyone that can compare to Kate. So when fate throws them together to investigate the daydrakes and who is behind the attacks throughout his country, he is glad to have Kate with him and values her abilities and wisdom. That isn’t all Corwin has going on though, Corwin and his brother must go through a trial to see who will be King, a tradition in their country. We are given small glimpses into some of Corwin’s ancestors who succeeded in the trials and this plays a big part in one of the plot-lines. 

Kate is stuck helping Corwin but she stumbles upon a secret her father left for her. This secret upends her beliefs and gives her a new purpose. But if she tells Corwin, who she has begun to have feelings for again, he may kill her. Kate deals with a lot but she has a noble heart and fights for what she believes in. She is a likable character and one that you will want to follow into book two. 

Onyx and Ivory is a great book for any YA fantasy fan. Arnett laid excellent groundwork for an even more amped up book two. And I can’t wait to find out what happens to Kate and Corwin next. 

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