Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publication Date: June 2, 2020 by Balzer + Bray
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Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
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.
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?
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
A Song of Wraiths and Ruin seems like it’s one of the most popular books this summer. I’ve been on a fantasy kick recently, so this book came at the perfect time for me. This book follows Malik and Karina, two very different people who are thrown together by some pretty unexpected circumstances.
I loved both Malik and Karina. They’ve both been through a lot, Karina’s lost her family, and Malik is a refugee from a country everyone looks down on. Both characters are also dealing with a lot of grief and trying to figure out how to handle it. I love how human both characters were and seeing them grow throughout the book.
Two critiques I have for the book are that Malik’s magic seemed to come to him a little too easily. It’s something he’s had his whole life, but always pushed it down, and then as soon as he needs it he has perfect control of it. I wish we saw him grapple with having magic and how to use it. I was also let down with how little the actual Solstasia games were included in the story, at times they felt like more of an afterthought to everything else happening.
I did really enjoy how political the book is. I loved learning about their world, their politics, and seeing the characters grow into who they need to be to save their country.
Overall this was a great debut, I can’t wait to read the sequel and I can’t wait to read more from Roseanne A. Brown!