Monday 14 June 2021

A Song of Wraiths And Ruins Is One Of Its Kind

A Song of Wraiths and Ruins
Series: A Song of Wraiths and Ruins #1
Author: Roseanne A. Brown 
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?


Note: I wrote this review sometime last year, but never published it (don't ask me why).

A Song of Wraiths and Ruins was one of my most anticipated reads of 2020. I was really excited to dive into a world that included something I had never heard of in books - African Mythology. That was perhaps the most persuasive factor in my excitement for ASOWR release. In fact, it was actually my favourite aspect of the book. Not only did it lend a hand in making the plot much more intriguing, I also felt like I had gained something by learning about the different gods and cultural traditions of each tribe. It truly was an eye opener and one that I was respectfully in awe of.

I will also be honest and say that if it wasn't for this rather fascinating element, I may not have continued past the first 150 or so pages. Bear in mind that I did have rather high expectations for ASOWR. However, as much as Brown's writing was rich - I really enjoyed the world building, being able to envision the scenery and the characters appearance - I felt like the plot was slow, which resulted in a lack of engagement. For most of the first half, I didn't feel compelled to be concerned about what the characters did or which direction the plot went.

It wasn't until the plot was building towards the conflict (midway) and Karina and Malik began to interact with each other that I started to become invested. In fact, the moments between the two characters were my favourite. In particular, the dialogue they shared made the events and the emotions between them feel more real. I don't think I've ever enjoyed dialogue in a book as much as in ASOWR.

Once we got down to the last 200 pages of ASOWR, I was totally hooked. It was hard not to root for our protagonists as a pair and individually. The action had kicked in and the pacing had picked up, creating that exciting and gripping atmosphere I was after. There was also a particular moment between the two main characters that essentially changed my mind about the entirety of the book.

I cannot wait to see what happens to the both of them and again, much like how I felt about A Song of Wraiths and Ruins, I am eagerly awaiting its sequel!

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