Book Review: Onyx And Ivory by Mindee Arnett

Book: Onyx & Ivory by Mindee Arnett

Published May 2019 by Balzer + Bray|497 pages

Where I Got It: I own the paperback

Series: The Rime Chronicles #1

Genre: YA Fantasy

Acclaimed author Mindee Arnett thrusts readers into a beautiful, dangerous, and magical world in this stunningly epic and romantic fantasy for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Sarah Raasch.

They call her Traitor Kate. It’s a title Kate Brighton inherited from her father after he tried to assassinate the high king of Rime.

Cast out of the nobility, Kate now works for the royal courier service. Only the most skilled ride for the Relay and only the fastest survive, for when night falls, the drakes—deadly flightless dragons—come out to hunt. Fortunately, Kate has a secret edge: She is a wilder, born with forbidden magic that allows her to influence the minds of animals.

And it’s this magic that leads her to a caravan massacred by drakes in broad daylight—the only survivor Corwin Tormaine, the son of the king. Her first love, the boy she swore to forget after he condemned her father to death.

With their paths once more entangled, Kate and Corwin must put the past behind them to face this new threat and an even darker menace stirring in the kingdom. 

I was really intrigued by Onyx & Ivory- partly because of that cover and partly because it sounded really interesting.  While I liked it, I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would.

I did like the story behind why she was seen as a traitor.  It’s sad that she doesn’t have a lot of options because of what her dad did.  Something about this book made me think of Everless by Sara Holland.  There are some similar elements- living at the palace and then being exiled, being able to do something that no one else can…they would make good read-alikes, I think.

Back to Kate, though.  People were absolutely horrible to her, and she didn’t deserve it.  She’s definitely guilty by association.  To me, though, it was clear she had no part in what happened.  I get why her dad did what he did but it definitely had a really big impact on Kate’s life.

It did take quite a while for me to get into the book.  It started off pretty slow, and it felt really long.  I’d say it was painfully slow at the beginning, but once things got going, it was interesting.  There’s an interesting blend of monsters, magic and romance.  I liked the magic and dragons but I didn’t particularly care for the romance.  There’s a lot of history between Kate and Corwin, and while Kate seems to be willing to move on and make things work, I had a hard time really getting behind Kate and Corwin as a couple.  Maybe it’s because it’s the first book in a series and most of the book is building up the romance.

I don’t have strong thoughts about Corwin either way.  Even though we spend a good chunk of the book with Corwin, his story doesn’t stand out a lot.  Still, there was one plot point with Corwin that wasn’t surprising at all.  I won’t give it away, but the whole thing with one of the officials?  I knew something was up with him.

I don’t know if I’ll be reading the next book.  There’s a lot of really interesting things in the book but I just don’t know that I like it enough to keep reading.  Maybe one day, I’ll pick it up but it won’t be anytime soon, that’s for sure.

3 stars.  I’m honestly wavering between two and three stars for this one, but I really liked and felt for Kate.  Plus, everything with the magic and dragons was pretty cool so I decided to round up for this one.

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