Dagger and Coin

Written by Kathy MacMillan

The second book in the “Sword and Verse” series is gripping, exciting, and a lesson in finding one’s voice and independence. Written in first person from Soraya’s viewpoint, it points out the problems with always doing what is expected of you rather than what you know to be right.

Soraya longs to be her own woman despite the fact that she is guided by her father’s teachings and the fact that she is female. Until she realizes just what independence means and what it will cost her, she’s really not very likeable. Once she transforms into her own person, she is strong, capable, and loveable. MacMillan shows this transformation seamlessly and skillfully. It’s worth noting that Jonis, Soraya’s mirror image on the ruling council, goes through a transformation of his own. The reader luckily gets to know many other characters well.

This is a tale set in a medieval world of the author’s invention. The world is believable and self-contained. Of course, some familiar elements of our world are present, such as women being considered the weaker sex and certain groups of people considered not as worthy to share in the good aspects of life. It’s those elements that drive the story of rebellion and suppression. Only through learning to trust the right people and use their abilities will Soraya and Jonis be able to save their country.

  • Dagger and CoinTitle: Dagger and Coin
  • Author: Kathy MacMillan
  • Published: HarperTeen/HarperCollins Children’s, 2018
  • Reviewer: Sue Poduska
  • Format: Hardcover, 416 pages
  • Grade Level: 6 Up
  • Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
  • ISBN: 978-0-06-232464-1

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