I gave Song of Blood & Stone a try on a whim and I am so glad that I did! Although the story is fantasy it often felt like a romance with fantasy elements. Jasminda and Jack come from completely different backgrounds, yet quickly find themselves deeply connected in a surprising way which plays into the New Adult romance feel. If you are a romance reader who hasn't read much fantasy, or just new to the genre and would like to give fantasy a try, Song of Blood & Stone would be a good place to start.
What Penelope does really well is show a wide range of consequences of bigotry for not only the people who are being discriminated against, but also the impact on the general community that enables unfair treatment of 'others'. There's plenty of accurate and applicable social commentary threaded into this story. For me, the most interesting parts of Song of Blood & Stone were the sections that dealt with the relationships and tensions among the characters.
Penelope does lay the foundation for describing and showing the magic system and how it works, however I do hope that book two gives more world building detail. I'm still not quite sure how technologically advanced the world is. The first part of the story had more of an old world feel that included magic, but as the story progressed it began to feel like a mash up of old world and modern technology, which made it harder to know what the world looks like and how it works.
Song of Blood & Stone is a well written and enjoyable story that ends in a way that makes me look forward to continue on with this series because the story is definitely far from over!
**Although I received an eARC in exchange for an honest review, I am going to have to get myself a copy of the new hardback because it's lovely! Check out the video below to hear L. Penelope discuss the meaning behind the lovely design.**
A treacherous, thrilling, epic fantasy about an outcast drawn into a war between two powerful rulers.
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.
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.
Where to Find Leslye Penelope