Blazer & Bray, a Harper Collins Publishing Imprint
An intriguing debut novel with a sequel in the works!
A SONG OF WRAITHS AND RUIN by Roseanne A. Brown
This YA fantasy takes the reader to a desert city and immerses them in an ancient culture salted with a Moroccan flavor. I selected A Song of Wraiths and Ruin last month from the DiverseBooks.org listing of Black authors and/or Black main characters. This inventive, just-released, romance/adventure features both.
Told in dual-POV, Malik speaks first as he and his sisters conceal their Eshran heritage to enter the city of Ziran after surviving a grueling journey from their homeland across the desert.
Karina, the crown Princess, must also hide her identity as she traverses the very city without her guard. But they are never far behind. Karina laments that she is both trapped by and unworthy of the throne she will inherit from her mother, the Sultana.
Malik, too, believes himself a burden to his family, all but the adoring little Nadia. So when Nadia is taken by an evil creature, Malik accepts the serpent’s challenge. Malik must kill Princess Karina before the festival of Solstasia ends.
One week, Malik has one week to save his sister or lose her to evil forever. There’s only one way to get close to the Princess. Malik must enter the Solstasia Champion’s competition.
Karina has agreed not to tell the people of Ziran their beloved Sultana, her mother, has been assassinated on the eve of the Solstasia festival, which celebrates her Ancestors. A grief-stricken Karina offers her hand in marriage to the champion of the competition. Not because she desires a spouse, but because the resurrection ritual that will bring the Sultana back to life requires the heart of a king.
It’s impossible to say more without spoiling this enticing story, so I’ll sum it up this way…
Palaces, princesses, undesirables, spirits, magic, evil, young love, beasts, games of conquest, devotion, betrayal, grief, and relief, this story has a lot going on!
Brown gets a rating of VERY GOOD! The story started a little slow but was totally worth the wait. And, while the end tied everything up neatly, the romance felt unresolved. (Guess we have to wait for Book 2.) However, the primary plot contained enough action and intrigue to keep this reader entertained.
I recommend you read A Song of Wraiths and Ruin and be on the lookout for the next Roseanne Brown release. Congratulations to this #PitchWars 2017 project!