Title: Onyx and Ivory (Onyx and Ivory #1)
Author: Mindee Arnett
ARC provided by the author through a giveaway.
I’ve been reading a lot of Young Adult Fantasy lately, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t feel a bit of apprehension going into this. The other books I had read in this genre I ended up enjoying and I was worried I was going to compare this to them and find it lacking. I’ll admit that Onyx and Ivory does contain many of the same traits and tropes as other books in the genre, however, the characters, setting, and writing were excellent and made it an enjoyable read!
The worldbuilding was well-written, and I look forward to it continuing to develop in the next book. The concept of Nightdrakes – flightless dragons that terrorize the people, forcing them to live in walled cities protected by magic – was really interesting to read about. I also loved the idea of the uror trials; the rituals that determine who will rule next in Norgard. I can’t wait for the culmination of the trials in the next book, as Corwin and Edwin fight for the crown.
The characters were all dynamic and compelling. The book alternates between the POVs of Kate and Corwin, and I found both their characters to be well-developed. I also just want to make a point that Kate is slightly older than most YA heroines tend to be, which is something we don’t see too often! The romance was wonderfully written. The romance plot is light and the characters have a past, which makes their rekindling feelings reasonable instead of unbelievable. There was also a great deal of communication between Corwin and Kate which, sadly, tends not to be the norm in YA books. It was great to see Kate put her trust in Corwin and have him respond in the way we should expect the love interest to: with reassurance, continued support, and love. In any other YA Fantasy, this might have gone differently, simply to add drama to the story, but I’m glad the author decided no to go down that route.
Onyx and Ivory was a great start to a new Young Adult Fantasy series (duology, maybe?) and I look forward to reading the next book. Some of the plot may seem similar to other books in the genre, but the character and writing make up for it, and the book definitely held my attention the entire time!