Review: Words Once Spoken by Carly Drake


Title: Words Once Spoken

Author:  Carly Drake


May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:


YA meets high fantasy in this lush series debut about a girl who never quite fit in — and the reason why…

Evelyn might not love the confines of her village life, but she takes her small freedoms where she can get them. But everything changes when her parents decide it’s time for her to wed. Suddenly she loses her tunic and breeches, her bow, her horse, and gains rigid gowns, restrictive manners, and carriage rides.

The best way to escape is through her dreams, but as they become more and more real, Evelyn begins to worry that she is losing her grasp on reality. It is only when she makes two new friends that the truth is revealed: she is destined for far, far more than even she could imagine.


I have one major gripe about Words Once Spoken.  The story doesn’t really end, it just kind of runs out of pages.  This is the first in a planned series, and after some kickass action and an engaging journey, everything just trailed off into nothing.  I thought the ending was weak, and it didn’t fit with the rest of the story.  I am hopeful that the next book will make up for my disappointment with yet another non-ending.  There is a reason that I have been waiting to start series until they are all done, and this is an example of why. 

Evelyn has never fit in with her mother’s expectations.  Instead of desiring the life of a pampered noble, she much prefers the outdoors to being shut up inside stuffy buildings.  She is skilled with a bow and arrow, and rides like she was born on horseback.  She suffers severe stomach upsets when she eats meat and so eats only plant-life.   Just before is eighteenth birthday, her mom insists that she accompany her parents to meet the king and queen.  Her mother would like nothing better than for Evelyn to be appointed one of the princess’s handmaidens, though it would be a nightmare come true for Evelyn.  Once at the castle, she meets the handsome Lord Devon, as well as the charming young prince, and she quickly learns that nothing is what it seems, including herself and everything she thought she knew about herself.

Overall, this is a spirited adventure. Evelyn  discovers why she has never fit in, and why she has never earned her mother’s love, and puts herself in grave danger at the same time.  She sets off on her own to get answers to the many questions plaguing her, only to be joined by Liam and Padraic, her would be suitors.  Love triangles usually annoy me, but it worked here.  Maybe because Evelyn is just so much more capable of dealing with the danger that they have all been forced to confront than the guys are.  Evelyn is a strong, stubborn girl.  She’s impulsive, but she has the confidence, skill,  and courage to deal with the fallout from her rash decisions.  At first she was a little irritating, but her self-assurance quickly grew on me, especially after she packed up her things and left the castle.  This girl doesn’t need anyone to fight her battles, though she’s more than grateful to have a little bit of help when things get really crazy. 

A couple of things bugged me.  The first being that women aren’t allowed to read, yet Evelyn and Liam meet in the library several times, and Liam leaves scrolls for her to read.  It didn’t make sense that it’s illegal for women to read, yet Evelyn and the prince read often and discuss what they’ve read.  That whole thing just confused me.  The other thing I didn’t like – Padraic acts so out of character at the end of the book that I was having a hard time comprehending that it was him behaving this way.  It really knocked me out of the story, and combined with the disappointing ending, left me wondering what happened to the fun book I had been reading.

Though there are a few jarring inconsistencies with Words Once Spoken, I did enjoy my time with Evelyn, and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.

Grade:  B-

Review copy provided by publisher

One thought on “Review: Words Once Spoken by Carly Drake

  • September 29, 2013 at 8:40 am

    As an early reader for Carly Drake, I just wanted to drop in with a quick reassurance that there *IS* a very logical explanation for Padraic’s seemingly out-of-character behavior at the end of Words Once Spoken. The last scene with him was important for setting up the next installment of the trilogy, so I hope you come back when book 2 is released! Thank you for taking time for such a thorough review.

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