A TIME 100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time
A Time Magazine Best Fantasy Book of 2018
L. Penelope's Song of Blood & Stone is a treacherous, thrilling, epic fantasy about an outcast drawn into a war between two powerful rulers.
The kingdoms of Elsira and Lagrimar have been separated for centuries by the Mantle, a magical veil that has enforced a tremulous peace between the two lands. But now, the Mantle is cracking and the True Father, ruler of Lagrimar and the most powerful Earthsinger in the world, finally sees a way into Elsira to seize power.
All Jasminda ever wanted was to live quietly on her farm, away from the prying eyes of those in the nearby town. Branded an outcast by the color of her skin and her gift of Earthsong, she’s been shunned all her life and has learned to steer clear from the townsfolk…until a group of Lagrimari soldiers wander into her valley with an Elsiran spy, believing they are still in Lagrimar.
Through Jack, the spy, Jasminda learns that the Mantle is weakening, allowing people to slip through without notice. And even more troubling: Lagrimar is mobilizing, and if no one finds a way to restore the Mantle, it might be too late for Elsira. Their only hope lies in uncovering the secrets of the Queen Who Sleeps and Jasminda’s Earthsong is the key to unravel them.
Thrust into a hostile society and a world she doesn’t know, Jasminda and Jack race to unveil an ancient mystery that might offer salvation.
Penelope delivers an engrossing story with delightful characters in this fantastic opening to a promising series. Jasminda ul-Sarifor inherited many things from her father, including her magical powers as an Earthsinger and the features that mark her as a woman of Lagrimaran descent. Unfortunately, she lives in xenophobic Elsira. She's reviled by her neighbors and has every reason to hate Jack, an Elsiran spy fleeing pursuit from vicious Lagrimaran soldiers; instead, she takes pity on him. He bears the news that the magical barrier that separates Elsira and Lagrimara is about to fail, and he must return to his superiors to warn of an impending war that could destroy Elsira and plunge the world into the despot control of the cruel True-Father. As Jasminda and Jack work together to protect their home, attraction turns their pragmatic alliance into a romantic union that won't be denied, despite the obligations of Jack's social and political position and the persistent prejudice against Jasminda's mixed heritage. The tale is infused with optimism but never cloying, and it culminates in a well-earned and satisfying ending, leaving readers impatient for the next installment of the series. (BookLife)
I really enjoyed this book. The beginning goes a little slow getting used to the language and terminology. But after a few chapters I was hooked. I believe the author did a good job developing the characters and their intersectionality. You can see where they will collided, but the story is weaved in such a way that you want to continue reading to see how it will turn out.