Thursday, February 27, 2014

Review: Moth and Spark

Moth and Spark by Anne Leonard, February 20, 2014. 384 pages. Published by Viking Adult. Source: publisher.
A prince with a quest. A commoner with mysterious powers. And dragons that demand to be freed—at any cost.

Prince Corin has been chosen to free the dragons from their bondage to the Empire, but dragons aren’t big on directions. They have given him some of their power, but none of their knowledge. No one, not the dragons nor their riders, is even sure what keeps the dragons in the Empire’s control.

Tam, sensible daughter of a well-respected doctor, had no idea before she arrived in the capital that she is a Seer, gifted with visions. When the two run into each other (quite literally) in the library, sparks fly and Corin impulsively asks Tam to dinner. But it’s not all happily ever after. Never mind that the prince isn’t allowed to marry a commoner: war is coming to Caithen.

Torn between Corin’s quest to free the dragons and his duty to his country, the lovers must both figure out how to master their powers in order to save Caithen. With a little help from a village of secret wizards and a rogue dragonrider, they just might pull it off.
First Sentence:
Riding, riding, he had been riding when the dragon appeared overhead and came slowly, inevitably, down.

While I really enjoyed reading Moth and Spark, I did not love it as much as I wanted to. My problem stems not from the writing itself, but from that fact that the story took entirely too much time on the romantic bits and not enough on the bones of the actual plot line that made me want to read it.

As you've probably noticed, I have pretty much cutback on reviewing adult titles here on the blog-mainly because I've been disappointed one too many times with them. That being said, I decided to read and feature Anne Leonard's Moth and Spark because it sounded like an interesting fantasy read (you know I love me a fantasy read).
   Question remains, was it worth it. Yes and no.
One the one hand, I am excited to have read a well written fantasy book with an interesting world and story-line that drew me in. You see, I enjoyed Ms. Leonard's writing because it fit the world and just brought it to life; the world because it was well thought out; the story-line because, well, dragons. On the other hand, there was too much steaminess for my comfort level, hence, why I'm pretty picky when it comes to adult titles.
     So, while Moth and Spark was a mix of good and bad for my reading taste, in the end I mostly enjoyed reading it. Which is the most important part-enjoying what you read.

Would I recommend Moth and Spark to other fantasy (even non-fantasy readers), yes, because it is an interesting read and I'm sure there are those who'll like what I did not.

So, if Moth and Spark felt like the book was concentrated more on romance, why did I continue reading it? Well, that is actually quite easy, I really enjoyed Anne Leonard's writing and her ability to weave a story-line. Besides, the big questions still needed to be answered and I was not about to give-up on finding out the whys' of this book.
    While the book may have focused too much on the relationship aspect, in my own opinion, I thought the author did a really good job on the world and the back-story as to how the dragons were captured; as well as how that portion of the story was presented. Even though this one took some time to get to the really good parts, this is definitely an enjoyable read.

For me personally, there's one reason why this one didn't merit four griffins, and that would be that the book focused entirely too much on the budding relationship between Corin and Tam. While I sometimes don't mind a little bit of romance sprinkled in, this one overtook the story for two-thirds of the book.
    Seriously though, waiting for Corin to act upon his mission to free the dragons from their enslavement to the Empire was kinda of maddening because the biggest reason I said "yes" to reading Moth and Spark was because I wanted to know how the dragons became enslaved and how Corin would set them free...not his relationship with Tam. While it does take time to get down to the bones of the story, I really enjoyed the writing.

Content (there will be spoilers, so, highlight at your own risk):

[ There were quite a few scenes that I skipped due to what must people refer to as "sexy-times". I frankly don't enjoy reading scenes like that, so, I skip them when they do appear in the books I read. That being said, the first two hundred or so pages are sprinkled with Corin and Tam being a little too intimate, especially, when you take into account that they've known each other days before they're in love.

So, you can expect:
some sex scenes
violence (mentions of beheadings, violent acts committed against women, villages be burned along with people, etc) ]

Final Verdict: Moth and Spark- A well crafted world and good writing make this one a solid choice for fantasy readers.

Moth and Spark earns 3 1/5 griffins

This book was received in exchange for an honest review.


  1. I just finished it last night, and have been trying to wrap my head around a review. It definitely was well-crafted, but I agree the romantic element went on a bit too long. Had that been shortened in favor of expanding the fantasy element, I think I would have enjoyed it more.

    1. I thought it was just me that thought the romantic bits took up too much of the story-line. Yeah, I too would have liked to have seen the fantasy elements expanded upon, but of course I prefer that over romantic scenes any day.

      Although, I did enjoy her writing and world building.

      Thanks for stopping by.


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