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Moth and Spark by Anne Leonard ARC {3 Stars}

Moth and Spark by Anne Leonard tells the story of a commoner and a prince falling in love while war brews and mysterious prophecies about dragons come to light. If you are a fan of historical romance, then you will probably really enjoy the court intrigue and romance in Moth and Spark and this could be a great chance to try out some light fantasy ;-). While Moth and Spark takes place in a world with magic and dragons, it has a very strong romance plot, with the consequences of war and dragons only emerging in the last third of the book, just so you know.

Note: I received Moth and Spark from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Moth and Spark by Anne Leonard ARC {3 Stars}

Moth and Spark by Anne Leonard
Published by Viking Adult on Feb. 20th, 2014
Genres: Adult, Historical Fantasy, Romance
Page Length: 384 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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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.

3 Stars

Strengths:

  • Moth and Spark starts with a bang with the revelation of a prophecy involving freeing the dragons from the emperor. I’m obviously a huge dragon fan so this was a premise that I adored ;-). The prophecy was just the right amount of vague and mysterious to have me instantly interested in what was going to happen and what it really meant.
  • On top of the cool prophecy in the beginning, Prince Corin has some rather mysterious memory problems right in the beginning of the book. The description of how thoughts about certain subjects (dragons!) just slip out of his mind had me so intrigued!
  • I really enjoyed the ending of Moth and Spark and it honestly significantly improved the book for me. It was appropriately epic and magical and dragon-y, haha.
  • So there is a lot of sex in Moth and Spark, which I wasn’t exactly expecting, but whatever. However, a pleasant surprise was that a lot of that sex was initiated by our heroine Tam. I love it when female characters are allowed to actually have a sex drive, girl power!

Weaknesses:

  •  I’m not a big romance fan, so the fact that the first half to two-thirds of Moth and Spark is pretty much a historical romance with occasional references to magic and dragons was disappointing for me. The romance also is kind of ridiculous in my opinion. These two kids are all over each other within 24 hours of meeting and after about five days they are in love and eternally committed to each other (ie making vows and promises they probably shouldn’t be making). I’m not even exaggerating, Corin thinks to himself how it had only been FIVE DAYS!
  • Since so much of Moth and Spark is spent canoodling, the world-building suffered quite a bit. We don’t get to find out much about the world outside of the palace including the other countries that are potentially going to attack, the dragons and their history, etc. The last third tries to expand some of this since Corin and Tam actually leave the palace and see more of the world, but I would have liked that a lot sooner.
  • I really question Corin and Tam’s priorities. There is a day when they have sex three times (good for them, I guess, under normal circumstances) when all sorts of bad things are happening in the world! Given the effect that everyday stress has on all of us in the modern world, I have a heard time believing that they would be thinking about those things when they are trying to figure out how to save everyone they know and love from utter destruction.
  • This is definitely a me thing, but if you aren’t super into court intrigue and romance, you will likely have the same problem: the romance and court intrigue was just dull. There are only so many times that Corin and Tam can be interrupted right before they would have gotten caught canoodling ya know? I think I counted at least five times that that happened….
  • I’m still pretty unclear on some plot elements, though it is entirely possible that I just missed them. Things I wonder about: what did happen in that nighttime courtyard scene at the beginning? When did Tam learn uber special knife skills besides that one mention? How could the king have possibly thought THAT was a good idea?????? (That’s just me being grumpy about the romance again, don’t worry, haha.)

Summary:

Moth and Spark had a lot of promise between the dragons and the mysterious prophecy, but in the end it just wasn’t the book for me. If you don’t mind a very heavy romance element (i.e. I really think that was the main plot of the book and the prophecy was closer to a subplot), then you will probably enjoy Moth and Spark far more than I did. However, be prepared for a book that is over half romance with an epic fantasy adventure at the very end. This one was actually a bit difficult for me to rate since the first half was a 2-star for me, but the ending was a 4-star, therefore, I averaged ;-).

3 Stars
Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya

 

 Moth and Spark by Anne Leonard

© 2014, Anya. All rights reserved.

Comments

  1. Historical romance and fantasy are two of my favorite genres. Not sure about the romance though, it does seem pretty common for love to develop fast in historical books and I always prefer a slow build. Too bad about the world building too, that’s a must have for fantasy!
    Alise recently posted…Review: Unhinged by A.G. HowardMy Profile

    • I have heard from lots of people who were in the mood for a romance that they enjoyed this one more, I think I just got thrown by it being a different story than I expected D:

  2. Yeah…definitely too much romance for me. A shame, really. It sounds like the dragon/prophecy thing could have been cool were it not buried under insta-love. Maybe the next book will be better?
    Kel recently posted…Discussion: Quickly Out of PrintMy Profile

    • I very much agree! Unfortunately it’s a standalone for sure :( But the author is apparently writing another book that specifically isn’t romance, so that could be cool!

  3. I don’t mind romance, but like several other respondents, I don’t want it at the expense of worldbuilding. And I agree, it sounds as though the main characters get too serious, too soon, especially given the difference in their stations. Still, I love dragons and historical romance, so I’m willing to give it a shot.
    Lark @ The Bookwyrm’s Hoard recently posted…Sunday Post – 3/23/14My Profile

    • If you are a fan of historical romance, you will probably like it :D. Just go in knowing things will be a little fast and everything will be great, hehe

  4. Hmmm . . . I DO like romance in my books, but not to the exclusion of world-building. Still this book looks really good. Maybe if I can get it at the library . . .

    • If you’re a romance fan, I’d say you’re much more likely to enjoy this one since a lot of other people have when they’ve liked the romance ;-). Just don’t expect too much world-building and you’ll be all set :D

  5. Awww! I am reading this right now and loving it, but it’s also one of the rare times that I’m totally in the mood for a romance with a fantasy backdrop (rather than a fantasy with a romance on the side). The insta-love was BRUTAL, though (as much as I do love the characters themselves), which I was totally not expecting… I guess it’s not just the YA genre that suffers from that. Pity. :(
    Nikki recently posted…ARC Review: THE FOREVER SONG by Julie KagawaMy Profile

    • This seems to be the kind of book that is awesome if you are in the right mood for it and I just wasn’t at the time (or ever really, haha, not really a romance person ;-) )

  6. I liked this one a lot, because I’m the sort of person who finds myself wanting to like romance novels but is always disappointed by them. In ‘Moth and Spark’ I liked both of the characters and felt like the dragons were just what was needed to keep things interesting. It was light and fluffy, but good wintertime reading. :)

  7. I really enjoyed this one, and thought the characters were strong. Yes romance is a integral part of this story. I think those that like Outlander and such will enjoy it. While this didn’t wow you I am glad you still enjoyed it. I too wanted more dragons!
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…How the Heck Did You Do That?!? Tips & Tricks #17- PluginsMy Profile

  8. You thought there was a lot of sex? I totally didn’t notice that haha. But then I have seen some books have so much sex that I skipped over those scenes. I didn’t feel that way here. I really enjoyed their relationship tho I agree there could have been more world building. She is writing another one that is not a romance!.
    Pabkins recently posted…Review: The Almost Girl by Amalie HowardMy Profile

    • Three times in one day!

      Oo, that’s intriguing. I might be willing to give her writing another try since I think it was mostly the romance that annoyed me ;-)

  9. I get the feeling this is one I should just skip over. I’m not fond of books that are heavy on the romance, and I never like it when there’s important stuff going on but characters are just too wrapped up in each other (literally or otherwise) to actually do anything about the plot they’re supposed to be advancing. I’ve heard from a few sources now that Moth and Spark didn’t quite live up to expectations.

    • Haha yeah you will definitely not enjoy this one then! The entire first half is all romance in the middle of a war D:

  10. I enjoyed this one more than you, but I had a few plot details that stuck out as well; just couldn’t figure out how the pieces fit together on a few things.
    Nathan (@reviewbarn) recently posted…Fantasy Review: ‘The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms’ by N.K. JemisinMy Profile

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