Published by Amazon Digital on April 10th 2013
Seventeen-year-old Ciardis has grown up in poverty, a cleaner in a small vale on the outskirts of the empire. But beneath her empire’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.
This sensational series debut melds intricate storylines with remarkable characters and unforgettable magic. Sworn To Raise is ideal for fans of Kristin Cashore, Michelle Sagara, and Maria Snyder.
Sworn to Raise by Terah Edun is the fourth story in the Spark bundle. I also received Sworn to Raise in various book bundles, but I never got around to it. At least I can take this off my To Be Read shelf now.
Sworn to Raise is set in the magical lands of Algardis, a medieval fantasy world. I don’t think Algardis is particularly interesting, but the Companion’s Guild, where Ciardis starts her new life, is an interesting institution. It’s not just a guild to train women into being a Companion (someone who’s able to take care of a man’s household, but not a wife unless it is so stated in a contract). The relationship between Patron and Companion doesn’t have to be one of love. I’m curious to what kind of role the guild will play in the other books in the Courtlight series.
I did enjoy the story, even though it’s filled with cliché tropes. A young orphaned girl being swept away from her poor life by a beautiful stranger who promises her the world. She finds out she has powers and happens upon the prince. Together they save the country from ruin by killing the evil witch. The matchmaking competition theme is common in fantasy novels with female protagonists. While there is a group who hates everything that’s a cliché, I do like them from time to time, and it’s up to the writers to make them work and enjoyable. Edun made it work and gave the theme an interesting twist.
The writing is nothing special. Lots of adverbs and adjectives. It’s nothing bad, but there’s definitely room for improvement. Writing style isn’t the only thing that makes or breaks a book (unless it doesn’t even follow basic grammar rules). Sworn to Raise is a perfect example of average writing with a great story, where the story makes up for the writing. I enjoyed the story so much that I already started Sworn to Transfer. I do hope that the writing improves the further I’ll get into the series.
Sworn to Raise has earned 3 stars. The enjoyable story compensates for the average writing. I have Sworn to Transfer and Sworn to Conflict (the second and third books in the series) loaded on my e-reader as well, so expect the reviews of these to come soon.