The Bird and the Sword

Narrated by: Trina Nishimura
Length: 11 hrs and 3 mins
Categories: Romance, Fantasy
4.4 out of 5 stars (2,135 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Swallow, daughter, pull them in, those words that sit upon your lips. Lock them deep inside your soul, hide them 'til they've time to grow. Close your mouth upon the power, curse not, cure not, 'til the hour. You won't speak and you won't tell, you won't call on heaven or hell. You will learn and you will thrive. Silence, daughter. Stay alive.

The day my mother was killed, she told my father I wouldn't speak again, and she told him if I died, he would die too. Then she predicted the king would sell his soul and lose his son to the sky. My father has a claim to the throne, and he is waiting in the shadows for all of my mother's words to come to pass. He wants desperately to be king, and I just want to be free. But freedom will require escape, and I'm a prisoner of my mother's curse and my father's greed. I can't speak or make a sound, and I can't wield a sword or beguile a king. In a land purged of enchantment, love might be the only magic left, and who could ever love...a bird?

©2016 Amy Harmon (P)2016 Audiobooks.com Publishing

What listeners say about The Bird and the Sword

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,339
  • 4 Stars
    485
  • 3 Stars
    219
  • 2 Stars
    61
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    31
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    400
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    50
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    35
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    1,248
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    440
  • 3 Stars
    215
  • 2 Stars
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    29

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Entertaining, but not quite "epic"

This book had a really magical and poetic feel to it. I really liked the character of Lark, who was kind and compassionate, and always eager to learn. I also liked King Tiras, but for some reason, the romance between the two did not do much for me, but it did have occasional moments. I think this book has some really great aspects to it, but despite that, I had a hard time getting into it. I still found it entertaining, and I'm glad to have read it, but I don't think I would ever pick it up again.

I listened to the Audible audio version of this book narrated by Trina Nishimura, and while she has all the characteristics I look for in a narrator - good pacing, unique character voices, etc. - she came across a little too melodramatic for my tastes; either that, or it was her cadence that struck me as odd and distracted me a bit.

Overall, this was an entertaining book, and I can completely understand all the 5-star reviews, but it just didn't quite come across as "epic" for me.

58 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

What an Audio Book Should Be

I am an unabashed Amy Harmon fan. She cannot write a bad story. So, when I learned of her foray into fantasy, I was a bit taken aback. But, hey! It's Amy so it's going to be good. So, I READ the book first and loved it. HOWSOMEVER, this production of The Bird and the Sword is nothing short of breath-taking. Trina Nishimura makes this book so real, so powerful and so moving, I had to find a quiet and peaceful place to listen to be able to absorb, feel and react. The combination of Ms. Harmon's exquisite writer's voice, the creativity behind developing a WHOLE universe, and her incredible 'gift' of story-telling is frankly phenomenal. Of course, this whole story is a lesson we are so in need of now...of recognizing people for who they are and what they bring to our lives. When you layer on the crystalline and finely tuned voice of Ms. Nishimura with her compelling 'gift' of making EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER come to life and you have a book that is listen-worthy to the max. Do NOT miss listening to this wonderful book and if truth be told, it's best listened to AFTER you've read it. The depth that comes to life is truly magical.

45 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Slow, barely tolerable

STORY (fantasy romance) - This book was painful to hear, so...very...….slow. Apparently fantasy/romance enthusiasts like the story (per the reviews), so it definitely appeals to that audience. I, however, listen to all kinds of books and I usually enjoy an occasional romantic fantasy, but not this time. Some spoilers here -- Lark cannot speak, and she is held captive by King Tyrus. They fall in love. Tyrus can turn into an eagle, and his kingdom is at war. That's it. No real twists or turns. Nothing, really. There is one part toward the end where there is quite a bit of supernatural morphing that might be good as a movie, but it wasn't particularly exciting in the audio format. It's really just a sweet romance that drags on and on till it gets boring. PERFORMANCE - It's okay, however she seems to breathe at strange places to make it through longer sentences. OVERALL - This is Book 1 of a series, so you can continue on to Book 2 if you wish. This one came to a nice conclusion and I'm definitely stopping here. I would recommend this only for teenaged girls, nobody over about age 16. There is some violence but no cursing and only a small mention of a sexual act, so it's appropriate for that age.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A Good Fairytale.

I enjoyed this book. Read it as a fairytale. Accept that like most fairytales, the magic and world aren't the crux of the book and are secondary to what people are and how they interact. This book kept me interested. The characters are solid. The story flows well and the author landed the ending well, too.

24 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

I got lured in by an interesting description...

So, I didn't care much for this book. The plot was okay, but not awesome. The main character was annoying to me, and slow on the uptake. Obvious plot twists are obvious. At the beginning the king is said to "lose" his soul, and yet in the middle of the book, they say he "traded" his soul. Not anywhere close to the same thing. I wasn't expecting this book to be a romance novel. Nowhere in the description did it say (or even imply) it would be a romance novel. That really didn't impress me, especially since that romance takes over the whole story. Lots of unnecessarily risque scenes. The prose is rather lovely, but rather flowery for being a first person perspective. I will be avoiding this author's other books. It really didn't live up to my expectations.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A Fine Romance That Owes Much To Fairy Tales!

Would you think less of me for wanting to read just a plain, simple, nice romance every now and then? "The Bird and the Sword" is that plus the hints and fantasy that it's categorized as.
Lark is a really likable main character, and she's written well. Indeed, the whole of the book is well-written, capturing the beauty of nature and beasts, of battles and wars, of strife and hard choices to be made.
It's filled with yes, romance between the two main characters, but also with greed, loss, grief, and hope.
While much of it is predictable, it has plenty of scenes that I simply did not see coming (though I'd hoped them far beforehand).
Trina Nishimura's narration is wonderful and dramatic, but I dinged her a single star as sometimes she does go over the top with the passion of the moment.
A really nice way to spend 11+ hours. While I never cried, I must admit I did wind up with a lump in my throat a time or two, but would you think less of me for that either?!?

43 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A great standalone fantasy book

My rating: 4.5 stars
Audiobook narrator [Trina Nishimura] rating: 4.5 stars

This was an interesting and well-written book. At first I was not getting into it and maybe got confused a little (be sure you don’t miss the beginning parts of this book!). But, as the book went on, I started enjoying it more and more. The story line builds very nicely and the character development is great. There are not too many characters which is good for a distracted reader like me.

I really appreciate this being a standalone book. Sometimes I get a little overwhelmed when everything (especially fantasy books) are in a series. It’s nice to have a book that is complete and has an ending.

This book is classified as a fantasy book (rightfully so) and as a romance book. While I don’t mind romance-type novels, I do not necessarily gravitate towards them. In any case, I didn’t get a lot out of the romance of this book, like it wasn’t developed enough. However, it was nice and maybe just the right amount.

While I really enjoyed this book, I felt like it was a little slow for me. It’s good as a ‘slower’ book, but maybe I could have used a little action and excitement.

I was a little uncertain of the narrator at first. I wanted her to throw her voice more for the different characters. Though, as the book went on, I started appreciating her subtle differences more and more. However, her emotion and tone are just terrific and make this book well-worth listening to on audio. I fully recommend it.

I received a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The Perfect Fantasy Novel

5 ★ Audiobook⎮From start to finish, The Bird and the Sword was the perfect Fantasy novel. With poetic writing and strong character development, Harmon left me in awe. This novel had a strong sense of direction throughout. Instead of employing cheap tropes and other overused literary tactics to falsely enamor the reader, Harmon let her uniquely lyrical writing style carry the story.

To say that this audiobook was a joy to hear what would be a severe understatement. The Fantasy genre has a tendency to become unnecessarily complex. Authors frequently feel that they have to conduct purposeful world building, which can feel forced. Harmon’s world developed through her characters, not around them. They weren’t just in the world, but also of it. The Bird and the Sword was beautiful in its simplicity.

Lark, the protagonist, proved that heroines can be heroes and heroes can be weak. A story’s hero isn’t always the loudest voice in the room, the physically strongest, or “the chosen one”. Sometimes the hero of a story is someone who said the wrong thing at the wrong time and set the wheels of fate in motion.

Forgive me for waxing poetic, but The Bird and the Sword is quite possibly the most beautiful story I’ve heard all year. Lark will forever be one of my most beloved characters. This was one of the few times I can definitively say that I am 100% satisfied as a reader. Harmon tied everything up so neatly, eloquently connecting all loose strands, and the ending left me speechless.

There is no question in my mind as to how or why The Bird and the Sword is so highly rated on Goodreads. Even from the very beginning, I knew I was listening to something magnificent. Unbelievably, that magnificence never wavered. If you’re in search of a breathtaking Fantasy, look no further than The Bird and the Sword.

Narration review: The Bird and the Sword partially owes Trina Nishimura for its powerful impact. Nishimura delivered a performance perfectly-suited for Amy Harmon’s work. Her narration elegantly complemented the musicality of Harmon’s writing. Furthermore, her voice had a hushed reverence throughout the entire audiobook which held my attention like a sacred prayer. Nishimura deserves much commendation for this performance. ♣︎

28 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

A Truly Disappointing Read

A combination of narrator style (inconsistent voices not only from page to page but also within phrases; use of high piping voices for most female characters and some male characters ; excessive use of emotionally extreme tones that made the characters seem even more unstable and juvenile than written) and insipid writing (relying heavily on antiquated gender norms ; an inconsistent magic system that changes to serve plot line; minimal character development; plot twists and red herrings that lack establishment and so seem random) made this book a bust for me.

60 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

New Fantasy with a Throwback Feel

Any additional comments?

This story has throwback to so many fairytales, but it's definitely original. It has a poetic feel. The leads are likable. It's very easy to root for them. No one is overly perfect, and no problem is easily solved. I like how the characters question the morality of a situation. The storyline is well-weaved. For sure check it out if you're interested in romantic fantasy that falls somewhere in between Children's and Household Tales (Grimms') and Disney or maybe off to another side.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • jade
  • 08-18-18

Loved it

I wasn’t expecting that much but really enjoyed this story. The characters were so well written and the narration was perfect. I want to find more from this author or and narrator!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-07-18

Beautiful

I listened to this book every chance I got. The story had refreshing fantasy elements and the romance was sweet. The only downside for me was the over dramatisation of some scenes. I very much enjoyed Trina Nishimura’s use of characterisation and pace, however some scenes were just too rushed and desperate. Overall, definitely a book I will enjoy reading again.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Robinette
  • 10-27-17

Very dramatic

I found this book boreing perhaps the reader could be changed it is so melodramic. The story is not good

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • amanda bergamin
  • 11-22-16

Beautiful

Have loved this book and read it a couple of times now. This audible edition mirrors the Beaty of the written words.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sue Casey
  • 11-18-16

Author worth following

Read the 1st time, just as good in audiobook recommend read / listen an author worth following