Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Book Review: Orphan's Song by Gillian Bronte Adams

Book blurb:
Who Will Keep the Song Alive?

Every generation has a Songkeeper – one chosen to keep the memory of the Song alive. And in every generation, there are those who seek to destroy the chosen one.

When Birdie's song draws the attention of a dangerous Khelari soldier, she is kidnapped and thrust into a world of ancient secrets and betrayals. Rescued by her old friend, traveling peddler Amos McElhenny, Birdie flees the clutches of her enemies in pursuit of the truth behind the Song’s power.

Ky is a street–wise thief and a member of the Underground—a group of orphans banded together to survive . . . and to fight the Khelari. Haunted by a tragic raid, Ky joins Birdie and Amos in hopes of a new life beyond the reach of the soldiers. But the enemy is closing in, and when Amos’ shadowed past threatens to undo them all, Birdie is forced to face the destiny that awaits her as the Songkeeper of Leira.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Author: Gillian Bronte Adams
Publisher: Enclave Publishing
Publication Date: September 23, 2014
Genre: YA Fantasy 

The plot:
The plot of Orphan's Song was really, really good. Throughout most of the book, Gillian kept much of the Song and the role of the Songkeeper secret, but still let tiny things slip through as Birdie sung her Song. Orphan's Song was mostly told from three shifting POVs; Amos, Birdie, and Ky. Gillian had swapped between these POVs very well; until Birdie and Amos met up with Ky, their POVs were told in separate parts of the book, and each character got at least one chapter that was told only from their POV. The plot moved along at a rapid and exciting pace.

The characters: 
I loved the characters in Orphan's Song, especially Birdie and Amos. Every character, even George, was in some way necessary to the plot. Birdie was a very vibrant character who really seemed alive. Amos was a very deep character, and he and his past were as integral to the plot as Birdie and Ky, the main characters. Gillian also did a great job with her primary antagonist for this book, Carhartan. She added a lot of depth that most books wouldn't have by telling a part, albeit a very small part, from his point of view.The characters in Orphan's Song were wonderful.

The setting:
Liera, the world that Orphan's Song is set in, is in some ways a classic epic fantasy setting in that it seems to be based off of medieval Europe. It has several fantasy creatures ranging from familiar ones like griffins to an invented species called petras which, from the description given in the novel, appear to be some sort of bat that burrows underground (fun, huh?). An uncommon, but very welcome, addition to the storyworld are pirates that attack the coasts of Liera that come from a different nation, if not continent. Not many epic fantasies I've read go far beyond the country that the main characters are from, and rarely the continent.

I really liked Orphan's Song. It's one of the best epic fantasies I've read in a while, and easily one of my favorites that I've ever read. The characters were extremely likeable (except for the ones you aren't supposed to like), the setting was really good, and the plot was mysterious and exciting. Adams took classic, almost cliched character types - the slightly naive, innocent protagonist with unexpected and untold power thrust upon her, the young boy who has to grow up too fast, and the guardian with a murky past that causes trouble - and made them fresh and exciting, like reading a new version of a classic fantasy story. There was quite a bit of depth to both the story and the characters. When it came to Liera, there were many questions left unanswered, but Orphan's Song is the first book in a series, so there's still plenty of time for Adams to go deeper into her storyworld and the powers of the Songkeeper. I eagerly await the sequel.

Click here to buy Orphan's Song on Amazon.

About the Author:
 Gillian Bronte Adams is a sword-wielding, horse-riding, coffee-loving speculative fiction author from the great state of Texas. During the day, she manages the equine program at a youth camp, but at night, she kicks off her boots and spurs, pulls out her trusty laptop, and transforms into a novelist. Her love of epic stories and a desire to tell truth in a unique way drew her to the realm of fantasy. She blogs at http://ofbattlesdragonsandswordsofadamant.blogspot.com/

1 comment:

  1. I really want to read this book. The more reviews I read, the more convinced I am. Thank you for the nice review!

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