Rating: 4 / 5
I received A SONG OF WRAITHS AND RUIN by Roseanne A. Brown from a friend and we decided to buddy read it during February. I picked up the audio in addition to having the print on hand and switched back and forth while reading.
A SONG OF WRAITHS AND RUIN is an West African inspired fantasy which follows two main characters. Malik is coming to the Solstasia festival with his two sisters, sneaking in to escape his homeland which has been torn apart by war. Things quickly go awry when his baby sister Nadia is kidnapped by a spirit who says she’ll only be returned if Malik kills the princess. He manages his way into the Solstasia competition as a way to get close.
Our second point of view is Princess Karina. Her mother has been killed and her kingdom is in turmoil so she seizes on the hope of bringing her mother back to life. Problem is, she needs the heart of a king to sacrifice to make it happen. She plans to marry the winner of the competition in order to have a king to kill for the good of her people.
This book had a lot of setup going on which is not uncommon in a first book in a new series. With that, it did take a bit of time for me to settle into the story. Happily the further we got into the story, the more invested I became in what was being revealed about the world and its lore. Having been dealing with a nasty string of migraines recently, it was interesting to be reading a character suffering from similar chronic pain.
When we reached our midway checkpoint what stood out to me was how little interaction our two main characters had halfway into the book. The romance hit pretty quickly when their interactions did begin, perhaps not insta love but pretty quick nonetheless. I felt like it could have used a bit more development there.
By the end of the book I was really looking forward to see where the author takes us in book two and I will be looking out for the release of A PSALM OF STORMS AND SILENCE in August!