I really loved SONG OF BLOOD AND STONE. It picked me up and wouldn’t put me down – and I couldn’t put it down. There’s so much to unpack in the story.
Orphaned and alone, Jasminda lives in a land where cold whispers of invasion and war linger on the wind. Jasminda herself is an outcast in her homeland of Elsira, where her gift of Earthsong is feared. When ruthless soldiers seek refuge in her isolated cabin, they bring with them a captive–an injured spy who threatens to steal her heart.
Jack’s mission behind enemy lines to prove that the Mantle between Elsira and Lagamiri is about to fall nearly cost him his life, but he is saved by the healing Song of a mysterious young woman. Now he must do whatever it takes to save Elsira and it’s people from the True Father and he needs Jasminda’s Earthsong to do it. They escape their ruthless captors and together they embark on a perilous journey to save Elsira and to uncover the secrets of The Queen Who Sleeps.
Thrust into a hostile society, Jasminda and Jack must rely on one another even as secrets jeopardize their bond. As an ancient evil gains power, Jasminda races to unlock a mystery that promises salvation.
The fates of two nations hang in the balance as Jasminda and Jack must choose between love and duty to fulfill their destinies and end the war.
TW: Attempted rape
There are simple reasons why I loved this book: the main character, the world building, or the cover, but then there are more complex reasons like the politics or the ways that the belief systems interacted with the story line.
So let’s start simple and work our way up. The main character is amazing because she is biracial and she was able to talk about this feeling that I have of not fitting in either place. She has always felt on the outside, but when her identity is called into question she has to come to terms with feeling outside of both experiences. She cannot just claim the heritage that keeps her the safest.
Jasminda is also just so strong willed, intelligent, and compassionate. At the same time we are able to see Jack’s perspective as well. In many ways, Jasminda is somewhat of an unlikely heroine because she has weak song, but does what needs to do and heart in right place. This is an example of when dual perspective really works. I loved being able to get inside both of their heads and while I really liked Jack, Jasminda stole the show for me.
The World Building
The world building was fascinating in this book because Penelope delves deeply into the ideas of how this magic was formed. We are left wondering how the world got to how it is – and we are shown. There are visions and stories that are played out that serve as parallels to the current story line. We are never sure if the past is influencing the present or visa versa.
One theme I loved in this book is that in war, in a conflict, there are not always clear good and bad sides. There’s all these shades in between. We are able to see the acts of cruelty war makes us into and how it enacts its will upon us. At the same time there are real questions about refugees, what makes a good ruler, and how we can honor our heritage.
You can read this book in so many ways on many different levels. You can see it just as a beautiful story between two characters, almost star crossed, and just relish in their relationship and how it blossoms and the stresses, the cold fronts, it’s put through. Or you can look at the politics, the world building, and see a hazy metaphor to our current fears regarding refugees and our own borders. Or furthermore, you can look at the way that folktales and history is woven throughout to see it as a lesson for the present. Whatever way you choose, you will be amazed and entertained. Check out Song of Blood and Stone on Goodreads.
About the Author
Leslye Penelope has been writing since she could hold a pen and loves getting lost in the worlds in her head. She is an award-winning author of new adult, fantasy, and paranormal romance. She lives in Maryland with her husband and their furry dependents: an eighty-pound lap dog and an aspiring feral cat.