ARC Review: The Sword and the Dagger by Robert Cochran

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 Published : 09 / 04 / 2019  by Macmillan / Tor-Forge

   Genre : 
    Young Adult Fiction || Fantasy || Historical

   Rating : Avocado Avocado Half-AvoNon-AvocadoNon-Avocado

Princess Elaine is betrothed to none other than Prince Conrad, a boy she hadn’t seen since she was six, with the purpose to strengthen their alliance of the last two Christian countries. With a head full of ideas that the men deem unruly, and a stubborn will, she can’t see herself in the married life. But for her crown, she would do it. When an Assassin fails to kill Elaine on the eve of the wedding, she decides to rescue the would-be-killer in the hope of knowing why. When Conrad learns of their escape, he joins them on a journey tasked to them by the leader of the Eagle’s Nest: they are to find out what is causing the many deaths, corpses found with feathered arrows embedded in their bodies. But are they safe from themselves?
Thank you to the publisher for a free galley in exchange for an honest review 
~ No compensation was given for this review ~ 

When I started to read ‘The Sword and the Dagger’, I was happy and content. I was waiting for the plot to pick up, invested in the first few chapters. Sure the POV switches were a bit difficult, but I could deal with that when the plot was worth following, right? Wrong. I found that I was predicting the plot and being accurate just put me off for I felt that I wasn’t going to get any intensity or elements of surprise to keep me hooked. My first impressions were very good, but I feel like I was lost after the first seven or so chapters.

The novel was quick paced, which meant that I was able to learn quickly about the characters (btw I love Elaine, she is a beautiful character with so much love and strength. She was written very well!) but I also felt that when I got to a very intense scene, I would just start getting invested again before I was forced away. You can only read what is written, after all. There was also so much potential for the characters (excluding Elaine, again, love her) but I found that Conrad was extremely annoying, and like I have seen other reviewers mention, he has an annoyingly frail male ego. Conrad and Rashid needed to be sculpted more, I felt that they weren’t fully present in the book as I didn’t have anything that I could relate them to. 

That isn’t to say that this book doesn’t have it’s redeeming qualities. I felt that Robert Cochran was able to write the cultural and religious conflict into the book very well, and it didn’t seem to attack anyone, which is always a worry when it comes to this sort of book. I was also incredibly pleased that this novel wasn’t forced to be a huge love-triangle-trope.

In conclusion, I wouldn’t be buying this book for myself, yet if you enjoy books with deep research and historical fiction, then this would be the book for you. On that note, this novel seems to appeal to some, and not others, so please don’t knock it just because of me.

Available for Purchase Online:
Post published 05 // 04 // 2019

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