Today, I want to talk about an amazing new release: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown! Not only will I be sharing my thoughts on this book, but I will also be included my favorite quotes, a mood board, and a giveaway!
I was lucky enough to be a part of the blog tour for this book. If you’d like to see the other posts, click here to view to the blog tour schedule!
// Content Warning: Violence, Death, Animal Death, Murder, Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Racism, Oppression //
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?
A Song of Wraiths and Ruin is a beautifully written fantasy novel that you won’t want to miss. The world-building alone is reason to read it. As mentioned in the synopsis, this world is inspired by West African folklore. I really loved how the mythology of this world, and the fascinating magic system. Also, there’s casual LGBTQ+ representation in it! It might be subtle, but I just can’t help but get excited whenever I see a book, especially a fantasy, have LGBTQ+ characters and it not being a problem in that world.
As for the plot, this book has magic, forbidden romance, court intrigue– all of my favorite things. However, the first half of the book is a little slow. It picks up in the second half, but it did make it hard to get into. The ending though? Did not see that coming, and it makes it worth pushing through any slow parts.
What I loved most about this book has to be the characters (no surprise if you know me at all). Malik and Karina are both amazing. Malik is a soft boy and I love him so much. Meanwhile, Karina is our strong female protagonist, but she struggles with living up to the expectations of others and her own expectations for herself.
I will say, the romance is definitely not quite as big of a part of the book as I expected, but I didn’t mind that at all. Perhaps my favorite thing about our two main characters is the mental health representation. Malik deals with anxiety and panic attacks, and Karina deals with some anxiety and chronic headaches. It was so great to read about these badass characters who are amazing in addition to their health issues, not despite it.
Pros- Great representation, amazing world-building, good writing
Cons- Slow pacing, hard to get into
Overall- 4/5 stars.
A Song of Wraiths and Ruin is a strong first book. In the end, you will be so glad you read it.
“The past devours those naive enough to forget it.”
“If Ziran fell, her only regret would be that she could not be the storm that tore it apart.”
“Slaves deserve to be remembered just as much as queens.“
“Breathe. Stay Present. Stay here.“
“If I asked you to catch me the moon with your bare hands how would you do it?“
“When the moon began to set, I’d wait with my hands beneath it until it sank right into them. And then I’d turn around and give it to you.“
“To aid even one person is to save an entire world.”
“I look forward to the day you decide you’re ready to fight for something instead of against everyone.”
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! (Open internationally)
Starts: June 2nd, 2020
Ends: June 16th, 2020
What’s your favorite book with mental health rep?