Sunday 9 July 2017
Book Review: Magpie's Song (Ironheart Chronicles #1) by Allison Pang
Author: Allison Pang
Publication Date: 8 August 2017
Format: eBook - EPUB
Genre: YA Dystopian Fantasy
Source: ARC via NetGalley
In the slums of BrightStone, Moon Children are worth less than the scrap they must collect to survive. It doesn’t matter that these abandoned half-breeds are part-Meridian with their ancestors hailing from the technologically advanced city that floats above the once-thriving, now plague-ridden BrightStone. Instead they are rejected by both their ancestral societies and forced to live on the outskirts of civilization, joining clans simply to survive. Not to mention their role as Tithe, leading the city’s infected citizens deep into the Pits where their disease can be controlled.
Nineteen-year-old Raggy Maggy is no different, despite the mysterious heart-shaped panel that covers her chest. Or at least she wasn’t… Not until her chance discovery of a Meridian-built clockwork dragon—and its murdered owner. When the Inquestors policing the city find Maggy at the scene of the crime, she quickly turns into their prime suspect. Now she’s all anyone can talk about. Even her clan leader turns his back on her, leading her to rely on an exiled doctor and a clanless Moon Child named Ghost to keep her hidden. In return, all she has to do is help them find a cure for the plague they believe was not exactly accidental. Yet doing so might mean risking more than just her life. It also might be the only key to uncovering the truth about the parents—and the past—she knows nothing about. (Goodreads Synopsis)
Magpie's Song has everything you'd expect from a book of this ilk: plucky heroine, potential love interest, danger and adventure. I liked the steampunk elements built into the dystopian fantasy world and, on the whole, the description of that world came across well. I did scratch my head over a few things, but this is the first story in a series, so it may well be that Pang will answer those questions in a future book. I am awarding this four stars, though I prevaricated all last night over whether to give three or four. I loved the world building and the plot idea; however, I never really connected with Maggy as much as I would have liked, and I also had a few issues with the later subplot that seemed tacked on to the main story without purpose. That said, perhaps it will become more relevant in future books in the series, so on that basis, I've gone with four stars. I would certainly be willing to read more of this story and it will definitely appeal to fans of this genre.