- 3.5 out of 5 stars
- Recommended for:
- fans of authors such as Tamora Pierce and Maria Synder
Sworn to Raise is the story of a young girl, Ciardis, who grew up as a poor laundress. Her biggest claim to fame was a secret recipe for soap that didn't make red dye bleed from clothing and the hard calluses she'd built up from years of hard labor. Then, one day, a woman comes looking to buy Ciardis' recipe, and instead ends up inviting Ciardis to come join her and become a companion--lifting her out of poverty. Now Ciardis must train to become the best companion she can be, and to catch the attention of a wealthy patron.
I really, really liked Sworn to Raise. I initially grabbed it because I assumed it was a sort about something like courtesans, but I was really pleased when I realized that it's actually more about mages and magic! I couldn't tell you if companions actually are some sort of high class prostitute or mistress, actually, in addition to their magics, although there are indications in the book that companions often become wives and consorts. In fact, if the idea of Sworn to Raise turns you off because you're assuming the book is mostly about romance and trying to woo guys, you should actually give it more of a shot--Sworn to Raise is much more magical fantasy than anything else, with a setting and magical rules that would appeal to most fans of Tamora Pierce or Maria Synder!
In fact, my favorite part of this book was the exploration of magic and magical talents! In Sworn to Raise, mages specialize in one thing and one thing only--there are telepaths, mages who can amplify sound or other people's magics, and even magical copiers who can transfer their own learned abilities to others to borrow! I'm excited for the sequel just to see where else the magic system goes!
Overall, I genuinely enjoyed this book. That isn't to say it's perfect--far from it. The writing style takes a little getting used to, the character development could use some work, and there are times that the story does feel a little bit rushed. But the story is very interesting, the universe is fascinating to read about, and I do feel like the good in the book outweighs the bad. I will certainly be looking forward to a sequel!