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What a debut! Set against a competition of magic and skill, a crowned princess and a refugee realize that to save someone they love, they must kill each other. I especially enjoyed the magic system, lore, and mythology that Brown incorporated. I eagerly await the next volume of this duology.
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 his younger sister, Nadia, as payment to enter the city, Malik strikes a fatal dealâ€”kill Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran, for Nadiaâ€™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 heart-pounding 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?
"Magic creates a centuries-long divide between peoples in this stunning debut novel inspired by North African and West African folklore. An action-packed tale of injustice, magic, and romance, this novel immerses readers in a thrilling world and narrative reminiscent ofÂ Children of Blood and Bone."Â (Publishers Weekly, "An Anti-Racist Children's and YA Reading List")
About the Author
Roseanne 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 Writersâ€™ House program. Her work has been featured by Voice of America, among other outlets. A Song of WraithsÂ and Ruin is her debut novel. You can visit her online at roseanneabrown.com.
â€œAn explosive, stunning fantasy debutâ€¦ Brownâ€™s world building is diverse and brimming with political intrigue, magic, and a burgeoning romance in the best of ways. Notably, Brown uses a lush fantasy backdrop to poignantly discuss real-world issues.â€ â€” ALA Booklist (starred review)
â€œRevitalizing and exciting, Brownâ€™s debut breathes life into ancient but still relevant folk stories.â€ â€” Kirkus ReviewsÂ (starred review)
â€œAn action-packed tale of injustice, magic, and romance, this novel immerses readers in a thrilling world and narrative tantamount to that of Children of Blood and Bone.â€ â€” Publishers Weekly(starred review)
â€œThis epic story is brimming with trickster spirits, rich culture, and an organically developing romance that make every twist and turn more interesting than the lastâ€¦.Brownâ€™s novel will easily fit on shelves next to other great West Africanâ€“inspired fantasies like Adeyemiâ€™s Children of Blood and Bone and Ifuekoâ€™s Raybearer, and the ending makes it apparent that Malik and Karinaâ€™s story has (thankfully) only just begun."
â€” Bulletin of the Center for Childrenâ€™s Books (starred review)
â€œA supernatural love story inspired by West African folklore and dripping in political commentary and modern parallels.â€Â â€” BookPage (starred review)
â€œWill leave readers wanting more.... This will appeal to those who love gentle male protagonists, strong female leads, and worlds filled with magic!â€ â€” School Library Journal
â€œImpressive world-building, beautiful writing, and surprising plot twistsâ€¦. Perfect for fans of Tomi Adeyemi (Children of Blood and Bone), Sabaa Tahir (An Ember in the Ashes), and Tochi Onyebuchi (Beasts Made of Night).â€ â€” Horn Book Magazine
â€œA rapturous love story with wickedly delicious magic and bloody stakes, A Song of Wraiths and Ruin is a heart-racing epic that canâ€™t be missed.â€ â€” Dhonielle Clayton, New York TimesÂ bestselling author of The Belles seriesÂ
â€œA refreshing, immersive debut that should be on every fantasy loverâ€™s shelf, A Song of Wraiths and Ruin introduces a dazzling new talent in Roseanne A. Brownâ€ â€” Kiersten White, New York Times bestselling author of And I Darken
â€œWith the heart-pounding action of Children of Blood and Bone, the magic of Spirited Away, and the twisty alluring intrigue of Game of Thrones, A Song of Wraiths and Ruin is a MASTERPIECE.â€ â€” Brittney Morris, author of SLAY
"A dazzling debut, sparkling with delicious magic, romance, and intrigue. Brown weaves a story that will sink its teeth into you and won't let go, even after the last page." â€” Swati Teerdhala, author of The Tiger at Midnight
"Set in a world of ancient magic, Brown spins a fantastical tale that is full of heart, adventure, and intrigue. Readers will delight in the lush details of a world and characters so vividly drawn that they leap off the page." â€” Rena Barron, author of Kingdom of Souls