Author: Terah Edun
Book Name: Sworn to Raise
Genre: Fantasy/Young Adult
Blurb: Seventeen-year-old Ciardis has grown up in poverty, a cleaner in a small vale on the outskirts of the empire. But beneath her empire’s seemingly idyllic surface lies a hidden secret. Whispers of an inept crown Prince are growing ever louder—intensified by the five year anniversary of the soulbond initiations.
Amidst scandalous whispers, Ciardis finds herself chosen to train for the Companions Guild. She leaves her home and sets off on a personal journey to become a Court Companion. A position she’d never thought possible for a lowly servant to obtain, she must prove that she has the skills to attract a Patron.
But she must master those skills quickly. If the legends are true, only Ciardis can harness the power to raise a Prince in an Imperial Court sworn to bring him down.
Review: I don’t usually choose to read young adult books unless they are by an author that I already really enjoy, and often not even then, so picking up this book was unusual for me. From what I could tell on Amazon, it isn’t actually classified as young adult, but based on the content of the story, it really can’t be considered an adult book.
The world this book was set in seems to be intriguing, but I didn’t feel as though there was really enough detail for me to really get more than just hints here and there of what could have been something incredible, which prevented me from really getting enveloped in that world. There were even things that, on the surface, seemed a bit contradictory to what the world appeared to be. In a magical, non-industrial type of world it is confusing to have mentions of things that lead the reader to think of modern or even steampunk types of things. If those things are possible in that world, then it should be made clear, otherwise it is just confusing and difficult for a reader to imagine the world the characters live in.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a fan of fantasy books that take advantage of the fact that since there is magic in the world that there are utterly simple solutions to complex problems, ie… the miracle, magical fix. This books has that and to me, that is kind of like cheating. You don’t really have to be creative to solve a problem, just introduce a character that can just magically make the problem go away without any effort at all.
Lots of bits and information in this book left me confused as to what, not only the world was supposed to be like, but the real end purpose of the storyline. Since this is a part of a series, the overall plot seemed really thin, like there were lots of incomplete thoughts and ideas running around it in. I’m not sure if it is because this was geared to a younger audience that it lacked depth (one of the reasons I tend to shy away from the YA books), but it felt like it was missing a lot that could have made it so much richer and more engaging.
Overall, this wasn’t a bad book. I think that the series may have potential, but because there were enough things that bothered me and kept me from getting immersed in the story, I may not take the time to read more in the series. If I do, it will be when I just don’t have anything else I want to read on hand.