A Song of Wraiths and Ruin
Author: Roseanne A. Brown
Published: June 2nd, 2020
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Number of Pages: 480 pages
Synopsis from Goodreads
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?Brown, R. A. (2020). A Song of Wraiths and Ruin. New York, NY: HarperCollins.
Not only is this book based on folklore, which I am so here for, this story is reverberates through pop culture. I am so glad to see a book with a Black cast, kicking butt, taking names, and traveling through a beautiful narrative set in the city of Zarin. The imagery was breathtaking, sweeping descriptions of a huge city, a crowded refugee camp, and so much more!
The narrative style of two point of view characters is really popular in YA fiction right now, but I actually enjoyed it in this book! It isn’t always effective, but I felt like it checked the right boxes for me in this case! Malik and Karina are so well developed very early on in the book. The reader can feel Malik’s vulnerability, his longing for home, his desire to protect his family by any means necessary. Karina seems spoiled and self-serving, something that is typical of royalty, but there is an underlying desire to do what is right.
The pacing was highly effective and kept my attention throughout the entire book! The stakes are incredibly high, but the characters meet each challenge head on. There are so many fantastic twists and turn, you never know what will happen next.
Overall, I absolutely enjoyed A Song of Wraiths and Ruin! On sale June 2nd at your favorite retailer!