Onyx & Ivory by Mindee Arnett – ARC Review #4

It took me weeks to finish this book.

As someone who is used to being done-and-dusted with a review drafted for a new book in a few days, it was equally heart breaking and heart filling that it took me so long to read this one.

I’m well aware that, as a ridiculously fast reader, sometimes I come to writing my reviews and I can’t remember a character’s name or remember what happened anywhere between pages 50-100 because they all blurred together.

But for this one?

I remember it all in absolute clarity.

Now I’ll be the first to admit that I got a little bit side tracked whilst reading, and, I did something I don’t usually do: I picked up at least 2 different books around the same time. I got distracted.

But I came back to where I was meant to be in the end.

Onyx and Ivory is unlike anything I’ve ever read before.

Sure, it has a few of the same YA tropes, but my heart has fallen for it all the same.

And I feel like I need to mention one trope in particular: love-triangles. THERE ISN’T ONE. I was so worried at first, when Kate was discussing her past interest to this other guy, bUT HE IS JUST A FRIEND. AND HE STAYS THAT WAY. No advancements, no pressure. JUST. PURE. UNADULTERATED. FRIENDSHIP. AND LOYALTY.

I need to scream with happiness.

There’s a lot of tropes that bug me, but one of them includes the stigma that boys and girls can’t just stay friends in YA books.

But in this one?

They can.

The friendships are to die for.

Literally.

Mindee Arnett isn’t afraid to break stereotypes with her new fantasy book, tackling demons- inner and outer- as well as fuelling magic into an already full world. The detail she goes into lets you gallop right alongside our infamous main character, Kate Brighton. As a rider, it’s her job to transport messages, goods and occasionally lost and abandoned Princes found on the side of a road.

A road filled with demons.

And much worse.

As with all YA books, it inevitably explores the “chosen one” ideology, as well as the “absent parent” trope that seems to appear more and more these days. But that’s okay, because Mindee does it in an entirely new and different way – because Kate Brighton’s father isn’t just dead. He’s a traitor to the crown.

Which means: so is she.

Cast aside, Kate scrambles to earn a living along with the rest of us. Not a princess, not a titled Lady.

Just someone who will do whatever it takes to survive.

Even lie to everyone she loves.

Traitor Kate.

It’s in her blood.

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