Seventeen-year-old Ciardis has grown up in poverty, a cleaner in a small vale on the outskirts of the kingdom. But beneath her kingdom’s seemingly idyllic surface lies a hidden secret. Whispers of an inept crown Prince are growing ever louder—intensified by the five year anniversary of the soulbond initiations.
Amidst scandalous whispers, Ciardis finds herself chosen to train for the Companion’s Guild. She leaves her home and sets off on a personal journey to become a Court Companion. A position she’d never thought possible for a lowly servant to obtain, she must prove that she has the skills to attract a Patron.
But she must master those skills quickly. If the legends are true, only Ciardis can harness the power to raise a Prince in an Imperial Court sworn to bring him down.
Look at the pretty cover... and... and... comparisons to Kristin Cashore and Maria Snyder? How on earth could I not request this book? I mean come on, this book had to be amazing, right? Right?!
No. This book suffers from high hopes syndrome, where the book itself is okay but it's compared to amazing authors that it could never stand up to and then the reader feels extremely let down, that's exactly how I felt with Sworn to Raise. The thing is, this book started off quite well, I was really intrigued by the whole companions idea, it's a kind of grown up concept because even though Edun never uses the exact words the whole thing is akin to prostitution. It's odd to say this but I was actually happy to see a more mature concept like that in this book and I wish the companion concept was explored a bit more and the training described in detail.
We suddenly have this maze (like the one in Harry Potter's Triwizard Tournament, though why it's there I have no idea, since Ciardis get's through it really easily and it takes up a random few pages but has no effect on the plot at all. Then her and the prince go off somewhere and do some stuff and then the end comes really quickly and it all seemed so flat that despite reading it less than a week ago, I can't really remember what happened.
Overall, I think the only thing that kept me from giving up on Sworn To Raise was that it was a short book, so I finished it pretty quickly. Another 100 pages would have been good if they'd been used to develop the plot and characters. This could have been an okay book, but it fell extremely short of my expectations. I really would not recommend this to anyone. Sorry!
Overall Rating: E
Book released 10th April 2013 by
Book received from the publisher (via Netgalley) in exchange for an honest review.