Title: A Song Song of Wraiths and Ruin
Author: Roseanne A. Brown
Series: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, High Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication date: June 2nd, 2020
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?
“Life is full of cheaters. If you’re playing fair, you’re not playing to win.”
I feel like I’ve been waiting such a long time to read this book, but I haven’t. Truth is, ever since I knew about this book I immediately added it to my TBR, because the premise sounded absolutely amazing and I love me a good fantasy book with mythology in it, so I went into it with such high expectations, and luckily for me I ended up really enjoying it, I think more than I hoped.
One of the things that actually surprised me the most was how complex the world building was. It’s true that because there was just so much information about the world and the society and everything, it became a little bit confusing at some point (mostly at the very beginning because there was a lot of info dump), but nonetheless I really appreciated reading such a complex fantasy world, because it took the story to a whole new level.
I really loved the plot itself. It took a little bit of time for it to start, but once it did, I was so engaged from that point on. Though we reached a certain time where not much was happening, and it was mostly information to connect the first part with the next, I think that everything else was pretty interesting and intriguing, and I wanted to know what was going to happen next and how these two characters’ paths were going to connect.
“The only person I’m interested in marrying is the one who can catch me the moon with their bare hands.”
The characters were actually pretty well done. I adored our protagonist and I think she had such an interesting journey throughout the story. We got to see a lot of her and her evolution as the book progressed, and she was such an easy character to connect with.
Malik was also quite an interesting character, and his character was balanced really well with Karina’s. I’d say sometimes one POV was a little bit more interesting than other, mostly because that one was the one that was keeping the plot moving, but for the most part I really enjoyed both perspectives, for I think they added so much to the book itself.
My only complain was that the romance wasn’t fully developed. I liked how there wasn’t really an actual romance, because the characters barely knew each other, and I think that is going to be explore in the next books, but I found that romance to be a little bit insta lovey, and I would have liked for it to be a little bit slower. I just didn’t find it quite believable that they were so important and all that soulmate jazz when only they had two conversations with each other.
“The past devours those naive enough to forget it.”
My other issue, which is mostly some confusion on my part was regarding the ending. There was a plot twist towards the end, and a big revelation that opened a path for the second book that actually quite surprised me, but the last chapter only made it more confusing and I didn’t really understand if that character was a villain or not. I don’t know, I didn’t know what to think and I hoped that it’ll be addressed in the sequel, but for me it made the ending a little bit more confusing.
Overall, I really enjoyed A Song of Wraiths and Ruin, and I cannot wait to read the sequel once it comes out. I think the world was so beautiful and complex, and though we didn’t get to see a lot of the magic and I had some minor issues with the ending, I think it was such a strong first installment.
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This doesn’t change my opinion whatsoever. All thoughts are my own.
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