Friday, 28 February 2014

Review: Sworn to Secrecy by Terah Edun

Title: Sworn to Secrecy (Courtlight #4)
Author: Terah Edun
Release date: February 28th 2014
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: eARC
Pages: 212
Source: Author

In the heart of the Imperial Courts, Ciardis Weathervane knows that death is coming for the empire. With her friends by her side and the new triad of Weathervanes, she's in a race against time to convince the courts of the same.

She must do her best to unite kith, mages, nobles and merchants under one cause - the fight to prevent a war. Soon she is forced to keep a secret that could exonerate her mother of the Empress's death, and is always one move away from stepping into diplomatic chaos.

Throw in a daemoni prince who is showing interest in the youngest Weathervane, a jealous prince heir, and a irritated dragon with her own designs on Ciardis, and you have an imperial court in turmoil.

Sworn to Secrecy is the fourth book in the Courtlight series. I'm not entirely sure how to write this review, because I have both a lot to say and also practically nothing to say, so the juxtaposition kind of confuses me. I enjoyed this installment, but I was a little disappointed with it as well.

The book starts off a little while after the end of Sworn to Conflict. Ciardis is at the Imperial Court with her mother and twin brother - the three Weathervanes all together. But when her mother is put on trial, Ciardis is given an ultimatum by the Emperor, with a fast-approaching deadline. With help from Sebastian, Thanar, Vana and a few others, Ciardis needs to figure out a way to stop the trial from going forward as well as keep herself alive long enough to do so.

Ciardis is glad to have her mother back, despite everything. So she'll do whatever it takes to make sure her family stays united. But her mother has been keeping a lot of secrets from her, and a lot of them are revealed here. Ciardis is still as stubborn and hotheaded as ever, which is the best part about her. But there are things regarding her in this book that I didn't particularly like, regarding a certain love triangle.

The major problem I had with this book is that there's too much planning, not enough action. The previous books have all had an awesome amount of action in them, and I loved that. But in this one, politics really takes over. And I'm not a huge fan of politics in YA books. There was a couple of intense action scenes that I liked, but they didn't really satiate me.

I also had a couple of issues with the characters. This book basically belongs to Ciardis, her mother, Thanar, and Sebastian to an extent. The rest of the characters are mostly in the shadows. Caemon, for example. He's present throughout the novel, but doesn't do anything at all. Honestly, the book probably would've been the same without him. I also really missed Inga and Kane, who were there for a bit in the beginning, and then completely disappeared off the grid.

I did like that we get to see a lot more of Thanar in this one. He's intrigued me since the previous book, and I hope we get to find out even more about him in the next one. But though I love his character, I don't like that a love triangle develops between him, Ciardis and Sebastian. I love both guys and obviously one of them will end up on the losing side. And I'm pretty sure that one will be Thanar. I still adore Sebastian, and his jealousy is well-founded, so that didn't bother me. I just hope he and Ciardis patch up their relationship fully in the next book.

We also see more dragons in this one! And a couple of new kith as well. There are also some really cool twists that I never saw coming, which were great. They definitely set up for an intense next book. So even though this book didn't totally live up to my expectations, I'm really looking forward to Sworn to Defiance.

*Thank you to Terah Edun for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 3/5

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