Review: Onyx & Ivory by Mindee Arnett

Onyx & Ivory by Mindee Arnett
Release Date: May 15, 2018
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Source: ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review
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Acclaimed author Mindee Arnett thrusts readers into a beautiful, dangerous, and magical world in this stunningly epic and romantic fantasy for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Sarah Raasch.

They call her Traitor Kate. It’s a title Kate Brighton inherited from her father after he tried to assassinate the high king of Rime.

Cast out of the nobility, Kate now works for the royal courier service. Only the most skilled ride for the Relay and only the fastest survive, for when night falls, the drakes—deadly flightless dragons—come out to hunt. Fortunately, Kate has a secret edge: She is a wilder, born with forbidden magic that allows her to influence the minds of animals.

And it’s this magic that leads her to a caravan massacred by drakes in broad daylight—the only survivor Corwin Tormaine, the son of the king. Her first love, the boy she swore to forget after he condemned her father to death.

With their paths once more entangled, Kate and Corwin must put the past behind them to face this new threat and an even darker menace stirring in the kingdom.


Onyx & Ivory wasn't originally on my to-read list; however, the more positive things I heard about it as well as Mindee Arnett,  the more I felt as if I needed to read it. I wanted to see for myself if it would become a favorite of mine as well. 

The result? I'm torn. 

On one side, I love the premise as well as the world Mindee introduced. It was interesting as well as unique, and there's so much room to expand upon it all. 

On the other side, however, the length of this book as well as the pacing brought down my enjoyment considerably. There were so many times at which this book was so incredibly hard to get through, so many times in which I felt like the scenes could've been edited down. The middle, in particular, was rough for me. I wanted more action, more excitement, and by the time that was finally delivered, the book was just about over. 

Onyx & Ivory alternates between Kate and Corwin's perspectives, and I believe that Mindee did a great job of making them sound different. I liked both Kate and Corwin. I loved how independent and fearless Kate was; however, I also liked that she wasn't afraid to rely on her friends to get her through tough times. The bonds she develops throughout this book are a highlight. Corwin, on the other hand, was a tough one to read at first. I wanted to despise him for happened to Kate, but at the same time, I couldn't. There was something likable about him, something that I found endearing. I could see why Kate had such a hard time shutting him out as well. Together, Kate and Corwin meshed well. They start off as best friends turned enemies, but they slowly morph back into the best friends/slightly more area. I loved the back and forth between them as well as how they wouldn't let the other alter what they stood for. Sure, they liked each other but they weren't letting that change who they were and I respected that completely. 

The plot primarily involves the brewing trouble found in Rime and the re-formation of the bond between Corwin and Kate. I found both areas to be interesting, and I especially enjoyed when more was revealed about the shady things occurring in Rime. There were several times in which I was left feeling completely shook, and I appreciated the direction Mindee seemed to be taking things. She brought it together quite well.  

Despite my love of the plot as well as the characters, the pacing is what ultimately brings this down to a three star read. I'm all for a slow delivery; however, when it's so slow it almost causes me to DNF a book, there's something wrong. Additionally, I wasn't the biggest fan of how there was FINALLY action and then BANG cliff hanger. It was such a buzz kill. 

3 stars 


  1. I've been wondering about this one, since I've been wanting to find a good YA fantasy. I may still get it but I'll try and stick with it if it lags- good to know about the pacing issues.

  2. I've been slowing down on fantasy reads lately, although I have a couple I want to read by the end of the year. I think the slow pacing on this one would have me a little wary of picking it up!

  3. I got this one in a fairyloot box and I am torn about reading it.


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