Title: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin
Author: Roseanne A. Brown
Series: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin #2
Audience: Young Adult
Length: 480 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: June 2, 2020
Source: Personal collection
Recommended for fans of: Throne of Glass, Raybearer
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.
This has fascinating world building with rich history and lore, but the story was slow to develop. Even so, I found myself quickly turning pages in this dual POV narrative.
I honestly didn’t really like either MC: Karina was too impulsive, and Malik was too immature and naive. I also didn’t fully buy their feelings for each other and thought the romance felt forced. However, they both battled inner demons, and I really liked the way mental health was portrayed in this book for YA readers.
The ending was GREAT. I predicted one major reveal, but there were so many other surprises that I bumped my rating up to four stars. This book left a great impression on me, and I can’t wait for the sequel!