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Ratings and Reviews (4 4 star ratings
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    Song Of Blood And Stone

    Song of Blood and Stone was at times difficult to read because of the themes it explores. I'm not going to lie some of those themes set my blood to boiling, not because of the execution mind you but because I've experienced varying degrees of it. Despite getting my hackles up I found it to be quite an enjoyable read. I loved the romance and that it was thought provoking. I also loved the world it's set in which is different yet very much reminiscent of this world we live as it highlights issues currently plaguing us. I liked this author's voice and I'm definitely looking forward to not only reading the next book in the series but also more of her work. I recommend this book to lovers of Fantasy. ARC provided by publisher through Net Galley in exchange for a honest review
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    Totally recommend this!

    Song Of Blood And Stone revolves around a girl with magic powers (termed as a song) and a skin color that makes her stand out from the crowd of non-majis. The world here can be divided into two groups: one with magic powers strong enough to change wind directions or speed, called the Lagimaris and the second with no songs but powerful people nonetheless, called the Elsirans. Both the cities are separated by a magical wall that prevents a cruel leader from breaching a clause to not take over the Lagimaris. I really liked this book for quite a few things. One, the main protagonist, Jasminda, is a strong, confident female who does emotionally break at times but stands up again. She’s built to be the loneliest person because her parents and brothers are all dead, leaving her behind to suffer the abuse of people around her, pointing her out as a grol witch because of her Earthsong (magical power). Not only this, she’s not financially stable and struggles to keep her house at the farm because of the unpaid tax debt. While her character arc was resonating a saddened vibe, her personality was quite balanced between a strongly opinionated but sensitive human. The world set up is interesting, though the world building isn’t the best. Some things might get confusing and it takes time to get completely engrossed in the fictional setting. However, the myths or legends created in this world are intriguing--there’s a saviour waiting to be awoken called the Queen Who Sleeps and is considered almost equal to God; sometimes Lagimaris might receive this Queen’s orders in their dreams and that’s how a war is fought. So, needless to say, hardt work has been put into the story. There are a few topics that aren’t particularly ‘dealt’ with but they are given a limelight to show the harsh realism in this fictional world and I think that deserves appreciation. Like I already mentioned, there are racism induced actions against Jasminda so that’s a struggle for her in itself. Though, the way her character dealt with it is different and definitely not everyone can relate to her responses so I won’t say much about it. There are refugee and interracial issues highlighted. At one point, refugees are being shot by the military unless a senior officer steps in, which shows the brutal reality of the hardened stigma surrounding refugees--they aren’t the country’s own so why should they be treated fairly. Similarly, Jasminda belongs to the Lagimaris but lives in the Elsira and this sets up another reason for her to be picked at. A true biracial struggle that leaves her feeling isolated. The male protagonist, Jack, might not be my book-boyfriend material but he was admiring, no doubt. It’s so difficult to write about him without spoiling anything..ugh. Anyway, he’s a wounded soldier found and treated by Jasminda who soon falls in love with her. His personality is that of a gentleman and he’s intelligent--uses reasoning and logic while keeping up his morals. Each chapter has these two to three lines of collected folk tales that somehow resonate with the chapter’s content. This impressed me, definitely! The writing is a first person, alternate PoV that’s pretty beautiful at times and a pleasure to read. However, the story had so many tropes! Some of them were my pet peeves so while they don’t affect an overall reader’s point of view, they do affect mine. For example, insta-love and the evidently chosen one trope. The romance between Jasminda and Jack was fine for me; it didn’t make me cringe but it didn’t make me swoon either. They had respect for each other and hot scenes but I felt like they loved each other too quickly. The pacing was tiring at the start and it was only halfway through that I felt the most captivated. The disclosures or revelations weren’t that unpredictable and sometimes just made me turn page without any hint of expressions because “yup, totally knew that was gonna happen!”. Whatever be the case, I do recommend this to those who are looking for a magical realism fantasy with diversity and a good enough plot.
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    Lots going on

    I saw the striking cover and read the synopsis and thought oh goody a fantasy romance that sounds right up my street. Well having finished the book I still think it will appeal to those looking for romance and those who like to read about fantastical magic lands although honestly I did find certain things puzzling at times. Jasminda lives alone in an isolated cabin when a freak storm brings soldiers and their prisoner to her home seeking shelter. Jasminda feels a strange kinship to the injured Jack and helps him to escape his captors and I can't deny that there's chemistry between them. Jasminda had mixed parentage and her father might have been a son of Lagrimar where 'singers' connect magically to the elements but her mother was born in Elsira a land that fears 'singers'. In order to save her home Jasminda needs to travel to the land of her very much alive grandfather so teaming up with Jack makes sense. Jack needs her help though as he's trying to stop evil from overrunning Elsira and the power Jasminda has inside her could unlock secrets but there's a lot Jack hasn't told Jasminda! If I'm blunt I much preferred the second half of the book as it had a much better pace. I'm unfortunately confused though about the world building and struggled to imagine the time or even what type of technology was available. Initially with the quite basic home of Jasminda I was imagining something simple as in a world without technology but then we are told there's electricity and radios not to mention guns ! Then weirdly the author introduced magic stones to communicate through which had me thinking of the now defunct Pebl phones which unfortunately had me laughing so yes the world building felt incomplete. Particularly when four wheel drive vehicles appeared and then we are told the royal prince has an airship and well you can probably see why I tried so had to believe everything but it just didn't gel in my head. So Elsira reviles magic and Lagrimar embraces it and this book has the magical divide between the two lands crumbling away with the romance between Jasminda and Jack taking centre stage. Some things are quite predictable but I honestly didn't mind that . The dreams/ flashbacks Jasminda experiences do give quite a lot away but as this book ended I hasten to reassure my fellow readers that there's clearly still a lot to play for with evil not really defeated but plotting a new strategy! This voluntary take is of a copy I requested from Netgalley and my thoughts and comments are honest and I believe fair
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    Good fantasy romance!

    I’ve never read this author before, and this book is the first book in a series. First off, this book was well-written. The language was lyrical, and I really got to know the characters really well. Sometimes too well as I wanted to yell at Jack for some of the things he did. I love it when I can really relate to characters so well. And, the book did have an interesting plot, but it did get a little busy at times. I also loved how racism was dealt with in this book, making the reader feel how Jasminda felt about being isolated because of who she was. I must also be honest, though, that it did take me a little bit to get into the book. I almost gave up, but I hate not finishing a book, so I kept going. I’m glad I did. If you like fantasy romance, give this one a try! Recommend! I was provided a complimentary copy of the e-book which I reviewed voluntarily.
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