{Review} SWORN TO RAISE by Terah Edun

An e-book copy of SWORN TO RAISE is only $3!

O P E N I N G   L I N E:
CIARDIS VANE WATCHED THE TOWNSPEOPLE jeering as the local Gardis strapped the highwayman into the stocks. Frowning, Ciardis wormed her way closer to the front of the crowd, straining to get a peek at the criminal. She felt no pity for the condemned man; he would die tonight, regardless of her feelings. The nightwolves were already pacing, their shadowed forms just visible in the dense tree line, waiting for darkness to fall.
(pg. 8, US e-book edition)

I can't remember if I was fooling around on my nook looking for books to read or saw someone talking about this one online and picked up my nook, but somehow I stumbled across SWORN TO RAISE by Terah Edun. The book is blurbed as being "ideal for fans of Kristin Cashore, Michelle Sagara, and Maria Snyder." I always take a closer look at books when they're recommended for fans of authors or titles I enjoy, and I decided to give SWORN TO RAISE a chance.

The book centers around Ciardis, an orphan struggling to survive. When she's taken under the wing of Serena and brought to train as a prospective member of the Companion’s Guild, she realizes there's more to her--and her family history--than she ever realized. She is one of the last surviving Weathervanes, her power highly coveted as it can amplify other types of magic. When a fallen prince is interested in the way her power can save his kingdom, Ciardis finds herself involved in a deadly power for struggle that will change the outcome of her entire life.

High fantasy is my favorite. I love books with kingdoms and royalty, with knights and adventure. I'm constantly fascinated by the nuances of political intrigue. I don't even need magic to be a happy camper, but in this instance, the addition of unusual magic works. There's even a little mythology thrown in for good measure late in the book when Ciardis must prove her abilities as she works her way through a dangerous maze. Whether the series is YA or Adult is still to be determined. The fact that Ciardis is training to be a Companion has me wondering, but I'm not convinced that Edun is using the more modern-day interpretation of the word. Instead, in this world, Companions felt more like the talented geisha to me than then do anything seedy, and there aren't any overly mature scenes in the novel, so it's very border-line. The rags to riches plot may have been done before, but who doesn't love a good Cinderella-esque tale? Edun's twists and world are unique and make SWORN TO RAISE an entertaining, fun fantasy to devour.

At first, I didn't love Ciardis as a character, but once she left home to train, she really blossomed and grew. I'm looking forward to seeing where life takes her next month when SWORN TO TRANSFER releases. Other characters have varying levels of development, but enough unique history to keep me intrigued. Some started out strong and grew weaker as their importance to Ciardis diminished, while others became more developed as the story progressed. It will be exciting to see their development continue in the next book. I'm eager to know more about the prophecy and see the way Ciardis and the people in her life will fall into whatever plan Destiny has for her. While there were a few grammatical errors, this never became an issue for me because the story was captivating and I'd come to care for Ciardis and her plight. If you're a fan of fantasy involving court politics and/or teens coming into their previously unknown magical abilities, check out SWORN TO RAISE and look forward to its sequel in July.

C O V E R   D E S I G N:

The background is gorgeous for both SWORN TO RAISE and its upcoming sequel SWORN TO TRANSFER. I want to dive into that water and enjoy the beautiful scenery myself!

The pop of red is perfect across all the gold and orange of the setting sun, and bathes everything in light.

I like the unique font used for the title and the sans-serif typeface used for the author's name is slightly offbeat from your traditional sans-serif lettering. I like the roll of the "R" and "D," and the way the first letter of each name is slightly set apart from the rest of the letters since everything is capitalized. 

O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Terah Edun
Release Date: April 10, 2013
Publisher: Terah Edun
Received: Purchased

Seventeen-year-old Ciardis has grown up in poverty, a cleaner in a small vale on the outskirts of the kingdom. But beneath her kingdom’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 Companion’s 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. 

This sensational series debut melds intricate storylines with remarkable characters and unforgettable magic. Sworn To Raise is ideal for fans of Kristin Cashore, Michelle Sagara, and Maria Snyder.