Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown. This tour is being hosted by Fantastic Flying Book Club.
A Song of Wraiths and Ruin (A Song of Wraiths and Ruin #1)
by Roseanne A. Brown
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: June 2nd 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
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 cannot wait to see what will happen in book two.
A Song of Wraiths and Ruin had a lot of info very early on. I admit to being confused more than once, but I ended up really loving it once I could keep things straight. Or at least mostly.
It is Solstasia in Zirani. During this festival, there are champions that compete in a variety of challenges. The winner’s patron deity would be the one to rule over until the next era. Princess Karina felt trapped. There was a border up and she would never be able to leave Zirani. She would sneak out with her maid and hide who she was. Karina’s father and sister died in a fire. Her mom has been distant since.
Malik is traveling with his sisters to Ziron. They’re Eshran and they are not allowed at all. It doesn’t matter if they have papers. Malik and his sisters have fake papers and can control their accents enough that they should be able to get through. Malik hallucinates and sees wraiths, the grim folk. He has anxiety and panic attacks. A griot started telling a story and Nadia, the youngest, loved stories. She disappeared and they found her in the crowd. The griot has a riddle to be solved. If someone solves it, she will grant a wish. Malik quietly spoke the answer and Nadia shouted it out. Nyeni, the griot, called Nadia up after the story for her wish. Malik and Leila tried to stop her, but Nadia wished to go to Ziran. A beast, a chipekwe, rammed into the gate. The second impact created a hole and people started charging through the border. After awhile, Nyeni found them and called from a door. After they went in, she disappeared. A creature appeared, but then looked more human to speak to the siblings. His name was Idir and he was an obosom. He was a strong spirit tied to a location. Idir said that Nadia received a gift of magic while on his land, so Malik owed something in return. Idir was keeping Nadia and Malik would get her back if he killed the princess. And it had to be before the end of Solstasia.
Malik needs to get close to the princess. The best way to do that is to enter the competition. He had some help and was chosen to be a Champion. There was an attack and Karina needed to take over for the festival. She decides that the winner will be able to marry her. But Karina is only doing it to get a king’s heart for a spell to bring back the dead. Malik goes by another name and he does spent time with Karina. Each time they’re alone, he can’t kill her. They both have a connection and neither knows what to do about it. Each has a responsibility to other people and their feelings can’t matter. There are multiple challenges along with other things going on in Zirani. Karina needs to step up sooner than she wanted. There were traitors around and things were falling apart. Karina also had horrible migraines and thought about her sister all the time. There were so many things getting in her way. The same with Malik.
The plot really picks up about halfway through, so the pacing felt better for me. There were some surprises and sadness, and I can’t wait for book two.
Thank you to the publisher for my review copy. I gave this 4 1/2 stars rounded up to 5.
Warnings for death, blood, anxiety and panic attacks, something that might be like ptsd (not positive if it is), talk of slavery, sacrifice of an animal (details), and bigotry. I apologize if I missed any. The book definitely had some heavy things in it at times.
“First, a story ends when it ends, and not a moment before. If you are unhappy with this ending, make a new one.”
Do not underestimate the strength it takes to be kind in a world as cruel as ours.
Slaves deserve to be remembered just as much as queens.
“The world won’t end just because you take time to care for yourself.”
In that moment, she was manic energy and sorrow, a loosed arrow with no target.
“Breathe. Stay present. Stay here.”
Roseanne “Rosie” A. Brown was born in Kumasi, Ghana and immigrated to the wild jungles of central Maryland as a child. Writing was her first love, and she knew from a young age that she wanted to use the power of writing—creative and otherwise—to connect the different cultures she called home. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor’s in Journalism and was also a teaching assistant for the school’s Jiménez-Porter Writers’ House program. Her journalistic work has been featured by Voice of America among other outlets.
On the publishing side of things, she has worked as an editorial intern at Entangled Publishing. Rosie was a 2017 Pitch Wars mentee and 2018 Pitch Wars mentor. Never content to stay in any one place for too long, Rosie currently teaches in Japan, where in her free time she can usually be found exploring the local mountains, explaining memes to her students, or thinking about Star Wars.
Prize: Win an ASOWAR bookplate, bookmark, two trading cards, and access to the exclusive short story (INT)
Starts: June 2nd 2020
Ends: June 16th 2020
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