Wednesday, January 24, 2024

#BookReview: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin (A Song of Wraiths and Ruin #1) by Roseanne A. Brown

Synopsis: For Malik, the Solstasia festival is a chance to escape his war-stricken home and start a new life with his sisters in the prosperous desert city of Ziran. But when a vengeful spirit abducts Malik’s younger sister, Nadia, as payment into the city, Malik strikes a fatal deal—kill Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran, for Nadia’s freedom.

But Karina has deadly aspirations of her own. Her mother, the Sultana, has been assassinated; her court threatens mutiny; and Solstasia looms like a knife over her neck. Grief-stricken, Karina decides to resurrect her mother through ancient magic . . . requiring the beating heart of a king. And she knows just how to obtain one: by offering her hand in marriage to the victor of the Solstasia competition.

When Malik rigs his way into the contest, they are set on a course to destroy each other. But as attraction flares between them and ancient evils stir, will they be able to see their tasks to the death?

The first in an fantasy duology inspired by West African folklore in which a grieving crown princess and a desperate refugee find themselves on a collision course to murder each other despite their growing attraction.


Rating: 3 Stars
My Review: There were parts of this that felt very drawn out and others that could have been done more in depth.  I did enjoy it for the most part but not sure if I would read book two. The characters were great and the story itself for the plot was done well.  The fantasy elements were wonderful and the world building was kind of here and there. 


"An explosive, stunning fantasy debut... Brown's world building is diverse and brimming with political intrigue, magic, and a burgeoning romancein the best of ways. Notably, Brown uses a lush fantasy backdrop topoignantly discuss real-world issues." (ALA Booklist (starred review))

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up-Inspired by West African folklore and tales of intrigue and magic, this unique fantasy brings together an unlikely pair struggling to survive loss, loneliness, and agonizing feelings of inadequacy. Forces conspire to place both Karina, a grieving princess, and Malik, a despairing refugee, in untenable situations requiring them to make unthinkable, even heinous choices. Set against the background of the Solstasia Festival, its revelers, and its most hallowed contest, this tale unfolds with slow realizations, half-truths, and bargains in which no one really wins. Brown's riveting debut intertwines characters' lives in the past and the present. The author allows the art of storytelling to almost become a character itself as the plot progresses and moves through story and belief. Both the main characters and the listeners face candid and at times startling depictions of cutting and anxiety. Listeners will relate to these deeply flawed, wholly authentic characters. Narrators Jordan Cobb and A.J. Beckles alternate reading as the point of view changes from one character to the next. Each narrator brings to life not only their own protagonist, but also the events as they see them. Listeners will eagerly await further books in this series. VERDICT This is an essential purchase for libraries with a call for fantasy, romance, and adventure.-Lisa Youngblood, Harker Heights P.L., TXα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.  --This text refers to the audioCD edition.

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