Review: Ink & Arrows by Shruthi Viswanathan

Ink & ArrowsAuthor: Shruthi Viswanathan
Released: January 25th, 2020
Received: NetGalley
Warnings: Starvation, inhumane treatment
Rating: 2 1/2 kitties

I received a copy of Ink & Arrows through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Ink & Arrows is Shruthi Viswanathan’s debut novel. That stunning cover is what originally caught my attention here, but it was the description that made me curious enough to give this one a read. This is a world in which magic and tattoos merge into one.

Rea is a Suveri, and she is the one who makes the tattoos. The tattoos she makes can be either symbolic – or magical. Mourning the loss of her father, Rea takes a dangerous risk for the sake of revenge – and in that one moment, her entire life is changed.

Sebastyen is the prince, and one day he will be king. In the meantime, it is his job to ensure that the military is safe and led to victory. It may not be the most pleasant job out there, but he is good at it. But that is not the deepest desire of his heart.


“Even her own heartbeat froze as she said those words.”

Spoiler Warning

Warnings: Ink & Arrows covers some intense subjects, including starvation, inhumane treatment, and death of a child (teenager?). The book itself says that it is only suitable for readers 18+, and I’m happy about that warning.

Ink & Arrow is a novel that had an absolutely stunning cover, and an interesting description. I instantly wanted to know about Rea and her plight – as well as the magic that she can ink onto skin. That was the real draw for me, if I’m being honest.

Unfortunately, the rest of this novel didn’t really hold up to my expectations. This might be my preference shining through. But this story honestly read like a quick foundation for a romance (and that is NOT a dig on romance, to be clear).

What I’m trying to say is: the romantic element in this story was the most thought out, while everything else seemed to slip by the wayside. For a novel that had some serious potential, that’s fairly disappointing.

There were some great elements here. Rea’s backstory and her ability to create magical tattoos, for example. But those parts weren’t really used nearly as much as I would have liked. Again, they felt more foundational than integral, if my distinction makes sense here.

I honestly would have liked to enjoy this story more, as the writing itself was quite good. I’ll be curious to see what else Shruthi Viswanathan comes up with, as I believe this is her debut novel (it’s the first one listed on Goodreads, at any rate).

About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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