Updated: Feb 11, 2022
A Sword of Greed and Envy
Nokturn Rising, #1
Released 21 July 2020
I'm really quite torn on how to rate A Sword of Greed and Envy. While I did enjoy ASOGAE, there were some flaws.
Okay, so here's the best analogy I can come up with: The Selection. The Selection is kind of a "trashy" read (in the best way possible), but it's also a feel–good novel. A lot of people like it, despite all of the tropes and cliqués. Despite the insta–love, people still like America and Maxon together. Overall, The Selection isn't a bad novel; it's just not one you'd read if you're looking for some high fantasy with complex world building and complex characters.
ASOGAE is pretty similar. There are a lot of tropes and cliqués found in a short, little novel. I called The Selection trashy, and to be completely honest, ASOGAE is also kind of trashy, but I mean this in the best way possible. You know, like Hallmark. Hallmark has movies people like, but it really isn't your top notch movie. (For the record, I despise Hallmark.) ASOGAE is similar, but not the same. It's better than The Selection and Hallmark, in my opinion.
Now that I'm done rambling about trashy literature, let me list some pros and cons:
Pros: Great characters; interesting world building; cool setting; interesting creatures; fast read; good, compelling plot; great writing; good dialogue
Cons: Insta–love; trope–y; cliquéd; editing; simple; annoying (at times) MC; lack of communication trope; mysterious powers trope
This is just a short list, but I'll get into it more later in my review.
I know what you're probably thinking. Asia, if there were so many cons, why'd you give it a 4.5–star rating AND round up to 5 stars? You even marked it as a favorite! What the heck?!?!
Simple answer? I liked it.
Long answer? I really liked it.
I truly did like the book. A lot. A lot more than I thought I would. I really enjoyed reading it, and I honestly would recommend this to other people.
I really like the world. Clay created an interesting world that is Maldara. I like the aspect of the 4 factions: Medeor (humans), Arcanum (Vampires), Mortem (Reapers), and Fortis (Werewolves). It's actually pretty unique, even though the creatures, called "Nokturns," are that unique.
The world is actually pretty interesting. I like all the politics of the Nokturns and how humans are at the bottom of the totem pole. They stay in Mortem, unless they compete in the Arena. If they win, they essentially are sold as a slave to the highest–paying Nokturn. So yeah, not a good life.
While the Nokturn themselves aren't inherently unique, the execution and concept really is quite unique. I like how Clay called these supernatural creatures the Nokturn. I don't know how she came up with it, but it really is an inventive and creative name.
Speaking of inventive and creative names, I also like the names she created for the whole area, as well as the individual factions and territories.
It all was creative, if not inventive, and I really liked it!
The plot was interesting, to say the least. I liked reading Lark's journey. However, the PDF was only 186 pages, so there wasn't a really . . . involved plot. Don't get me wrong; there was a plot, and it was good. But because ASOGAE was so short, there just wasn't a whole lot of it.
Aside from that, though, I really enjoyed the whole story. The plot was compelling, but I wish it were stronger. Nonetheless, I did enjoy it. I don't have that much to say, so how about you just go read it yourself?
Side note, click "view spoiler" at your own risk!
I loved the characters . . . well most of them. They were interesting, really well fleshed out, so creative, and mostly relatable. I really liked them.
There are two MC, one of which is the main POV. However, I liked both of them.
Lark is a really interesting character. She is the MC and the sole POV in the story. She's human, but she's far from weak. She is a skilled huntress and an expert marksman . . . markswoman? Whatever. She is really good with the bow—her choice weapon—but she is good with any weapon, having been trained since a young age.
When she met Ash, she changes in a lot of different ways, most of which I cannot say without spoilers, so I won't. However, I can say one thing. Lark changes her opinions, her preconceived notions of the Nokturns. While she has a long way from learning how to trust others, especially the Nokturns, she still learns to be truly open–minded in her opinions of them.
The one thing I don't like about her is that she can be extremely annoying. Like, she just acts so stupid when she really isn't that stupid! Urgh! I know that doesn't make any sense, but I can't say anything more without spoilers!
I really like Ash. He's an interesting character plus he's kinda hot. (New book boyfriend, maybe???) However, we don't see much of him in the first couple chapters. He's kind of an enigma up to the point of actually getting to know him.
As such, I can't say anything, because they're all spoilers. So if you really want to meet Ash, just go pick up the book!
I know I've said this before, but I really like these characters. Regardless of their flaws, I do like both of them. The secondary characters were good, but they could have been better.
There's really so many great relationships in ASOGAE. There's an awesome sibling/twin relationship, an interesting uncle–niece relationship, and a swoon–worthy romance. All of these relationships revolve around Lark—one of my two favorite MCs. (Can you guess the other? Yeah, it's Ash.)
I really don't want to start ranting and accidentally spoil anything, so I think I should just shut up here. So, I won't say more about the amazing relationships in this book. . . .
Maybe I will say something. . . . Click "view spoiler" to read about these awesome relationships!
Prose & Pacing
I really like the prose of the book. I just devoured Clay's writing. It was just so effortless and easy to read. I never had to reread a passage because I didn't understand it. I just reread because I loved the scene.
Like the prose, I thought the pacing was perfect as well! It wasn't too slow or too fast. I feel that it struck that perfect balance.
Overall, I really, really loved ASOGAE. Although ASOGAE also wasn't the most original, it still was very compelling. And yes, it had its flaws, but I just don't care. I loved the book. I know this won't work for everyone, but it worked for me. Maybe that says something about my book tastes. But to be honest, I just don't care.
I think the biggest thing the book suffered from was self–publishing. As far as I can tell, Clay published the book herself, so she didn't have a huge team of editors. It shows. Reading the PDF, I saw a lot of grammatical errors. Not so many that it was annoying, but just enough that it stuck out to me. I really hope that in her next books, Clay really works on her editing.
Nonetheless, I really did like the book. I found a new favorite book, a new favorite series, and a new favorite author. I can't wait to read Clay's next works!
I was kindly provided a free e–copy by the author, in exchange for a review.
Full review posted to Goodreads
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