SWORD AND VERSE Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

Sword And Verse

I am thrilled to be today’s stop on the SWORD AND VERSE Blog Tour. This is such an incredible story and I can’t wait for everyone to get the chance to read it when it releases tomorrow. It is all sorts of epic. It’s a story of justice and fairness and equality, of doing what’s right, of trust and honesty, of love and sacrifice.

It is riveting and nail-biting. And so much more.

If you’d like to know what else I thought, my review is below. If you’d like to know more about the book, check out the book’s description. If you’d like to catch up with Author Kathy MacMillan online, her social links follow the review.

And if you’d like the chance to win a copy of this amazing book, enter in the Rafflecopter.

The tour continues through the end of the week. Direct links to all the stops can/will be found at the bottom of the post.


Sword and Verse Cover

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Title & Series: SWORD AND VERSE (Sword and Verse #1)
Author: Kathy MacMillan
Release date: January 19, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 384
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook


Raisa was just a child when she was sold to work as a slave in the kingdom of Qilara. Despite her young age, her father was teaching her to read and write, grooming her to take his place as a Learned One. In Qilara, the Arnathim, like Raisa, are the lowest class, and literacy is a capital offense. What’s more, only the king, prince, tutor, and tutor-in-training are allowed to learn the very highest order language, the language of the gods. So when the tutor-in-training is executed for teaching slaves this sacred language, and Raisa is selected to replace her, Raisa knows any slipup on her part could mean death.

Keeping her secret is hard enough, but the romance that’s been growing between her and Prince Mati isn’t helping matters. Then Raisa is approached by the Resistance—an underground army of slave rebels—to help liberate Arnath slaves. She wants to free her people, but that would mean aiding a war against Mati. As Raisa struggles with what to do, she discovers a secret that the Qilarites have been hiding for centuries—one that, if uncovered, could bring the kingdom to its knees.

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“I was completely enthralled by the fascinating and unique world that Kathy MacMillan has created.  The depth and skill she demonstrates with her ability to build an original mythology based on words and the power of language are highly unusual for a first-time novelist and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.” – National Book Award finalist Franny Billingsley

“A tense, romantic fantasy epic about prejudice, political struggle, and the power of words, SWORD AND VERSE kept me guessing at every turn. Kathy MacMillan is a writer to watch.” — R.J. Anderson, Andre Norton Award-nominated author of Ultraviolet

Note: This review is based on an ARC received from the tour host in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book.

The Review

SWORD AND VERSE is an epic and thrilling and riveting story. It introduces a world shaped by gods and goddesses, a world where the written word is reserved for only the most elite, a world where those seen as less are enslaved. It’s a story of the fight for justice and equality, of bravery and standing up for what’s right, of honesty and trust, and of love and sacrifice. It’s an exciting and nail-biting read that will have you rooting for the underdog, for a happy ending to the love story, for freedom for the oppressed, and for punishment for the oppressors.

Raisa had only one tangible object from her past – a scrap of paper from her father, written in a language she couldn’t decipher. Taken from her family during a raid and sold as a slave, she never thought she’d ever be taught the skill to read and write. Only Tutors were granted the privilege in order to pass the skill along to the King’s heirs. And Prince Mati already had a Tutor.

But when his Tutor was executed for being a part of the Resistance, she somehow managed to pass the tests and get chosen to train to become the next Tutor. Which meant she’d finally be able to learn what her father’s words were. She knew the job had risks. She just never imagined the complications – of having to choose between loyalty to the King or committing treason, of having to fight her growing feelings for someone completely unattainable, of having to keep secrets that could cost her her life.

Spanning several years, SWORD AND VERSE imagines a world where power stems from being able to read and write. Even among the rulers, only the highest echelons get to learn all the symbols that make up their written language. And those enslaved are kept powerless through ignorance and intimidation.

Kathy MacMillan created an elaborate and amazingly well-crafted mythology in SWORD AND VERSE. Her world is richly detailed, stunning, fascinating. She introduced a likable, sympathetic, and very relatable main character in Raisa. And she developed a story that is compelling, meaningful, empowering, unputdownable.

Secrets, lies, deception and betrayal abound in this utterly captivating story filled with cruelty, injustice, merciless enemies, traitors, deadly plots, heartbreak, romance, rebellion and myth. It is a gripping, electrifying and all-consuming read that will keep you on the edge of your seat from its very first line to its very last.

The Rating


About Kathy MacMillan

Kathy MacMillan Photo

Kathy MacMillan is a writer, American Sign Language interpreter, consultant, librarian, signing storyteller, and avowed Hufflepuff.  Her debut young adult novel, Sword and Verse, explores questions of power and prejudice in an epic fantasy setting, and has been called “fascinating and unique” by National Book Award finalist Franny Billingsley.  Kathy is the founder of The Sweet Sixteens ( debut group of 2016 middle grade and young adult authors, and serves as the Published and Listed Member Coordinator for the Maryland/Delaware/West Virginia Region of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.  She is also the author of eight resource books for educators, librarians, and parents, including Little Hands and Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together (Huron Street Press, 2013). She lives near Baltimore, MD with her husband, son, and a cat named Pancake.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads

The Giveaway

There is a tour-wide giveaway for…

  • FIVE (5) winners will receive a finished copy of SWORD AND VERSE – US only

Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Tour Schedule

Week One

Week Two

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