A Song of Wraiths and Ruin, by Roseanne A. Brown | Book Review
Written by Roseanne Brown
Age Range: 13+
Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (June 2, 2020)
What to expect: Fantasy, West African Folklore, Adventure
An intricately detailed and enormously entertaining read, A SONG OF WRAITHS AND RUIN will endlessly entertain teens and adults alike.
Welcome to Ziran, a thriving metropolis amid a desert. Malik and his sisters are immigrants, desperately trying to gain entry into the walled city. They have nowhere to go, no money, and are quickly out of options. So when his youngest sister, Nadia, is stolen by a devilishly tricky spirit, Malik is forced to enter the city and partake in the Solstasia games. His mission from the spirit: to find and kill the crown princess.
Crown Princess Karina is grieving a terrible loss while struggling to keep it hidden from the rest of the world. The Solstasia games, which come only once every fifty years, are upon her Kingdom—she must make sure everything goes right. But can she fix everything and save her Kingdom from the dark spirits that threaten it, with a terrible sacrifice? And will she find that sacrifice is Malik? Will their growing attraction mean their safety or their ruin?
What a ride! Debut author Roseanne Brown brings us an endlessly entertaining fantasy that readers will devour. It’s intricately detailed for loyal fantasy fans, yet plot-driven enough to keep the pages turning quickly. Our two protagonists have such polar needs – to kill one another – that there is no question of stakes. Throw in some otherworldly spirits and demons set to take over an empire, and you’ve got global stakes to make this feel like a sweeping saga. Karina is well-developed, feisty, flawed, and full of pitch-perfect voice. Fans will immediately love her, despite her mistakes and because of her heroism. Malik’s struggles to own his magic and background are well-crafted and thoughtful. And each protagonists’ touch of humor brings light to otherwise dark and heavy themes. I can’t wait for the next book in the series.
Perfect for readers of Sarah J. Maass, Tomi Adeyemi, Maggie Stiefvater, and Rena Barron. High fantasy, epic worlds, spirits, magic, love, and murder—you couldn’t ask for a more entertaining novel. Highly recommended.
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About the Author
Roseanne A. Brown is an immigrant from the West African nation of Ghana and a graduate of the University of Maryland, where she completed the Jimenez-Porter Writers’ House program. Her work has been featured by Voice of America, among other outlets. A Song of Wraiths and Ruin is her debut novel. You can visit her online at roseanneabrown.com.
Read our exclusive interview: Rosanne A. Brown Discusses A Song of Wraith and Ruin
A Song of Wraith and Ruin, by Roseanne A. Brown, was reviewed by Denise Mealy. Discover more books like A Song of Wraith and Ruin by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with Adventure, Fantasy, Folklore, Immigrants, and Young Adult Fiction.
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