Shruthi Viswanathan: Ink & Arrows

Ink & Arrows - Shruthi Viswanathan

In Shruthi Viswanathan debut novel she shows that people from two different walks of life can fall in love:

Rae is Suveri whish means she is an artist that has the ability to ink magical tattoos. A talent that is looked down upon, yet sought after as well. Bitter about the death of her father she attempts to get revenge but fails, however, she is saved by the Archduke Sebastyen who not only frees her but offers her three wishes in order for her to teach him the Suveri secrets around the magical tattoos. The two are nothing alike yet both are seeking something, one revenge and the other power and maybe something more, maybe love.

Alright, I told myself this year that I would try to read a few books that were outside of my comfort zone and usual genres. I had great success with Katherine Center Things You Save in a Fire (highly recommend) and had high hopes for this book as well but I am sorry to say this is my second DNF this year. I mean I really really tried with this book, I made it to 70% in my kindle but I just couldn't read it anymore. There was just so much lacking in this book and I could only tell my self something would develop later so many times. So lets break this down.

The good is that Viswanathan had an interesting premise that I thought had a lot of promise. The book is described as a Fantasy Romance book but it was Rae's ability as the Suveri that I thought was really interesting. Rae has the ability to create magic tattoos that can give the bearer different strengths and ability. See very interesting. Also the cover of the book is well done, it is what drew me in to read what the premise was about.

Alright, I will admit back when I was just getting into reading I read a lot and I mean a lot of romance books. I used to alternate between a mystery and romance genres, so I get so of what needs to go into a romance book to make it have a somewhat interesting story and that is chemistry between the two main characters. Whether they love or hate each other or a bit of both there has to be something there, some sort of emotion, Rae and Sebastyen have none. Rae states she hates him for what happened to her father, but never really shows that hate (side note, he was not the one to kill her father). She seems to learn that she actually loves him but this is after they are apart for more than a year (and we don't even know what is going on with either of them in that year as Sebastyen is away at war and Rae is just there but has a change of location while he is gone). I just don't understand how those feelings materialized while they were apart . They seem to have conversations off page, as they never really seems to talk when they are together, its more about what they are doing than what they are saying, so I struggle to see how a bond between them is formed. I guess the one emotion I do see is from Sebastyen and that is in the form of obsession more than anything else. But all in all not only is their chemistry flat, them as characters is flat as well.

The world building is not there, I have no idea why the Suveri are looked down at and why the tattoos are frowned upon, but that doesn't stop the warriors/generals from getting them. Sebastyen always seems to be at war, and why they are at War I have no idea why other than his father wishes it. Honestly I know nothing of the world that Viswanathan was trying to create.

Every aspect that I look for in a book whether it be in the genre I read or not, was just not happening in this book which is a shame as the premise was really promising. I cannot even recommend this book to those who like the romance genre, because the romance/chemistry/connection was not there throughout the 70% of the book I read. Oh well hopefully the next book I read off genre will be better.


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