Synopsis: Ciardis is a dirt-poor, half-gypsy laundress. She meets a glamorous geisha (called Companions) and is offered training to become one herself. Companions are usually magical and otherwise trained to be an asset to a powerful/rich Patron. As she begins her education, Ciardis finds her roots and claims her magical gifts on her way to securing a Patron.
Sworn to Raise starts out with potential for an unusual (amazing!) Cinderella story. The world-building and characters pulled me in immediately. The foundation is well-laid and the writing is tight. No rambly paragraphs with stupid descriptions. Terah Edun has created a good world and expects you to keep up. It's refreshing and brilliant that a writer actually has economy and respect for a reader's intelligence these days.
Unfortunately, she doesn't maintain that discipline through the entire story. In fact, there is too much economy by the final chapters where everything happens too fast with not enough connecting the scenes. The characters also seem to lose their shape a bit, although it's not a deal-breaker. I felt like the author either had something more important to write and banged out the ending in a mad dash to the finish or a kid sister saw the unfinished novel on her computer and decided to finish it for her, in sticky-fingered glee. The scenes, which are vividly imagined and action-packed, have too little background and motivation to ring true to what's already been established. I couldn't figure out to what end all the hullabaloo was for. The disjointedness wrecked a perfectly enjoyable book. This is doubly a shame because it's not like the book was overlong and Edun need to cram in her planned outline of the story. On my e-reader it was 178 pages, which is pretty short for a novel. I have faith in her ability to create and write an exciting, fun read, but until a whole story can be told that way, there is no point in starting one of her books.