About the Book:
Title: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin
Author: Rosanne A. Brown
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Release Date: June 2, 2020
Genre: YA Fantasy
The first in a 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?
What an absolutely epic debut from Rosanne A. Brown! I loved the world-building and the magic system in this one, which is inspired by West African Folklore. It had such a vivid setting, and I love how I was able to paint a picture in my mind of the beautiful desert city of Ziran. I think this story is especially relevant to today, as it discusses the oppression of the Eshran people by the Zirani monarchy and the Ziranians.
I loved the two main characters, Karina and Malik. Karina is a princess in the city of Ziran, but never seemed to take her responsibilities seriously. She finds herself in an interesting predicament when her mother, the Sultana, is assassinated. Karina somewhat reminded me of myself, as she’s her own worst critic. She focuses a lot on her failures and how others perceive her. I loved watching her journey as she grows and comes into herself throughout the story. Malik was such a breath of fresh air. He had such a quiet strength about him. He and his sisters are refugees coming into the city. Malik has to strike a bargain with a spirit when his youngest sister is taken. I appreciated how there was good anxiety and panic attack rep with his character. It was really interesting to watch his journey as well. I felt that he really started coming into his own.
If magic, fantasy, fierce girls, sweet boys, and a dash of romance are your thing, I think you will enjoy this book. It definitely packs a lot of punch! I absolutely can not wait for the sequel!
About the Author:
Rosanne A. Brown is an immigrant from the West African nation of Ghana and a graduate of the University of Maryland, where she completed the Jimenez-Porter Writers’ House program. Her work has been featured by Voice of America, among other outlets. A Song of Wraiths and Ruin is her debut novel. You can visit her online at roseanneabrown.com.