A Song of Wraiths and Ruin (A Song of Wraiths and Ruin, #1)
For seventeen-year-old refugee Malik Hilali, the weeklong festival of Solstasia is a chance to escape his poverty-stricken life for a new one in the prosperous desert city of Ziran. But just as he reaches the city’s gates, a vengeful spirit kidnaps his younger sister and offers him a deal: her freedom in exchange for the death of Crown Princess Karina Almorahad before Solstasia ends. With nothing but his own wits and dark magic he barely understands, Malik disguises himself as a nobleman and enters Solstasia to compete for Karina’s hand in marriage—the perfect opportunity to assassinate her.But the night before Solstasia begins, an assassin murders Karina’s mother, and she inherits a court that threatens mutiny. Grief-stricken and distrustful of everyone around her, Karina resorts to using forbidden magic to bring her mother back from the dead. But resurrection comes at a steep cost, and this ritual requires sacrificing her future husband—the winner of Solstasia.Over a week of heart-pounding celebrations and dazzling displays of magic, an unlikely bond forms between Karina and Malik, and their interactions force them to question everything they thought they knew about their world. But though they’re more alike than their enemies would have them believe, both are willing to do whatever it takes to save the ones they love—even if they have to destroy each other.A Song of Wraiths and Ruin #ownvoices YA Fantasy inspired by West and North African folklore, perfect for fans of the Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes, Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone and Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse books.

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin (A Song of Wraiths and Ruin, #1) Details

TitleA Song of Wraiths and Ruin (A Song of Wraiths and Ruin, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 1st, 1970
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin (A Song of Wraiths and Ruin, #1) Review

  • Book Belle
    January 1, 1970
    Oh, god.This book.GUYS, *this book*.Why are you even reading this review when you could be using that time to add this book to your TBR, yell about how EPIC it sounds to your friends, and countdown to the day you can preorder? What a vivid and heartbreaking story about a beautiful badass Black princess and a poor refugee boy (who is a soft cinnamon roll). I am so delighted I got to read this book and that soon everyone else will, too. I hope Karina and Malik steal your heart as much as they stol Oh, god.This book.GUYS, *this book*.Why are you even reading this review when you could be using that time to add this book to your TBR, yell about how EPIC it sounds to your friends, and countdown to the day you can preorder? What a vivid and heartbreaking story about a beautiful badass Black princess and a poor refugee boy (who is a soft cinnamon roll). I am so delighted I got to read this book and that soon everyone else will, too. I hope Karina and Malik steal your heart as much as they stole mine.Full disclosure, I read this book three times and uhhhhh, I cried each time. And looking back on it now, it gutted me so much that I can't really put into words how much it even means to me.This story is for everyone who love epic action scenes and sweet, sad familial relationships; sneaky villains and adorable little sisters; vividly-imagined worlds and deeply flawed characters; and most of all, for the readers out there who have yet to see a hilarious yet vulnerable, kickass and beautiful Black princess doing all the things that we see only white princesses doing; and to those who have yet to see a gentle Black boy just trying his damn best(TM) and trying to survive. <3 THERE IS HONESTLY SO MUCH MORE TO THIS BOOK THAN JUST THIS, but if I kept going, we'd be here forever.Karina and Malik, I wish you all the success and I can't wait till you steal everyone's hearts -- though ngl, Malik would actively feel guilty about it and Karina would be pleased as punch.I cannot wait for the sequel and this book isn't even out yet. Everyone, get ready to be HURT.
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  • Hannah F. Whitten
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book SO MUCH. The narrative voice is fresh and unique, and the world and characters are all so layered and three-dimensional. And the PLOT. I was screeching at my kindle through the last 10% of this book, and I desperately need the sequel now. High fantasy lovers, keep your eye on this one.
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  • Hannah
    January 1, 1970
    Roseanne tweeted, “My dream in life is for everything I write to have that Saturday morning cartoon/shounen anime energy.” She has definitely accomplished her dream. There have been YA titles recently that have fell flat for me (I’ve talked about “tweet-like books” that are incredibly fast-paced but hold little substance in other reviews of titles that have let me down) but A Song of Wraiths and Ruin just fills me with joy over the future of YA fantasy.This book is feminist as heck. Brown does t Roseanne tweeted, “My dream in life is for everything I write to have that Saturday morning cartoon/shounen anime energy.” She has definitely accomplished her dream. There have been YA titles recently that have fell flat for me (I’ve talked about “tweet-like books” that are incredibly fast-paced but hold little substance in other reviews of titles that have let me down) but A Song of Wraiths and Ruin just fills me with joy over the future of YA fantasy.This book is feminist as heck. Brown does this genius thing where she juxtaposes her dual-POV narrators, Karina and Malik, and then plays with gender expectations in ways I really enjoyed. Karina is neither a girl proving she’s worthy by acting like a boy nor a perfect example of resounding femininity; she’s harsh and hard, frightened and confused, complex and forced to make difficult choices. It was so satisfying to be in the head of a heroine who was not in any way unbreakable but was just keen and sharp and brilliant the whole time, even when she was hurting horribly. I do compare titles a lot, and I feel like many YA heroines are either weirdly passive or so firmly “bad-ass” that it feels forced. Karina was capable, active, and involved, but not invulnerable. She's one of my favorite heroines. Malik is a refreshing break from borderline-abusive “bad boy heroes,” and his sensitivity mixed with inner strength and determination just made him so precious and real. I wanted to hug him and urge him on at the same time. Malik’s brand is just Malik. Everything he says is very Malik, and I was just snorting throughout. I can’t wait for him to be shared with the world.Karina and Malik work as two parallel main characters better than in any story I really think I’ve ever read. It’s neither as simple as “they’re opposites” or “they were really the same all along!” Throughout the text, their similarities, differences, and the disparities of their viewpoints interweave, tangle, and build on each other in really interesting ways.The prose is exquisite and lush. Brown takes time to linger on details even while the plot is fast-paced. This is a meaty, rewarding fantasy: you get the tables overburdened with delicious morsels of fantasy foods, the bustling city squares, the secret passageways. We’re shown the city-state of Ziran from two views that made for a complete image. Karina has lived within its walls her whole life, while Malik is a foreigner in a new land. From a technical standpoint, this was a genius way of world-building. I haven’t been so entirely immersed in a fantasy world in years.To me, there were delicious hints of gender-flipped Scheherazade (not a retelling in any sense; this is firmly an African fantasy); small parallels and trope inverses made the book wonderfully layered, and the character arcs all intertwined with each other in ways that made me want to start mapping them out. A Song of Wraiths and Ruin is a beautiful, fierce book, surprising and twisty. It made me laugh; it made me cry; I wish it had been twice as long.My only complaint is that it’s not out until 2020, and I’m hungry for the sequel.
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  • Ashlee » Library In The Country
    January 1, 1970
    This title is badass and I want to read this now.
  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    This sounds really cool. It is so weird that I'm already adding a 2020 releases shelf.
  • Jenny
    January 1, 1970
    Do you love soft boys and strong girls? Do you long for fantasy that features characters of color and a vivid world filled with African influences? You've come to the right place!I was super fortunate to have read one of the earlier drafts in progress and wow - I was absolutely blown away. Having grown up absolutely devouring fantasy stories , I always wanted to see fantasy done without your traditional Eurocentric aesthetics. This satisfied all my cravings - an action-packed fantasy story that Do you love soft boys and strong girls? Do you long for fantasy that features characters of color and a vivid world filled with African influences? You've come to the right place!I was super fortunate to have read one of the earlier drafts in progress and wow - I was absolutely blown away. Having grown up absolutely devouring fantasy stories , I always wanted to see fantasy done without your traditional Eurocentric aesthetics. This satisfied all my cravings - an action-packed fantasy story that keeps you on your toes while exploring a whole new world with characters that just come alive on the page. I'm so excited to read the finished story when it comes out. And you should be too!!!
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  • Ricky
    January 1, 1970
    The author herself comps this to Miles Morales.I immediately get some strong Children of Blood and Bone vibes.Sign me up!!(Also, sorry, SJM, but this is now the best fantasy novel to use "Ruin" in the title. Sorry, I don't make the rules! Lol.)
  • Rena Barron
    January 1, 1970
    A Song of Wraiths and Ruin sounds sooo good. It's at the top of my 2020 reading list. Can't wait!
  • juli❀
    January 1, 1970
    22/4/2019wOWI AM BOARDING THE HYPE TRAIN THIS SOUNDS TOO GOOD
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