A Song of Wraiths and Ruin (A Song of Wraiths and Ruin, #1)
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.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?

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
ReleaseJun 2nd, 2020
PublisherBalzer + Bray
ISBN-139780062891495
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult, Young Adult Fantasy

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

  • Nenia ⚔️ Queen of Villainy ⚔️ Campbell
    January 1, 1970
    BLANK OF BLANK AND BLANK STRIKES AGAIN
  • Kathryn Speckels (Metaphors and Miscellanea)
    January 1, 1970
    Plot: sounds amazingCover: so prettyTitle: DEAR GOD WHY WON'T THIS "[BLANK] OF [BLANK] AND [BLANK]" NAMING TREND DIE
  • Jules ✨
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Edelweiss and Balzer + Bray for the ARC.in case you need some good news right now, the author describes this book as: black princess who doesn't give a fuck, black boy who gives so many fucks, slow burn enemies to lovers romance with PINING, so much backstabbing.it's literally a west african jasmine and aladdin au but they need to kill each other despite obvious attraction.CAN'T WAIT TO READ THIS.
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  • Nick
    January 1, 1970
    I got a headache just by reading the description. It sounds too complicated for my mental capacity.
  • Mary S. R.
    January 1, 1970
    I'm proud of how different communities are supporting #BlackLivesMatter in the current climate.ATTENTION!Thanks to Cath, I've found out Fairyloot has a limited exclusive edition of this book, all of the profits for which go to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, which supports the Black College Community and thousands of Black college students.It's hardcover and comes with green sprayed edges and a signed book plate. For more info, go HERE. I'm proud of how different communities are supporting #BlackLivesMatter in the current climate.ATTENTION!Thanks to Cath, I've found out Fairyloot has a limited exclusive edition of this book, all of the profits for which go to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, which supports the Black College Community and thousands of Black college students.It's hardcover and comes with green sprayed edges and a signed book plate. For more info, go HERE.
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  • Jananie (thisstoryaintover)
    January 1, 1970
    UGH SO GOOD. I NEED BOOK TWO NOWWW. loved both our main characters as the book alternates perspectives between Malik (our soft boy) and Karina (our determined fierce girl). this fantasy world is so rich with magic and history and truly comes alive on the page. BUT DAMN THE PLOT TWISTS, i need to know what happens next. this is the beginning of something epic, i can feel it.
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  • rachel ☾
    January 1, 1970
    an instant favourite of the year,, just wow Blog • Goodreads • Twitter • Instagram an instant favourite of the year,, just wow Blog • Goodreads • Twitter • Instagram
  • Ms. Woc Reader
    January 1, 1970
    Once this book hit it's stride it was a wild rush. I didn't want to put this story down and miss a moment. This book was pitched as "What if Jasmine and Aladdin tried to kill each other?"So I was already prepared for action and intrigue which this story delivers. Katrina needs a king's heart to perform a ritual to revive her slain mother and Malik needs to kill Karina to free his sister from a powerful being. Whenever I hear romance and fantasy together I expect for some cringey moments. Luckily Once this book hit it's stride it was a wild rush. I didn't want to put this story down and miss a moment. This book was pitched as "What if Jasmine and Aladdin tried to kill each other?"So I was already prepared for action and intrigue which this story delivers. Katrina needs a king's heart to perform a ritual to revive her slain mother and Malik needs to kill Karina to free his sister from a powerful being. Whenever I hear romance and fantasy together I expect for some cringey moments. Luckily those were not found here. I didn't feel like the relationship between Karina and Malik was forced. You'll like Malik for his sensitve soul and Karina for her quick wit. Definitely not a debut to ignore.Read more at https://womenofcolorreadtoo.blogspot....
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  • Nadhira Satria
    January 1, 1970
    DNF 60% because I can't take it anymore and I don't care enough and nor do I have the will to continue I'm so beyond disappointed. This was one of my most anticipated reads of the year. The summary made it sound so interesting but I can't say the same for the execution.It started really slow and boring. There was a LOT of info dumps and the worldbuilding was super confusing with so many names thrown around. It was just all over the place. I also didn't like the writing, I'm not saying that the w DNF 60% because I can't take it anymore and I don't care enough and nor do I have the will to continue I'm so beyond disappointed. This was one of my most anticipated reads of the year. The summary made it sound so interesting but I can't say the same for the execution.It started really slow and boring. There was a LOT of info dumps and the worldbuilding was super confusing with so many names thrown around. It was just all over the place. I also didn't like the writing, I'm not saying that the writing is bad but it's simply just not my thing. I'm so sad that it didn't work out for me since it looked amazing to read at first. ARC provided by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review
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  • Alaina
    January 1, 1970
    I have received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.OMG OMG OMG! I am so freaking excited that I got my hands on A Song of Wraiths and Ruin! It was so good! Although, I'm not going to lie - I was definitely getting vibes from other books and movies. At one point, a scene reminded me of the freaking mummy movie! Insane but so good!In this, you will meet Malik and Karina. Nothing super romantic happens between them even if I still slightly ship the heck out of them. They have a connection an I have received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.OMG OMG OMG! I am so freaking excited that I got my hands on A Song of Wraiths and Ruin! It was so good! Although, I'm not going to lie - I was definitely getting vibes from other books and movies. At one point, a scene reminded me of the freaking mummy movie! Insane but so good!In this, you will meet Malik and Karina. Nothing super romantic happens between them even if I still slightly ship the heck out of them. They have a connection and some sparks but that's it. Then there's the whole competition and betrayal coming left and right. I was eating it all up.The one thing I wasn't expecting - the ending. Oh lord, so much happened. I still can't believe who betrayed who. Also, I have endless questions as well. Ugh, I seriously need the next book ASAP!
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  • ♡ ᴅ ʀ ᴇ ᴀ ᴍ ♡
    January 1, 1970
    wow! i love the title and its synopsis sounds so interesting 🤩
  • Leah
    January 1, 1970
    Sometimes, I read two books within a few weeks of each other that share a lot of parallels. As such, it's hard not to compare these books when you recognize those specific similar plot points. Let me say this, A Song of Wraiths and Ruin won every round. This book simply hit every point better.Full review at Write, Read, RepeatThis story, based on western Africa folklore, is told through the POVs of two very different characters. Karina - A princess who was not born to be Sultana of Ziran, and ha Sometimes, I read two books within a few weeks of each other that share a lot of parallels. As such, it's hard not to compare these books when you recognize those specific similar plot points. Let me say this, A Song of Wraiths and Ruin won every round. This book simply hit every point better.Full review at Write, Read, RepeatThis story, based on western Africa folklore, is told through the POVs of two very different characters. Karina - A princess who was not born to be Sultana of Ziran, and has not shown any interest in learning the role since it was clear she was the heir instead. Her father and older sister died in a fire when Karina was younger, leaving her the heir to the throne with a mother who is not her biggest fan. And for good reason, when she has been more wrapped up in herself than learning the ropes. Karina is a rather unlikeable character, and I believe the author wrote her this way on purpose. It makes her journey and the things that she wants to feel more intriguing. She is hampered by migraines that come on whenever she remembers that fiery night and the family she lost, and it makes for an interesting POV. Malik - A peasant who has come to Ziran with his older and younger sister and fake papers. His people are not welcome in this city, and are treated like good-for-nothing scum. Malik, when compared to Karina, is a proper cinammon roll. Not only does he have social anxiety that makes him flub regular conversations with newly met people, but he also has to work a little harder than others to be calm. Malik has hallucinations that allow him to see the Wraiths, which are horrible spirits that he has been able to see since he was a young boy. Problem is no one believes him. He is far more relatable than Karina and much easier to root for as he goes through the city and Solstasia. This book is pitched as Aladdin, if Jasmine and Aladdin had to kill each other, and it delivers as an enemies to lovers story. Even though it isn't particularly romantic, the comparison does still track. After his younger sister is stolen away as payment for magic done, Malik needs to kill the Karina in order to save his sister, or else lose her forever. To get close to the princess, Malik rigs the choosing of a champion to get into the games. Karina, on the other hand, must kill a king for his heart in order to resurrect her mother who was murdered by an assassin. To do this she rigs the games that Malik is now a competitor is in.The world building in this was quite neat. A lot of pieces, but easy to figure out and understand. As I said, this is based on West African folklore, but it looks like there's a little taste of Egyptian in there as well. The story begins on Solstasia Eve, right before the arrival of a comet that comes once every 50 years. There is great significance around this event as not only does it have magical implications that Karina needs to figure out on her own, but it also marks the beginning of a new era for Ziran. People worship a different god based on what day of the week they were born on. [Update: I just watched Rosie's launch party, and this actually comes from Ghana tradition.] To determine which god will look over the new era, a week-long competition is held with a champion from each god competing. And this year, the winner gets to be king.I am a big ol' sucker for game/competition books. The Hunger Games is one of my all-time favourite books, and it spills over into my own writing as well. While I didn't find the tasks to be the most exciting in this--there were only three, and Malik didn't participate as he should have--I thought they were still integrated well into the story. They moved it forward at a perfect pace and kept things interesting.The story itself is surprisingly quite twisty. There is no way that I could have imagined the ending going as it did. Quite literally, there is no trusting anyone. Don't even bother. Suspicious eyes at all times. I cannot wait for the sequel to see what happens with these two characters! 4.5 rounded to 5 stars.
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  • Vee_Bookish // stan shea couleé
    January 1, 1970
    It's a shame the incredible cover is overshadowed by the Blah Of Blah And Blah trope
  • Anandi Puritipati
    January 1, 1970
    MA'AM. I HAVE NO WORDS.Update (18/06/2020) :I have finally found the words. A Song Of Wraiths and Ruin is the debut novel of the now NYT Bestselling author, Roseanne A Brown. I received an early ARC of this book as I was one of the bloggers who were part of the street-team promoting ASOWAR. All the following opinions are my own. A Song Of Wraiths And Ruin is a story that’s got a lot of heart and I love her for it! Set in a fantasy world inspired by West-Africa, its mythology and culture, ASOWAR MA'AM. I HAVE NO WORDS.Update (18/06/2020) :I have finally found the words. A Song Of Wraiths and Ruin is the debut novel of the now NYT Bestselling author, Roseanne A Brown. I received an early ARC of this book as I was one of the bloggers who were part of the street-team promoting ASOWAR. All the following opinions are my own. A Song Of Wraiths And Ruin is a story that’s got a lot of heart and I love her for it! Set in a fantasy world inspired by West-Africa, its mythology and culture, ASOWAR follows the stories of two young adults thrust into positions they don’t really want to be in, and we see them conquer their demons as they grow to fill the roles they so easily thought they were unfit of. The story starts when Malik reaches the city of Ziran with his sisters, fake name in mind and fake immigration papers in hand, and a hope to create a better future for his family in his heart. There is one problem, however. He sees shadow-people. And one of them has snatched his sister away. On the other hand, we have Karina, part-time performer, full-time bratty princess. All she wants is to leave- her city and her kingdom and the memories of lost loved ones buried in the sands of Ziran. But before she can, the world comes crashing down as the Sultana, her mother, is assassinated and her court acts in treason, doling out injustice after injustice on her people. Their paths cross when the eve of Solstasia, the quinquagenarian festival of Solstaisa dawns on them, intertwining their lives in ways neither of them imagined. WHERE DO I EVEN START WITH THIS BOOK?!?!? When I picked it up, I already knew that I would enjoy it, but I didn’t expect it to catapult to one of my favourite YA fantasy books EVER! The first line of the book itself draws you in and then it doesn’t let you go until you’ve finished reading its entirety and are sitting there, staring into space like “what now?” It’s criminal that the sequel isn’t out yet, if you ask me. I AM SO EXCITED AND I JUST CAN’T WAIT!!!The most attractive thing about ASOWAR for me was the atmosphere that was so richly infused with West- African culture, traditions and mythologies. There was so much character to the setting itself that I felt transported into a world of magic and wonder, demons and gods. I think the fact that Rosie leaned into making this a story about something so close to her heart compounded the beauty of the world manyfold. You could SEE that there was a lot of love in every word that was written. You could feel the intense connection that she felt to every brick and alley in Ziran, and it just gave the world that much more dimension for me. The first person we meet when we step into this fantasy is Malik. And the moment you meet him, you love him. There is no other way to be. Malik is one the most paavam cinnamon rolls EVER and he’s PRECIOUS and MY SON! He is by no means perfect, obviously. The same goes for Karina. She’s loud and bratty and badass and she isn’t afraid to take up the space, wherever she is. But she is also terrified and lonely and alone and it’s such a beautiful tragedy. We see these very flawed, very human, very beautiful young adults make some good decisions and some bad ones and some really bad ones, but we watch them do their best. Stupid decisions in books usually frustrate me, but I could understand Karin and Malik as if I were their best friend. I could see that all they wanted was to do right by their families, their people, themselves. And sometimes that blew up in their faces. Rather spectacularly, might I add. But that didn’t stop them. They learned, they got up, they dusted themselves off, and they tried again. They did better. They grew. Watching these two people turn into strong adults was definitely an incredible experience and is telling of how amazing Rosie’s character work is. Aside from the two main characters, we have Farid, the steward, the ministers of Ziran, Mal’s sisters, a few champions of the Solstasia, this little girl called Afua, and of course, the villain, Idir. Some of these characters, we see a lot of. Some, not so much. I didn’t find any of them to be lacking in any way, tbh. But when the setting and the writing hit right for me, I just kind of get so immersed into the story that everything is very vivid and real. So I really can’t tell. Another thing that I LOVED so DAMN MUCH about this book is that this book is about so many important issues that we face in the world today. A lot of the story focuses on the colonization of countries nearby by the Zirani monarchy, and it talks about the systemic oppression that is practised by the Ziranians against its current minority. It talks about cultural erasure and the cycle of violence that is perpetrated when war and oppression are treated with war and oppression, in kind, instead of with acceptance and inclusivity. It talks about how anger and distrust can destroy the basic humanity in a person when it comes to these circumstances. And it does this in such a beautiful, nuanced way! We can’t help but stan. There are also so many metaphors hidden in this book that depict the ugly struggle with mental illness that millions of us face every single day. Malik’s character sees shadow-people and ghosts and demons, and they possess him once. He has PTSD, as does Karina. He is a severely anxious person who uses pain and tactile stimulation to try and combat his anxiety. There is some self-harm ideation in here and you should definitely practice self-care while reading about it because it can definitely be triggering. I don’t want to give too much away but there is this one scene where Malik is possessed by a demon and IT IS EVERYTHING MY HEART WANTED AND NEEDED!!! When I tell you I WEPT, I am NOT kidding!! Again, the mental health aspect of the book was effortlessly woven into the story and handled with so much sensitivity and nuance that it made my heart feel very full!Finally, let’s talk about the plot. I don’t really have much to say except that it’s very fun! Like, it’s not absolutely unpredictable, but there were definitely a few gasp-inducing moments there. And the pacing of the novel is so perfect that it carries the plot forward so very smoothly. While the plot is definitely in no way shape or form bad, it was not the thing that carried this book for me, and that’s perfectly fine, imo. I really really enjoyed it, but in this world, with these people and these themes about, I would read the story about grocery shopping and rate it five stars. All in all, this is one of the most well-crafted YA fantasies I’ve seen and I’m so so glad that I got to read an ARC of it! I’m so grateful to Rosie for bringing this story into the world and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Karina and Malik in the future!
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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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  • Franzi ☾
    January 1, 1970
    Actual rating: 4.5 stars. This was one of my most anticipated reads this year, and I was not disappointed. For a start, the cover is absolutely beautiful. And the story totally didn't disappoint. The worldbuilding is beautiful, unique, and although the beginning was a little confusing, it became clear very quickly. The idea of the different alignments is really interesting and I loved the different cultures within the story. The plot was fast-moving and kept me engaged throughout the entire book Actual rating: 4.5 stars. This was one of my most anticipated reads this year, and I was not disappointed. For a start, the cover is absolutely beautiful. And the story totally didn't disappoint. The worldbuilding is beautiful, unique, and although the beginning was a little confusing, it became clear very quickly. The idea of the different alignments is really interesting and I loved the different cultures within the story. The plot was fast-moving and kept me engaged throughout the entire book. Karina is absolutely amazing and I missed her whenever the POV switched to Malik, although he was also likable. The side characters were all well-written and I enjoyed all the dynamics, although I would have wished for a little more romance. I really liked the romance scenes we got, but I kept waiting for more, so I hope that will happen in the next book. The ending was totally unexpected, I didn't see any of the plot twists coming and I couldn't put the book down because I was so sucked into the story. I really don't look forward to waiting for the next book, because I have so many questions and I just need to know what's going to happen next...
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  • Celia McMahon
    January 1, 1970
    Holy s$&t that was a wild ride. Don't be fooled by the famous A _of_and_ this is no COBAB, it is straight FIRE. I received this book from Edelweiss and the publisher in exchange for an honest review and here is the tea: this book knocked me off my feet. I was white-knuckling my kindle, breathing heavily, screaming in wraith.In this fully realized, immensely lush and intriguing fantasy world, Princess Karina finds herself in a position of power after a tragedy. The thing is, she's not ruler mater Holy s$&t that was a wild ride. Don't be fooled by the famous A _of_and_ this is no COBAB, it is straight FIRE. I received this book from Edelweiss and the publisher in exchange for an honest review and here is the tea: this book knocked me off my feet. I was white-knuckling my kindle, breathing heavily, screaming in wraith.In this fully realized, immensely lush and intriguing fantasy world, Princess Karina finds herself in a position of power after a tragedy. The thing is, she's not ruler material and spends most of her time sneaking out of the palace to roam with the commoners. So, now she finds herself desperate and schemes to rectify her situation. This scheme involves taking the heart of a king; a king in which she does not have. But it so happens Solstasia competition is in full form so she offers marriage to the winner. Malik and his poverty-stricken sisters arrive in Ziran just in time for the festival but find themselves caught up with a spirit who kidnaps Malik's little sister. In order to get her back, he's instructed to kill the princess. He finds the best way is the enter the competition, get close and save his sister. ASWAR is one of those books that has me hanging my head in shame, screaming in writer that I could never come close to the world-building skills that Roseanna A. Brown possesses. Ok sure, Malik and Karina had hardcore Princess Jasmine and Aladdin vibes, but who isn't here for that? Aladdin was my crush as a girl. A boy with no nipples, smooth chest, and big puppy dog eyes who feeds kids his only meal and owns a monkey. My guy. Malik was my cinnamon roll, my soft yet strong boy, as Karina was my fierce and loyal heroine too root for.The last 50 pages or so had me having to put Visine in both eyes because I did not blink. I mean, one thing (patsmyselfonback) I actually predicted while the other thing, well, did not. I will be waiting for two and snatching up any book box that includes this book.
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  • Cait Jacobs (Caitsbooks)
    January 1, 1970
    A Song of Wraiths and Ruin is a beautifully written fantasy novel that you won't want to miss. The world-building alone is reason to read it. As mentioned in the synopsis, this world is inspired by West African folklore. I really loved how the mythology of this world, and the fascinating magic system. Also, there's casual LGBTQ+ representation in it! It might be subtle, but I just can't help but get excited whenever I see a book, especially a fantasy, have LGBTQ+ characters and it not being a pr A Song of Wraiths and Ruin is a beautifully written fantasy novel that you won't want to miss. The world-building alone is reason to read it. As mentioned in the synopsis, this world is inspired by West African folklore. I really loved how the mythology of this world, and the fascinating magic system. Also, there's casual LGBTQ+ representation in it! It might be subtle, but I just can't help but get excited whenever I see a book, especially a fantasy, have LGBTQ+ characters and it not being a problem in that world.As for the plot, this book has magic, forbidden romance, court intrigue- all of my favorite things. However, the first half of the book is a little slow. It picks up in the second half, but it did make it hard to get into. The ending though? Did not see that coming, and it makes it worth pushing through any slow parts.What I loved most about this book has to be the characters (no surprise if you know me at all). Malik and Karina are both amazing. Malik is a soft boy and I love him so much. Meanwhile, Karina is our strong female protagonist, but she struggles with living up to the expectations of others and her own expectations for herself. I will say, the romance is definitely not quite as big of a part of the book as I expected, but I didn't mind that at all. Perhaps my favorite thing about our two main characters is the mental health representation. Malik deals with anxiety and panic attacks, and Karina deals with anxiety and chronic headaches. It was so great to read about these badass characters who are amazing in addition to their health issues, not despite it.Pros- Great representation, amazing world-building, good writingCons- Slow pacing, hard to get intoOverall- 4/5 stars.A Song of Wraiths and Ruin is a strong first book. In the end, you will be so glad you read it.
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  • Mirjana **DTR - Down to Read**
    January 1, 1970
    This is being marketed as: "What if Jasmine and Aladdin tried to kill each other?"ONE-CLICKED! ONE-CLICKED! First off, this cover is gorgeous!!! Second, the hero and heroine are planning to kill each other but OOPS they end up falling in love. Umm, yes. Yes, this is very much what I want to read right now....as soon as my delivery gets here. This is being marketed as: "What if Jasmine and Aladdin tried to kill each other?"ONE-CLICKED! ONE-CLICKED! First off, this cover is gorgeous!!! Second, the hero and heroine are planning to kill each other but OOPS they end up falling in love. Umm, yes. Yes, this is very much what I want to read right now....as soon as my delivery gets here.
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  • Nemo (The Moonlight Library)
    January 1, 1970
    This review was originally posted on The Moonlight Library.I haven't quite made it halfway through this book but I just really, really don’t care to continue. I planned on reading this during a week I took off from work, but just couldn’t bring myself to do it. It took me TWO MONTHS to decide to DNF this book, that’s how much I wanted to love it.The concept is so freaking awesome I nearly lost my mind in excitement for reading this book. A soft cinnamon roll has to murder a princess, who in turn This review was originally posted on The Moonlight Library.I haven't quite made it halfway through this book but I just really, really don’t care to continue. I planned on reading this during a week I took off from work, but just couldn’t bring myself to do it. It took me TWO MONTHS to decide to DNF this book, that’s how much I wanted to love it.The concept is so freaking awesome I nearly lost my mind in excitement for reading this book. A soft cinnamon roll has to murder a princess, who in turn needs to marry a man (the roll) to make him a king before cutting out his heart to resurrect her dead mother? How AWESOME does that concept sound?Unfortunately, I can’t stand to read any more. I am seriously bored, unengaged, the characters annoy me, the plot is boring, and I would rather clean my house than sit in my uber comfortable reading chair in my personal library snuggling with my cats to read this, which is obvs like my favourite thing ever.I can’t stand Malik. He may be a soft cinnamon roll, but he is pathetic. He lacks courage, has a constant victim mindset, freezes instead of taking action and then beats himself up for it, and everything he has achieved so far has literally been handed to him. LITERALLY. He constantly makes bad decisions that have no consequence on him. I don’t want to read about a contest rigged by the author so that the hero comes out on top, I want to read about his struggle to overcome obstacles and then win by being smarter or more creative or stronger or faster or having a stronger will than his rivals. Why is he winning? Not through any hard work of his own, but because the author needs him to.Similarly, I should love Karina. She is a warrior-poet, a gentle musician chafing at the confines of being a princess and the heir she was never meant to be, living in the shadows of her inhumanely perfect mother. She is growing more ruthless and preparing to marry and then murder the male victor of this competition. By all accounts I should think she is awesome. Except that I don’t. Nothing about her is compelling. She spends half of her time sleeping and the other half pining over dead people. I’m so fucking bored! I’m nearly half way through, and there is nothing compelling me to read on.I want to love this because it’s literally black Aladdin and Jasmine except they need to kill each other, it’s like Disney but The Hunger Games and CAN YOU SMELL THAT CONFLICT. Fantasy is my jam, I am literally here for anything that has princesses and magic. So it’s not me, it’s this damn book.Add on to a super intense worldbuilding that doesn’t let up and leaves you wondering what exactly these things that aren’t being explained are. It’s not engaging.Also, I skimmed to the end and am still bored, even when the betrayals are flying all over the place! How is that even possible? I just DON’T CARE.I received a copy of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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  • Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
    January 1, 1970
    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight I feel like a broken record where I say over and over that fantasy is so hit or miss for me, but I feel like it is important for me to say this so that when I tell you that I adored this book, you won't take my praise lightly! So I shall now tell you all the stuff that made this such a win for me! ► First of all, I had no freaking clue that it was nearly 500 pages, because it flew by! You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight I feel like a broken record where I say over and over that fantasy is so hit or miss for me, but I feel like it is important for me to say this so that when I tell you that I adored this book, you won't take my praise lightly! So I shall now tell you all the stuff that made this such a win for me! ► First of all, I had no freaking clue that it was nearly 500 pages, because it flew by! When I went to mark as "read" on Goodreads, I was shooketh, because no WAY was it that long- it flowed so perfectly! ►Such a glorious family focus! Malik would do, quite literally, anything for his sisters. Their bond is really incredible. Karina's familial situation is a bit messier, but she absolutely wants to do right by hers as well. I don't want to get into it too much because we learn a ton about her family as the story progresses, but even though it's more complex, it's still moving. ►The characters were great and I was rooting for them wholly. They are so incredibly sympathetic and relatable! Even though you don't necessarily want them to follow through on their assassination plans, you can totally understand why they would be considering such drastic measures. It's certainly morally gray, and very thought provoking. They also learn so much about themselves and others during the book, I loved that. ►The West African folklore inspiration was amazing! It is new to me, but I am here for it. So many incredible messages, and the way the author weaves them into the entirety of the story was great too. It wasn't just a footnote, it was a huge component. ►Add to it, the author did a phenomenal job of world building. I was never confused or overwhelmed, yet there was definitely enough mystery and intrigue to keep me excited. Everything about this world made me excited to learn more, and if you ask me that's kind of perfect worldbuilding. ► Mental health is involved. Oh, there are way too few fantasies out there with good mental health rep, and I am so happy to count this among them! The author does such a great job of making it part of Malik's story, but not what defines him. ►I am an absolute sucker for competitions. Like anyone is fighting to win anything, and you can go ahead and sign me up. The stakes in this competition are super high, because both competitors and not have a lot at stake in the outcome. ►The sparks of a romance are definitely there. You can see that these two would be perfect together, tbh. If they don't kill each other first, of course. I love that Karina can just tell what a genuinely good person Malik is, and vice versa, even as their agendas don't align. Bottom Line:  I absolutely fell in love with this high stakes adventure, and I cannot wait to continue the story!
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  • Breanna
    January 1, 1970
    THIS REVIEW & MORE → Paws and PaperbacksARC provided by Balzer + Bray through Edelweiss.A Song of Wraith and Ruins is a debut West African-inspired fantasy novel featuring a merciless princess and a refugee boy. Princess Karina is grieving the assignation of her mother and is facing the threat of a coup. She plans to marry the winner of the Solstasia competition and then use his heart to perform the dark magic necessary to resurrect her mother. Malik is a refugee who’s sister has been stolen by THIS REVIEW & MORE → Paws and PaperbacksARC provided by Balzer + Bray through Edelweiss.A Song of Wraith and Ruins is a debut West African-inspired fantasy novel featuring a merciless princess and a refugee boy. Princess Karina is grieving the assignation of her mother and is facing the threat of a coup. She plans to marry the winner of the Solstasia competition and then use his heart to perform the dark magic necessary to resurrect her mother. Malik is a refugee who’s sister has been stolen by a malevolent ancient spirit. He must kill the princess to win his sister’s freedom.The book is told through two alternating POVs: Malik’s and Karina’s. I really enjoyed reading Malik’s chapters! He and his sisters are refugees looking for a better life and a way to support their family back home. He’s the definition of a soft, cinnamon roll. He’s very attached to his little sister, Nadia, and is willing to do whatever to get her back. He suffers from anxiety, panic attacks, and what he has been told his whole life are hallucinations. It was great to watch him discover his magic and learn to control it!Karina was the total opposite of Malik. I wasn’t as big of a fan of her, but she started to grow on me a bit towards the end. I loved her strong-willed, self-assertive, doesn’t take no shit attitude, but she was overly brash and her tendency to make impulsive decisions didn’t win my favor.The worldbuilding was very intriguing, but a bit confusing at times. The book seemed to volley back and forth between info-dumps and having to figure it out along the way. I really appreciated the history and folklore of the world; it was creative and intriguing and brought and extra depth to the story. I also thought the chapters with the Solstasia competitions were extremely fun to read!Overall, an enjoyable and well-written debut novel! A Song of Wraith and Ruins features fast-paced action, plot-twists, and plenty of magic to entertain readers!
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  • Athena
    January 1, 1970
    The publisher kindly offered me a reader copy via Edelweiss. Yet, this is an honest review of the book expressing my unbiased opinion.Wow, what an immersive world the author has created! First of all, the world-building is outstanding. Inspired by West African folklore, the world is vivid and lush. I always felt like I was there, staring in awe at this beautiful diverse city of Ziran. The fantastical elements were extremely well done, and the author weaved them in the culture, mythology, and fol The publisher kindly offered me a reader copy via Edelweiss. Yet, this is an honest review of the book expressing my unbiased opinion.Wow, what an immersive world the author has created! First of all, the world-building is outstanding. Inspired by West African folklore, the world is vivid and lush. I always felt like I was there, staring in awe at this beautiful diverse city of Ziran. The fantastical elements were extremely well done, and the author weaved them in the culture, mythology, and folklore of the story effortlessly. I can honestly say that this book has one of the best world-building I've ever seen. And I loved it with all my heart.Secondly, I will follow Karina anywhere. I adored her from page one up to the very last sentence. She struggled with how people perceived her and even more with how she saw herself. She's a person who focuses on her failures and has let them rule over her identity like a cape, but she changed throughout the story. She found herself and embraced who she is, and it was an absolute delight to watch. Karina reminded me of myself because as usual, we're the worst critics of ourselves, and I really felt what she felt.Malik, our other main character, is the exact opposite of Karina. Karina is this bright light whereas Malik is the silent strength. When he blossoms, he soars. He's what we call a soft cinnamon roll and a soft boi. My favorite characters are more like Karina, to be honest, so I had a bit of trouble of connecting to him. I liked him most of the time, but I didn't love him. I also didn't feel the romance between him and Karina as much as I'd like. However, since he's a poor refugee boy, the author infused the story with the aspects of migration and the refugees situation, and it was done masterfully. It's a subject close to my heart, and I loved how the author handled it.As a person who gets both headaches and migraines, I had a little trouble with Karina's "migraines". They were more like chronic headaches seeing as no vomiting or sensitivity to light occurred, so I feel like "headache" would be more appropriate.Overall, the world-building is stunning and very detailed. Karina, the one main character, has my heart wrapped around her little finger, and I have a feeling that Malik will turn out to be a very interesting character in the sequel. If you love immersive fantasies, fierce girls, and soft boys, then this is the book for you. A great debut that stands out from its peers and introduces a fascinating duology that I'll definitely read.4.5 stars – ⭐⭐⭐⭐Author: Roseanne A. BrownPublisher: Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins
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  • Fanna
    January 1, 1970
    June 2, 2020: A very happy release day to this!!!- inspired by West African folklore & mythology- comparable to Children of Blood and Bone, The Wrath and the Dawn and The Tiger at Midnight- diverse world-building- adventure with a mission- anxiety & panic attack rep- political intrigue + magic- young adult fantasy duology June 2, 2020: A very happy release day to this!!!- inspired by West African folklore & mythology- comparable to Children of Blood and Bone, The Wrath and the Dawn and The Tiger at Midnight- diverse world-building- adventure with a mission- anxiety & panic attack rep- political intrigue + magic- young adult fantasy duology
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  • Claude's Bookzone
    January 1, 1970
    *sobs loudly* This was soooo amazing but do not read it yet people. I'm so desperate to read the next book but it doesn't even have a title yet! Save yourselves the absolute agony and wait until book two exists so you can read them back to back. Full review to come when I've recovered from my depths of despair.
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  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this young adult fantasy debut novel. I felt that the author did such a wonderful job bringing this world and cultures to life, allowing them to mirror our own society while still giving the escapism of fantasy.The story follows two POVS -- Malik who is a soft boy trying to save his sister and Karina a strong Princess who is trying to save her mother and through that both of them end up trying to save the city.Honestly my favorite part was the ending, and without spoiling anythi I really enjoyed this young adult fantasy debut novel. I felt that the author did such a wonderful job bringing this world and cultures to life, allowing them to mirror our own society while still giving the escapism of fantasy.The story follows two POVS -- Malik who is a soft boy trying to save his sister and Karina a strong Princess who is trying to save her mother and through that both of them end up trying to save the city.Honestly my favorite part was the ending, and without spoiling anything, I felt like it was fresh and new and something I don't normally face when reading YA fantasy.I 100% recommend checking out this book!
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  • Shealea
    January 1, 1970
    I recommend this book, but I won't recommend the audiobook. I'll probably need to read this again (in either physical or ebook format) before I can write a proper review.But the magic system, world-building, and ending of A Song of Wraiths and Ruin? Sheer perfection.Full review to follow.
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  • ♠ TABI ♠
    January 1, 1970
    k but a song wraiths sing is like this horrific shrieking, right?? so of course there's gonna be ruinHOLY EVERYTHING THAT COVER IS BEAUTIFUL
  • Aless {the introvert reads}
    January 1, 1970
    A beautiful cover, a beautiful title, an intriguing synopsis, and it's written by an author of color? Oh heck yes. Added to anticipated releases!
  • Katie
    January 1, 1970
    Where do I even begin with this review? A Song of Wraiths and Ruin took me by complete surprise. Roseanne A. Brown’s debut novel is the book I didn’t know I was looking for.A Song of Wraiths & Ruin turns the typical fantasy tropes on their heads. For the first time (at least in my reading experience), it’s the male character who finds himself in a new (to him) world, fighting for his family and his future. Malik is thrust into a new life of riches and popularity but it comes with new challenges. Where do I even begin with this review? A Song of Wraiths and Ruin took me by complete surprise. Roseanne A. Brown’s debut novel is the book I didn’t know I was looking for.A Song of Wraiths & Ruin turns the typical fantasy tropes on their heads. For the first time (at least in my reading experience), it’s the male character who finds himself in a new (to him) world, fighting for his family and his future. Malik is thrust into a new life of riches and popularity but it comes with new challenges. It’s up to Malik to save his family but in order to do that, he has to kill the princess of Ziran. Malik is forced to face his vulnerabilities, the magical powers he’s been suppressing his whole life, and his growing feelings for the girl he’s supposed to kill. It’s a lot for anyone to handle and Malik’s struggles had me on the edge of my seat, hoping for a surprise twist that would bring him a happy ending.Malik wasn’t the only character who had challenges to face though. Princess Karina did not have an easy life, no matter that she was brought up in a palace with everything she could have wanted given to her. She lost both her father and her older sister at a young age and in a horrible way. She was mentally scarred by this event as well as the grief of losing them both. With the death of her mother, Karina was left completely alone and in charge of her people. I admit, she wasn’t the easiest to like at first but I quickly changed my mind. Karina had a bold personality that didn’t always make people like her but definitely made her stand out. She was young and foolish at times but also brave and extremely kindhearted. The challenges she faced at a young age only helped her grow into the woman she was meant to be.“If Ziran fell, her only regret would be that she could not be the storm that tore it apart.” – Roseanne A. Brown, A Song of Wraiths and RuinI will admit, the pace of A Song of Wraiths and Ruin did feel a bit rushed at times. The whole story takes place over the course of a week. That’s not a lot of time to build up a new fantasy world but Roseanne A. Brown does a wonderful job with it. I’ve always been a fan of shortened timelines in books but I’ve never seen it executed well in fantasy novels until now. The timeline did make the romance seem a little too quick and a little too forced for my liking but the rest of the story was fabulous. There was really no downtime in A Song of Wraiths and Ruin. I found myself up late many nights reading this one as there was always so much going on, I couldn’t ever find a good place to stop!The folklore behind Roseanne A. Brown’s fantasy world was phenomenal. I can’t speak from experience as West African folklore is new to me but I can say that it fascinated me enough that I will be reading more about it. The gods and creatures truly intrigued and terrified me.Another thing that is handled wonderfully in A Song of Wraiths and Ruin is the commentary on racism, police brutality, and class inequalities. These issues seem especially important in light of what is going on currently. Roseanne A. Brown chose to craft a fantasy world but it definitely features similarities to our own, especially in these matters. I felt that she did a fantastic job highlighting these issues, especially for young teen readers.“He was the kind of person who could be arrested at any time for any reason, who could do everything the soldiers told him to do and still leave the encounter harmed.” – Roseanne A. Brown, A Song of Wraiths and RuinOverall, A Song of Wraiths and Ruin has to be at the top of my recommendation list. It’s one of the best fantasy novels I’ve read in recent months and in all honesty, one of the best books I’ve read recently, period. I cannot wait to see what the sequel has in store for these characters that I quickly grew to love.“The past devours those naive enough to forget it.” – Roseanne A. Brown, A Song of Wraiths and Ruin
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