by Anne Leonard
Published by: Penguin on February 20, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
A prince with a quest. A commoner with mysterious powers. And dragons that demand to be freed—at any cost. Prince Corin has been chosen to free the dragons from their bondage to the Empire, but dragons aren’t big on directions. They have given him some of their power, but none of their knowledge. No one, not the dragons nor their riders, is even sure what keeps the dragons in the Empire’s control. Tam, sensible daughter of a well-respected doctor, had no idea before she arrived in the capital that she is a Seer, gifted with visions. When the two run into each other (quite literally) in the library, sparks fly and Corin impulsively asks Tam to dinner. But it’s not all happily ever after. Never mind that the prince isn’t allowed to marry a commoner: war is coming to Caithen. Torn between Corin’s quest to free the dragons and his duty to his country, the lovers must both figure out how to master their powers in order to save Caithen. With a little help from a village of secret wizards and a rogue dragonrider, they just might pull it off
Moth and Spark by Anne Leonard was a delightful romantic fantasy with Dragons, Kings, and Wizards. Leonard gave us the details one expects in high fantasy, without the three hundred characters. This was a mid to light fantasy that I didn’t want to end. The author’s writing has been influenced by Austen, and I felt it humming through her prose and attention to detail. Mini review: Dragons, lore, romance, magic and wizards this tale held me captive from page one.
Tam, the daughter of a well-respected doctor attends Summer Court at Caithenor where she will soon discover she is a Seer. Prince Corin has been tasked with freeing the Dragons. He is torn between protecting his family and country as tensions heat up and war awaits on the horizon. When these two collide outside the library, the sparks fly. A forbidden romance, evil, dragons, wizards, plots and betrayal all await them and the tale that unfolded held me spellbound.
Leonard told the tale using dual POV’s, and it was brilliantly done. Unlike, high fantasy, the secondary characters were kept at a minimum. Some were fleshed out and others just enough for us to understand their role in the story that unfolds. Tam and Corin were wonderful as our hero and heroine. Both are young but share a love of knowledge and logic. They played off each others strengths and trusted in each other. All of this made their friendship and romance feel genuine. Their relationship developed quickly, but since she is a commoner and he a Prince both go into the relationship aware of its limitations. War, dragons and quests kept the flames burning but Leonard allowed them to develop a relationship beyond attraction and lust. The King and Queen were wonderful both as leaders and parents. Those attending the Summer Court added interest, conflict and humor to the tale. Corin’s security team and the wizard community added substance without pulling us away from our couple.
I love fantasy, and forbidden or impossible romances and Moth and Spark delivered. The countryside, dragons, court and castle, came to life in panoramic detail without slowing the pace. While there is a war, alliances, magic and quests our couple remain at the center of the plot. I adored both Tam and Corin as they worked together. They reminded me of Claire and Jamie from Outlander. Leonard’s description of the Dragons and their riders left me breathless. Communication between beast and man was beautiful, and I shall forever dream of flying. The world-building regarding the quest and war was well done and kept the tale light. The front of the book contains a map which further helped me see the fields, mountains and forests. For me, this was the type of novel that I didn’t want to end, EVER. I was disappointed that this doesn’t appear to be a series or trilogy. The climax and ending were beautifully render, and threads tied up but, and this is a minor but; I felt it was a tad rushed. For me at least this book could have handled another two hundred pages.
Fans of Austen, Outlander and romantic fantasy will find magic within the pages of Moth and Spark. Oh and there are Dragons! I want more, plain and simple and look forward to Anne Leonard’s next novel.
Four cups of coffee out of five
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