Sunday, August 25, 2013

REVIEW - Songstone by Lena Goldfinch:

Title: Songstone
Author: Lena Goldfinch
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: July 29, 2013
Published by: Indigo Road Teen
Format: Ebook and Paperback

Copy Provided by Author

Book Blurb:
Kita can meld song into stone. In a world with no written word, storytelling—the ability to meld (or magically impress) song into stone—is greatly honored. The village honors her master as their medicine man, but Kita knows he's secretly a sorcerer who practices black magic using drops of her blood. She fears he’ll use her beautiful gift for a killing spell, so she conceals it from him. 

Each day, his magic tightens around her neck like a rope. His spells blind the villagers, so they can’t see him for what he really is.

Not that anyone would want to help her. She was found in the forest as a baby and would have died if a village girl hadn't brought her home. But the villagers saw Kita's unusual coloring and decided she belonged to the mysterious tribe who lives in the forests of the volcano, a people feared for their mystical powers. So they fear her too. Now seventeen, she can barely admit her deepest longing: to know who she really is and where she belongs.

Then Pono, a young journeyman, arrives from the other side of the island. He's come to fulfill a pact between their villages: to escort a storyteller back to his village--a storyteller who'll be chosen at the great assembly. Finally, in Pono, Kita sees her one slim chance at freedom and she'll risk her life to take it.

A dark, twisty tale of sorcery, tummy-tingling romance, and adventure, inspired by the folklore of New Zealand's Māori people.

Reviewers Note: Songstone is a YA Fantasy written by Lena Goldfinch. I read this as a R2R with We ♥ YA Books! As always, a special thank you to the mods and author for allowing me to participate.

4 Magical Stars
A Thrilling Adventure with Mystery and Magic!

The Review:

Songstone is a dramatic and stunning tale of how bravery, determination and love can withstand prejudice, isolation and self-loathing. As with all the books I’ve read by Lena Goldfinch, this read was crafted with an exciting story, captivating scenery and delectable characters!

Kita is different. Her too pale skin, green eyes and red hair stand out in the brown skin, eyes and hair of her tribes people. Found as an infant bordering the woods, alone, starving and dirty, young Noni takes her home to her mother but after Kita is cleaned and her pale skin shines through all the dirt, her adoptive parents instantly know she’s of the feared and dreaded Huwi, who are rumored to have evil, magical powers and steal people into the mist. Though they keep her and raise her, she is an outcast in the village and she is shunned by her peers. 

At the age of eight, she’s carted away with the village’s medicine man, Makito, who claims he needs a servant girl but behind the walls of his hut, evil deeds take place as he uses her heritage to serve his black magic needs.

Her life is a tenuous thing and her days are filled with fear and servitude, until one day a journeyman comes to fulfill a promise to her village and Kita forms a plan to leave with him.

Her journey takes her on a dangerous path where she discovers her origins, makes fleeting friendships, finds love and even finds herself and what she’s made of. But something or someone is always there to take away Kita’s happiness and this time is no different.

I really enjoyed Kita and her story. I loved that she wasn’t this long lost savior of her people but rather a simple girl who just got separated from her family. She was real and her plight was real. I felt a deep well of sympathy for her as she tried to find a place to belong and never quite getting it. She was different and no matter where she wanted to hang her hat, it just didn’t fit. I also really liked the sweet, simple romance between Kita and Pono. He was strong and his bravery won out each time.

And the idea of weaving a story into stone with song for generations to relive the tales of their predecessors, was romantic and beautiful.

I had a few problems with some of the elements in the story. I disliked the way Kaikanu treated Kita. Even after she explained her story and he knew she wasn’t the vile person he thought her to be, he never wavered in his hate for her. And at the end, when she finally “proves” she’s not after the magic, he still can't find it in his heart to actually love her. It was his fault she didn’t grow up with the people she was supposed to, so maybe his dislike came from guilt, but that was never explained and his dislike of her seemed cruel and petty. I also wanted to know more about Pono. Where did his gift come from and why could he do what he does? There were also some other things that didn’t feel resolved in this story but I don't want to give too much away and spoil it. I'm just left with a big wish list of things I wanted that I didn’t get and since this is a stand alone, I’m left to guess and wonder.

The Wrap Up:
I love this author's writing style. She can create fantastical worlds with amazing characters and a wondrous story that will thrill and enchant the imagination. Even though this was a fictional tale, I could easily imagine this way of life back when indigenous people ruled the land with their enigmatical beliefs and rich mythology. And all that is due to this authors creative words. Though I was left with too many questions and not enough resolve to the story, I still loved this read and all its beauty and charm!

Buy the Book!
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