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Moth and Spark

3.20  ·  Rating details ·  1,138 ratings  ·  343 reviews
A prince with a quest. A commoner with mysterious powers. And dragons that demand to be freed—at any cost.

Prince Corin has been chosen to free the dragons from their bondage to the Empire, but dragons aren’t big on directions. They have given him some of their power, but none of their knowledge. No one, not the dragons nor their riders, is even sure what keeps the dragons
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published February 20th 2014 by Viking Adult
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Average rating 3.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,138 ratings  ·  343 reviews

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DNFed 15% into the story.

Reason number one:
Apart from the prologue and some vague mentions about Dragons and lost magic, there is no magic / fantasy in this story. Instead you are treated to a highly unconvincing historical, pseudo-medieval romance with insta-love and some such. This was really not what I expected or anticipated.

Reason number two:
The annoying female main character. Tam, wow I hate her. Never thought I would write this ever about anyone but she is so damn perfect, that I had
Mogsy (MMOGC)
5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Updated: Interview with author Anne Leonard at

Moth and Spark was one of my top anticipated novels of 2014. My gut instinct told me it was going to be a good one, and while my gut might not be the best guide for a lot of things, it has hardly ever steered me wrong when it comes to books. And I was pleased to see to that it was right once again. If anything, Moth and Spark gave me eve
Feb 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
Original Review found at my blog:

This was NOT what I was expecting. The story-Great! The romance-eye rolling... I knew there was going to be romance I didn't exactly know or understand that this was a ROMANCE novel.

This novel is written from duel perspectives, mostly Corin's and I did like that. The world building can be a little slow at first and a bit dragging but the author did a great job of making sure you understood everything about her world and what
Darth J
Review originally posted at My Bookshelf is Ready.

This book has a seriously great cover and an interesting premise but

3/4 of the book is devoted to Mediaeval-ish social politics such as courtship and gossiping about royal suitors.

The characters are all dull, and the “intrigue” is nowhere near as interesting as the A Song of Ice and Fire series. It’s almost as if someone tried to bridge the gap between Eragon and A Game of Thrones, though less hackneyed than the former and way less developed than
Jan 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Although my taste generally runs more towards epic fantasy door-stoppers, with massive world-building and bloated casts of characters, Moth and Spark was an enjoyable diversion. I could have done with less romance and more dragons, and would have preferred to see the middle act shortened in favor of expanding the final act, but that's simply a matter of personal preference, and not a criticism of the book - which delivers on exactly what it promises.

Anne Leonard's writing style fluctuates a bit
Jan 10, 2014 rated it did not like it
Forget the glossy, beautiful hardcover; this should have been published as a mass market paperback in the romance section.

I was cautiously optimistic when I cracked this supposedly epic fantasy novel and found (yay) a map! But, when the author frequently mentions cities, countries, and other geographical features that I could not even find on said map what, really, is the point?


Tepid world building, some dragons, some sort of magic, nothing really well explained, and of course a hot
Branwen Sedai *of the Brown Ajah*
"I am not a poetess. Patient. Either brokenhearted or engaged. A good archer or rider. A spendthrift. A faithful correspondent. Uneducated. An older sister. Kind or a drunkard." She stopped. "Is that enough?"

"And which of those is a failing?" he looked amused.

"Lack of kindness, I suppose," she said. "I am not a nice person."

He grinned, a splendid and amazing smile that made her want to do nothing but look at him. "Of course you're not. Most of us aren't. You try though, don't you?"

"Yes, but some
Mar 22, 2014 rated it did not like it
This is another book that is supposed to be one of the most hyped about books of 2014. So I again had to check this one out. Ok, let me just say that all the talk in the world can not help a book if it can not stand up to the hype. I really wanted to like this book because it sounded intriguing, however I got to chapter four and put it down. It took me several days to come back to this book. Then when I did pick it back up, I was only semi interested. I skimmed chapter five and it was then that ...more
At the end of the day you’ll want to read this book because you’re in the mood for some touching fall-in-love action between two characters that are inherently good. The added bonus is the vibrant, well-realized, believable, astounding court culture that Leonard subtly crafts throughout her book. The magic system and dragons takes some time to really matter too much, but by the end of the book, that will be as interesting as everything else you’ve read. If the ending suffers a little, Leonard ma ...more
Anne Leonard's debut novel, Moth and Spark , is an enjoyable surprise. I'm not sure what I was expecting when I read the blurb that described it as '... The Princess Bride meets Game of Thrones ... with a dash of Jane Austen.' but once i was reading it, it felt more like Game of Thrones meets Pretty Woman. Maybe that's because I've never read The Princess Bride or Jane Austen (view spoiler) – althou ...more
Buddy read with Sammee (who also DNFed the book but she didn't even make it past the first chapter!)

I'd like to point out that I HATE not finishing a book, I'm stubborn like that and I can nearly always find something positive to say about the books I read. I'd actually consider myself a fairly forgiving reader but you may not believe that after reading this review.

I picked up Moth & Spark expecting an awesome fantasy story full of dragons and magic but in reality I got an incredibly boring, ove
Feb 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Moth and Spark is fantasy-lite. While it contains a plethora of intriguing ideas, the world-building, dragons, and magical elements aren't as deeply explored as the romance is. Quite simply put, though this could have easily been molded into an intense, political fantasy novel, it remains focused on the love story at hand. For an adult novel to push aside the intriguing political machinations of its universe, keeping its best qualities - dragons and magic - at bay, only compels it to dim in ligh ...more
Anzu The Great Destroyer
Too much boring too few dragons. I rock English.
Jan 11, 2014 rated it liked it
Moth and Spark by Anne Leonard tells the story of a commoner and a prince falling in love while war brews and mysterious prophecies about dragons come to light. If you are a fan of historical romance, then you will probably really enjoy the court intrigue and romance in Moth and Spark and this could be a great chance to try out some light fantasy ;-). While Moth and Spark takes place in a world with magic and dragons, it has a very strong romance plot, with the consequences of war and dragons on ...more
Jan 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Fantasy Review Barn

With a possible marriage proving important in Moth and Spark, debut novel of Anne Leonard, I decided to pigeon hold it into an old wedding superstition. Something old; a love story at the heart of war. Something new (at least to me); dragons that are not fully tied to humans nor completely independent, but rather a bit of both. Something borrowed; well, there is nothing completely original about rebellions, love stories or even dragon riders, is there? And something blue. Um,
Charlie Lovett
Jan 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
One of the nice things about being an author is that sometimes I get asked to read a new book before it comes out. That was the case Moth and Spark by Anne Leonard. The book is published by Viking, my hardcover publisher, but it was my agent (who also represents Anne) who asked me to take a look at this fun and beautifully crafted new novel. It’s Anne’s debut, and I have to say it is really impressive. The novel is something like a Russian nesting doll: it’s a Jane Austen novel inside a Princess ...more
Althea Ann
Apr 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Awww, that was awfully sweet.

Tam Warin is a doctor's daughter who's been invited to the Season at Court through a family connection. However, she doesn't fit in very well with all the giggling well-bred girls in search of husbands.
Wandering idly around the palace on a rainy day, she happens to become a witness to a violent death, and unwittingly is drawn into a mysterious intrigue.

So far, so good. I loved it. Great set-up.

Then, a handsome man strides into Court, still rough and dirty with the gr
☼Book her,   Danno☼
If Jane Austen wrote high-fantasy she might have penned MOTH AND SPARK.

Honestly, this book was so well written, I simply love it. It is, however, a Romance. So if you aren't in the mood for a romance, don't pick it up.

There are brilliant characters, wonderful world-building, and sophisticated politicking... not to mention, dragons and magic. But ultimately what is at heart of Anne Leonard's novel is a wonderful romance between a prince and a commoner.

I love the use of language in this book. I lo
Seeing Double in Neverland
2 out of 5 stars

I couldn't finish this book, it was not what I was expecting and was to drawn out!
Mar 02, 2014 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Felicia Edens
Apr 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"A woman in one village had the Sight and predicted doom. There were always such stories somewhere; natural philosophy was still the province of the rich and educated. The poor would have their gods of tree and stream and hollow, their hedgerow cures and charms. But those things were not usually tossed about in tavern gossip. For them to come out now meant fear of something else that was too hard to face. He had seen the hex signs, the wardings, on the farmhouse doors and the roofs of barns. On ...more
Online Eccentric Librarian

More reviews at the Online Eccentric Librarian

More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog

Moth and Spark was an interesting read: a mature, intelligent, Austen-influenced romance in the middle bookended by solid fantasy at the beginning and end. Unlike so many of the books written in either of those genres, the decisions made by the main characters are intelligent, there is a lot of admirable 'show, don't tell', and the romance aspect doesn't get soppy or over the top. With dragons, a touch of magic, and a
Apr 03, 2014 rated it did not like it
At first, this novel feels like a classic fantasy story - one of the main perspectives is that of the heir prince of a land bent under an oppressive empire. The dragons that belong in Corin’s country have been stolen away and on top of their quiet rebellion, a greedy neighbor threatens to conquer the country. Meanwhile, Tam, is a young woman (at one point 27 years old, another 20 years old...) with a wide range of experience and knowledge despite her commoner status. When her sister-in-law invit ...more
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Leonard told the tale using dual POV’s, and it was brilliantly done. Unlike, high fantasy, the secondary characters were kept at a minimum. Some were fleshed out and others just enough for us to understand their role in the story that unfolds. Tam and Corin were wonderful as our hero and heroine. Both are young but share a love of knowledge and logic. They played off each others strengths and trusted in each other. All of this made their friendship and romance feel genuine. Their relationship de ...more
Junkie for the Written Word
I read about 65% of this before giving up.

High fantasy, courtly love, and.... dragons! You would think I would have loved this book, *I* would have thought I would love this book, but sadly we would both have been mistaken.

Here's why I didn't:
* The story drops you off in the middle of an intrigue you don't know anything about and then doesn't make you care about it. Lots of description of the intrigues of court without making you want to know more. Like a fact sheet of shit you could care less
Jess (Gone with the Words)
Feb 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2014
Read this review on my blog! --> Review: Moth and Spark by Anne Leonard

Moth and Spark was a different kind of read for me. I don’t read as much fantasy as I should. Especially since I enjoy it lots and lots. Moth and Spark is adult fantasy and I’ve yet to venture into that much but I’m totally game now!

I loved that the love story was so central to this fantasy story because it’s definitely what kept me glued to the end. I loved the main characters, Prince Corin and Tam, and immensely enjoyed the
Feb 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Full Review:

This is very much a love story. It is about freeing dragons, saving the empire and winning love. And I won’t say that it is the boy’s story to do these things, because in this the romance is also a partnership. Together, what can be accomplished is much more than individually.

Dragons are being held and forced into servitude. The Emperor that holds them has gone a bit mad and Corin has been selected by the dragons as the one to free them. Only,
May 03, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: disappointing
I really didn’t like this book. I’m about to rant, because I read it on a plane and failed to bring another book with me. Therefore, I was forced to read past the point where it got boring and wound up hate-reading the rest of it. Usually, I just drop a book when it isn’t working for me.

It started out all right (not great- for some reason the writing didn’t really grab me). I was interested in the setup with the dragons and then the political intrigue with the kingdom being threatened on two sid
Fantasy Literature
Feb 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Moth and Spark, Anne Leonard’s debut novel, is a member of a very specific and well-populated fantasy subgenre: a classic tale of high romance, sword fighting, dragon-riding, and faux-medieval politicking. It’s more or less the Anne McCaffrey and Patricia Briggs reading of my middle school years, read and re-read with all the critical discernment of a kid shoving cotton candy down her throat at the fair. Moth and Sparkwas cotton candy of the most typical sort — nothing but air and spun sugar, bu ...more
Whitley Birks
Feb 27, 2014 marked it as dnf
Throwing in the towel super early on this one. Nothing objectionable happened, but the writing is so stiff and stilted that it completely failed to hold my interest. After the prince found out the Evil Army is invading his kingdom and the book wouldn't even break its monotonous tone for that, I knew this book and I would not get along.

Cool pitch and premise, but didn't 'grab' me enough to overcome that writing.
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I've written since I was a kid. Fantasy and SF always drew me because of the fun of world-building. I've had lots of jobs and took many detours to publication, but writing is and always will be my real job.

Education (perhaps too much): BA from St. John's College Annapolis, MFA in fiction from the University of Pittsburgh, Ph.D. in English literature from Kent State University, and a J.D. from the

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