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
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?
First of all lets just take a moment for the gorgeous cover! If it doesn’t draw you in, I don’t know what will. This high stakes fantasy set in the desert is a beautiful debut novel that has it all, complex world building, deception and secrets, politics, romance and magic.
For me the beginning took me a while to get through as there is so information about the world and how it all works, even though the story only takes place over a week. This felt a bit impersonal at times so I didn’t really connect with the characters until the second half of the book. This is when it all came together for me and I became invested in the characters and their journey.
I studied quite a bit of Native American folklore in college so learning some of the West African folklore the book is based on really intrigued and fascinated me. I am looking forward to more of that in book two.
Last, but not least, the way Brown portrayed, and handled wonderfully, within the book is racism, class inequalities, social injustice, violence against the innocent, and abuse of political power. This is especially important in light of our current events.
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.
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