The Sword and the Dagger by Robert Cochran
ARC received via NetGalley for an honest review.
Publish Date: April 9, 2019
This was a fun read, mostly because it reminded me so much of another series that I absolutely adore, The Remnant Chronicles. I think that if you were a fan of that series, then this will be one you can instantly enjoy and appreciate. Aside from the similarities, The Sword and the Dagger was also unique enough to reveal adventurous story of its own that takes the characters and the reader on an epic journey. From one crazy event to the next there is always something happening to keep your attention focused on the plot. From failed assassinations, to run away princesses, to unlikely friendships and even war… SO much happens in the span of this one book.
One of my biggest issues with stand alone books is that I feel they tend to be rushed. There just aren’t enough pages to fully flesh out all the characters and scenes to get the same amount of depth that an epic series can provide the reader. But when a story is told well it can be a nice change of pace to start and finish a story within the pages of a single book. When you read that last sentence its done, no more. You aren’t left hanging wondering what happens next, waiting years for the next installment only to find that you have completely forgotten how the first book even ended. So I was happy to finish this book and realize that it wrapped up perfectly. While there are still some parts that the author leaves to the reader’s imagination, nothing feels unfinished or left undone. I enjoy when a book feels complete without feeling overdone. Where the scenes are described in painful detail, and the flow from one part to the next doesn’t feel rushed or choppy. And this book is a perfect example of that. It flowed from each location with ease and there was never a part where I felt lost or confused. I loved that even with a little error with the formatting, (which will most likely be fixed in the final editing process) I could still tell exactly which character’s POV I was reading from with ease.The three main characters have such distinct personalities and voices that it was as if I had known them my whole life.
Speaking of characters, I fell in love with the three main characters. The friendship and dynamic between them was perfect. One of my favorite tropes is the hate to love relationship, and I don’t think it gets any better than the romantic tension between a couple of the characters found in this book. I also love the friendship and the bond formed between the three as they are sent on a journey across the country with only the tentative trust built between them over the course of a few weeks. But over the rest of the journey they learn that there is more than the prejudice that they had been taught, and they learn to see past their differences in religion and upbringings to form a bond that makes them almost unstoppable. Each with their own unique talents, they come together to keep each other out of danger and to all accomplish the goals that they wanted to achieve together. Because they find that in the end they are better together than apart. This resonated with me so much because it seems like we all still face so much negativity for our differences when really if we could all take the time to get to know one another and see past what we are told to fear, we might realize that we are all human and we all want to be accepted and loved for who we are. I think that this was a strong moral that rose to the surface throughout the book and I feel like this is something we should never forget or overlook.
The only thing I can think that kept me from truly loving this book was the convenience of some aspects. In a story where there are so many struggles and twists and turns, the way the characters get through these conflicts are where the lessons are learned, and I feel like in some parts it was almost too convenient to be believable. And while I know its a fantasy and fiction, you still want to be able to feel like it could be real. And when things just happen to fall into place or you skip to another POV just in time to not have to read about a particular difficult part, it makes it almost seem like you were cheated out of that character’s growth or maybe even an epic part that could have made all the difference in the way the story is portrayed. Even though this might be something that bothered me, I still feel like it wasn’t a big enough issue to cause me to dislike the book as a whole. It might not even be a bother to anyone else other than me. Which is okay! I just had to point it out since that’s the only thing that kept me from truly thinking this book was a perfect 5 star read.
I really enjoyed this and almost wish that there was more because I did come to love these characters so much and their friendships were contagious. It almost makes you want to go out and befriend someone that you normally wouldn’t, just to see past your initial fear of being different or rejected for your differences. Because in the end we all just want to live and be happy and loved, right? So in a sense we aren’t all that different at our cores. Maybe learn about a new religion, find a friend who lives in a different country, reach out to the person that no one else talks to… anything to find that there is more than meets the eye. This book was such an eye opener in that respect and I think it shows what taking that chance could lead to, and hopefully would lead to, And you never know, you might make a new friend for life.
If you liked this book:
There were so many times while reading The Sword and the Dagger where I kept thinking that it reminded me of The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson. From the journey taken across the land with a trio of unlikely allies, to the princess/prince/assassin main characters, to the fight to ally kingdoms against an enemy set to take over everything, it all seemed so spot on. I feel like they are also different enough to make them unique in their own ways but if you loved The Sword and the Dagger and you’re looking for something similar, look no further! Or even vice versa, if you loved The Kiss of Deception, then I’d definitely say give The Sword and the Dagger a read! You won’t regret it!
Have you ever read a book that made you want to go out and achieve something more? What book inspired you like this? Do you like to find and recognize morals in books as well? I think that’s why I enjoy fairy tales so much because there is always a moral or lesson to be learned. I’d love to know what you all think!!! Let me know what book inspired you!