Friday, 16 February 2018

Book Review: Song of Blood and Stone by L. Penelope

Title: Song of Blood and Stone
Author: L. Penelope
Publisher: St Martin's Press
Publication Date: 1 May 2018
Pages: 296
Format: eBook - EPUB
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: ARC via NetGalley

Orphaned and alone, Jasminda lives in a land where cold whispers of invasion and war linger on the wind. She is an outcast in her homeland of Elsira, where her gift of Earthsong is feared. When ruthless soldiers seek refuge in her isolated cabin, they bring with them a captive—an injured spy who threatens to steal her heart.

Jack's mission behind enemy lines to prove that the Mantle between Elsira and Lagrimar is about to fall nearly cost him his life, but he is saved by the healing Song of a mysterious young woman. Now he must do whatever it takes to save Elsira and its people from the True Father, and he needs Jasminda's Earthsong to do it. They embark on a perilous journey to save their land and to uncover the secrets of The Queen Who Sleeps.

Thrust into a hostile society, Jasminda and Jack must rely on one another even as secrets jeopardize their bond. But Jack has secrets of his own, and as an ancient evil gains power, Jasminda races to unlock a mystery that promises salvation.
(Goodreads Synopsis)

Overall, Song of Blood and Stone is an enjoyable YA fantasy read. The story premise is interesting, and the cast of characters promotes diversity, which is wonderful. Yes, it was predictable at times, but not in a way that left me rolling my eyes, and I was pleased to see the author shy away from the dreaded YA love triangle. I would have liked to have read a little more explanation about how the magic side of things works; nevertheless, the main reason this book got four stars and not five from me was the ending. It felt really rushed. Knowing this was the first in a series, I expected a cliffhanger, and there is a kind of one in the epilogue, but the main action of the plot resolves. However, it does so very suddenly and partially off-page, which didn't appeal to me. We were in the middle of a tense scene, but then the next chapter started with another character arriving to find the bad guy captured and all well etc. It would have been more dramatic to show this happening, rather than just telling us about it afterwards. Still, this book has fun, diverse characters, an interesting story idea that blends fantasy and fairytale, and easy-reading prose, so I can recommend it to fans of this genre.

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