A Song of Wraiths and Ruin: A Perfectionistic Review

YA fantasy has gotten a little oversaturated lately, and a lot of people are looking for something fresh. Well, if you're a fantasy fan who wants a story that will blow you away with new twists on familiar tropes, then boy, do I have a review for you today!


Book Title: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin
Author: Roseanne A. Brown
Publisher/Year: Balzer + Bray, 2020
Genre: Fantasy
Number of Pages (According to Goodreads): 480
My Rating: 5 out of 5

Book description (from Goodreads):

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?

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.

 

Casually Being the Perfect Fantasy Novel

Okay, we all know nothing can be perfect, but this book might seriously be one of the best-executed fantasy novels I’ve ever read. The world of Ziran felt so lush and real, but the rollercoaster of a plot kept me turning pages like lightning!

I find that a lot of books tend to either heap up the worldbuilding at the expense of plot, or focus on a fast plot while leaving the worldbuilding flat, but ASOWAR is beautiful balanced perfection.


Nothing Personal, But I'm Gonna Have to Kill You Now

One thing that TOTALLY blew my mind about this book was how delicious the character motivations and stakes were in this book. Karina and Malik have such well-defined goals, and it just so happens that Malik’s goal involves killing Karina, and Karina’s goal might involve killing Malik. Nothing personal, you understand. (or is it...?)

Oh, allow me to hype up Malik for a second. SOMEBODY GIVE THIS BOY A HUG! He’s such a pure sweet bean who never asked for any of this <3 If the second book is just 400 pages of Malik getting a goshdarn break for once, I will be so here for it.


Trigger Warnings for A Song of Wraiths and Ruin

Handily, Queen Roseanne A. Brown actually included a page with trigger warnings in the front of her book. The following is quoted directly from that page:

Please note this book depicts issues of mild self-harm ideation, fantasy violence, emotional and physical abuse, anxiety and panic attacks, parent death, and animal death. I have done my best to approach these topics with sensitivity, but if you feel this kind of content may be triggering, please be aware.

 

Final Thoughts

In short, if you’re a YA fantasy lover and you want something that brings the full package of awesomeness, you gotta pick up this book! You can grab your own copy at the links below:

Barnes and Noble | Bookshop.org | Amazon | Goodreads

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