Onyx & Ivory by Mindee Arnett
They call her Traitor Kate. It’s a title Kate Brighton inherited from her father after he tried to assassinate the high king years ago. Now Kate lives as an outcast, clinging to the fringes of society as a member of the Relay, the imperial courier service. Only those most skilled in riding and bow hunting ride for the Relay; and only the fastest survive, for when dark falls, the nightdrakes—deadly flightless dragons—come out to hunt. Fortunately, Kate has a secret edge: she is a wilder, born with magic that allows her to influence the minds of animals. But it’s this magic that she needs to keep hidden, as being a wilder is forbidden, punishable by death or exile. And it’s this magic that leads her to a caravan massacred by nightdrakes in broad daylight—the only survivor her childhood friend, her first love, the boy she swore to forget, the boy who broke her heart.
The high king’s second son, Corwin Tormane, never asked to lead. Even as he waits for the uror—the once-in-a-generation ritual to decide which of the king’s children will succeed him—he knows it’s always been his brother who will assume the throne. And that’s fine by him. He’d rather spend his days away from the palace, away from the sight of his father, broken with sickness from the attempt on his life. But the peacekeeping tour Corwin is on has given him too much time to reflect upon the night he saved his father’s life—the night he condemned the would-be killer to death and lost the girl he loved. Which is why he takes it on himself to investigate rumors of unrest in one of the remote city-states, only for his caravan to be attacked—and for him to be saved by Kate.
With their paths once more entangled, Kate and Corwin have to put the past behind them. The threat of drakes who attack in the daylight is only the beginning of a darker menace stirring in the kingdom—one whose origins have dire implications for Kate’s father’s attack upon the king and will thrust them into the middle of a brewing civil war in the kingdom of Rime.
Buddy read again, and yes that is an exclusive edition from LitJoy that has extra artwork and is signed.
One of the things that puzzles me about the book is the title. Onyx & Ivory, black and white. But nothing in this book is black and/or white. I mean of course there are things that are one colour or the other, but the book is more about all the nuances of things than about it being black or white.
Nevermind, that is me musing over semantics and choice of words.
I enjoyed this book, I started feeling for Pip (which was a heartbreaking start), found Signe to be the right kind of fun friend to have (even if she is herself and well, sometimes that is a bit too much).
The way Kate (and Corwin too) grows through the story was one fo my favourite things. As she is trying to figure out what she wants out of life and trying to shake off the whole “Traitor Kate”.
Another thing I really liked was how not everything happens in one day or just in a couple of days. But rather it feels more natural to have a longer time span for events to happen which for once didn’t make me think “instantaneous” but rather go “oh yeah, makes sense”.
And of course I now need the next book because that ending left me wanting to just plunge into the next book.