“The man is not the spirit. I didn’t fall in love with the Swarm. I fell in love with you in spite of them.”

“Swarm” is the first Raven de Hart’s book I read and it’s an interesting take of social caste and prejudice of human bearing gift by (their) chosen spirits. The world setting might be fictional, yet “Swarm” epitomize similar conflict and reality of today’s society; the prejudice and shunning by others for being different, the greed and power hungry tendency of those already in powers. Voiced by two characters with polar personalities but couldn’t help to be drawn to each other.

Set in a city torn apart by war, Sorngard, “Swarm” told the story of Zayne, who was chosen by the most powerful spirit the Swarm, and Isaiah, one of the Lords in war-torn Sorngard. Isaiah, a coyote bearing spirit of Hunger, was hungry for peace. When blow after blow struck, both men had to make choice whether to take (active) part in the war to protect their nearest and dearest.

This novel-length standalone book is quite fast-paced and action-packed. As much as I enjoyed the story though, I found the internal conversation each characters had with their spirits a bit annoying. Especially when done while there were others present in the character’s vicinity, which was quite often the case. A couple of times I had to go back and traced the conversation of who say which part, just to make sure.

As for the budding friendship and romance between Zayne and Isaiah, the acceptance and unconditional esteem Isaiah bore for Zayne was just far-out! I was actually torn between applauding him for it and goggle-eyed at the surreality of the sentiment. But Zayne and the way he handled the Swarm was not something to trivialize either! I got to give to the author, she wrote a pair of remarkable characters and fascinating plot (even if I wish the delivery of said plot be tweaked more for a clearer and comprehensible spiel). All in all, “Swarm” is a unique treat and a nice introduction to Raven de Hart’s book for me.

Book Blurb for Swarm

Zayne's life is hell. Cursed with the Swarm, a murderous, sociopathic spirit, he lives under constant abuse and threats. Even in his sleep, the Swarm stings away at the edges of his soul. Now he's crossed the ocean for a new life, a chance to disappear in the endless streets of Sorngard. But can he hold out against the demands of the Swarm, or will a new city and new, fresh victims be too much?

Isaiah's always hungered for peace. His spirit told him as much as a child. But with his parents dead and Sorngard in the throes of a years-long civil war, someone had to step up. All Isaiah wants now is an end to this conflict and harmony back in his city. When word of the Swarm comes to him, he sees the end available. All he needs to do is convince the Swarm to fight. Can Isaiah see past the weapon and the reputation and find the man, or will he too be caught up in the Swarm?

Night Owl Reviews Feb, 2018 3.00