Now 2024 Previous Articles Road Essays Road Reviews Author Black Authors Title Source Age Genre Series Format Inclusivity LGBTA+ Artwork WIP

Recent posts

Month in review

Boot & Shoe by Marla Frazee
Captive Hearts of Oz Volume 2 by Ryo Maruya
Clever Little Witch by Mượn Thị Văn and Hyewon Yum
Dead Cold Brew by Cleo Coyle
Death by Pumpkin Spice by Alex Erickson
Descender, Volume 3: Singularities by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen
Dragon Kiss by E.D. Baker
Dread Pirate Fleur and the Ruby Heart by Sara Starbuck
Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Joy McCullough
Flour in the Attic by Winnie Archer
The Fox Wish by Kimiko Aman and Komako Sakai
Home and Away by Candice Montgomery
I See London, I See France by Sarah Mlynowski
If I Couldn't Be Anne by Kallie George and Geneviève Godbout
Leave It to Cleaver by Victoria Hamilton
The Lost Carnival by Michael Moreci
The Map of Stars by Laura Ruby
Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
The Oracle Code by Marieke Nijkamp
Outside In by Deborah Underwood and Cindy Derby
A Ride to Remember: A Civil Rights Story by Sharon Langley, Amy Nathan and Floyd Cooper
Riviera Gold by Laurie R. King
The Shortest Way Home by Miriam Parker
A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow
A Song of Wraiths & Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown
Spell & Spindle by Michelle Schusterman
Spider-Man & Venom: Double Trouble by Mariko Tamaki and Gurihiru
Stepping Stones by Lucy Knisley
We Dream of Space by Erin Entrada Kelly

Canadian Book Challenge: 2020-2021

May 2020 Sources

May 2020 Summary

Thirty-three years of tracking my reading

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

Beat the Backlist 2024

Ozathon: 12/2023-01/2025

Canadian Book Challenge: 2023-2024

Chicken Prints
Paintings and Postcards

Privacy policy

This blog does not collect personal data. It doesn't set cookies. Email addresses are used to respond to comments or "contact us" messages and then deleted.

A Song of Wraiths & Ruin: 06/29/20

A Song of Wraiths & Ruin

A Song of Wraiths & Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown is the start of a new fantasy series set in an alternate Africa that blends West African folklore and North African history. Malik and his two sisters are looking for a better life in the city state of Ziran. Meanwhile Karina, the princess and heir to the throne is suddenly faced with being the Sultana when her mother is assassinated on the night before the Solstasia festival, a multiple day event that restores the power of the barrier that keeps Ziran safe.

On Malik's first day in Ziran, having literally just arrived, he loses his youngest sister to Idir. To win her back, he must kill Karina. Things are complicated when Malik, under an assumed name, becomes the Champion of Adanko, the Goddess of Life, to compete in the Solstasia games.

Told in alternating points of view, we're given both sides of a complex world with a complex history. Through Malik we learn about the poverty, war, and famine that those outside of Ziran are suffering from. We see the great city through the eyes of a desperate immigrant. From Karina, we see a kingdom fraying at the edges. An apparent thriving metropolis has a dark history.

Of recent fantasies I've read, A Song of Wraiths & Ruin has some of the best world building I've seen. The world is revealed through organic means, with the characters living their lives, through story tellers at the festival, through the Solstasia games, through exploration, and so forth.

Together, Malik and Karina's journeys find placement on the road narrative spectrum. As Malik is serving as a champion and Karina is the sultana, they are both privileged travelers (00). Though they have different goals, both are influenced by Ziran's history, and thus their destination is uhoria (CC). The path they take is the maze because there are traps and dangers at every turn (CC). Altogether, the novel can be summarized as two privileged travelers going to uhoria via the maze (00CCCC).

The second book in the series, A Psalm of Storms & Silence is scheduled for release sometime in 2021.

Five stars

Comments (0)

Lab puppy
Email (won't be posted):
Blog URL:

Twitter Tumblr Mastadon Flickr Facebook Facebook Contact me

1997-2024 Sarah Sammis