Friday, April 27, 2018

Book Review: Song of Blood and Stone

Title: Song of Blood and Stone (Earthsinger Chronicles #1)
Author: L. Penelope
Genre: NewAdult | Fantasy | Romance | Magic
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: May 1, 2018 
Source: Publisher
Format: eARC

Orphaned and alone, Jasminda lives in a land where cold whispers of invasion and war linger on the wind. Jasminda herself 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 Lagamiri 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 it's people from the True Father and he needs Jasminda's Earthsong to do it. They escape their ruthless captors and together they embark on a perilous journey to save Elsira 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. As an ancient evil gains power, Jasminda races to unlock a mystery that promises salvation. 
The fates of two nations hang in the balance as Jasminda and Jack must choose between love and duty to fulfill their destinies and end the war (goodreads).

Song of Blood and Stone was exhilarating and thought-provoking!
Plot: If I were to describe Song of Blood and Stone in one word, it would be 'unique'. It tackled so much and even though this is the start of a series, I feel that Song of Blood and Stone would appeal to many standalone fans as well. 

Song of Blood and Stone centered around Jaminda, a dark-skinned girl living amongst fair-skinned non-magick people. For me, Song of Blood and Stone was told in the two parts: the first part had the air of an epic fantasy with two main leads journeying to solve a mystery, while the second half abruptly became more court focused. While the change in pacing and tone was a bit choppy, I couldn't pull myself away from Song of Blood and Stone. The mystery was engaging and there were a lot of great messages about race and assumptions that made me think. 

Characters: Song of Blood and Stone was told from the third-person perspectives of Jaminda and Jack which helped the reader understand the characters and their motivations. I would have preferred the first person perspective because I often had difficulties separating the two narrations. 

The romance in Song of Blood and Stone was a pretty big aspect of the book and let me tell you, Jack and Jaminda are hot and heavy! Overall, I enjoyed the romance, but it suffered from some typical romance tropes we're all familiar with from Young Adult novels and I got the feeling that the author wanted to rush their emotions along. Besides that complaint, I loved the two together and how they complemented each other; I hope they make an appearance in a future book!

Worldbuilding: The conflict between the people of Elsira and Lagamiri was the driving force and Penelope did a fantastic job of outlining the complex relationship; I think having Jaminda be mixed-race helped demonstrate the prejudice and bring the problem closer to home (the talk about refugees definitely felt close to home). 

The world of Song of Blood and Stone was a unique one. Although it was a fantasy world, the people had a lot of technological advances that were similar in our own world such as running electricity, radios, and cars. I thought it was an interesting spin, but I didn't feel like I had a complete grip on the fantasy world because of those additions. 

Short N Sweet: Song of Blood and Stone will pull you in immediately with the intrigue, and the romance will keep you glued to the pages. 


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