While plague sweeps across the Winter Kingdoms, some nations barely survived because of famine and loss from the war. A dark power rises across the northern sea, looking to use their weakened state to wage his own battle. That dark power that seeks to free an ancient enemy and only The Sworn can see what is coming.
It was good to see the major characters from the last series again, even if not much time had passed in the world from the end of Dark Lady’s Chosen. They are just as consistently written and as likeable as before and it was a bit like greeting old friends.
The book started quite slowly as the scene for this new series was set. Meeting and getting to know the new characters took a little time but was worth it. As with the others, Martin writes her new heroes in such a way that you can’t help but like them. The pace did pick up eventually and was well matched with the story as events unfolded.
The plot was a little confusing at first with the new characters, and the focus jumped around a bit between them all. I did feel though, as if it was almost a reflection of what the characters were going through and their own confusion. In my imagination it’s like a huge circle with everyone far apart on the edges but as you read on, the circle gets smaller and smaller until people meet up, join forces and as knowledge and experiences get shared, they start working out what was really going on.
And I have to say… what seems to be going on is huge! By the end of the book I was desperate to know what happens next!
There are some very sad and poignant moments in The Sworn, and in a subtle way you get prepared for them, but it doesn’t lessen the overall impact.
I still love the way magic works in these books, the variety of forms, plus the religious aspects still intrigue me and Tris’ unique power is always fascinating as he continues to learn who and what he is.
I was disappointed that Kiara and Carina didn’t really play a huge part, other than supporters, due to pregnancy. While it is a natural and expected thing, it almost felt like it was a deliberate ploy to keep more characters out of the mix. Having said that, I get the feeling Tris and Kiara’s firstborn is going to play an important role in the rest of the series, and the reasoning for Kiara getting pregnant again so quickly was sound. Kiara is going to have to play a part in the next book, pregnant or not, so maybe in the end it’s a question of setting the stage.
Can’t wait for the next book in this exciting fantasy series!