A Song of Wraiths and Ruin
A Song of Wraiths and Ruin

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Annotation: The first in a gripping fantasy duology inspired by West African folklore in which a grieving crown princess and a despe... more
Catalog Number: #219707
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Hot Title Hot Title
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 480
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: Publisher: 0-06-289149-9 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-8405-3
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-06-289149-5 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-8405-4
Dewey: Fic
Language: English
Reviews:
Publishers Weekly
Magic creates a centuries-long divide between peoples in this stunning debut novel inspired by North African and West African folklore. Malik and his sisters, refugees from the Eshra Mountains, have spent the last two months traveling the Odjubai Desert to find work in the city-state of Ziran. When his younger sister is taken by an evil spirit as payment for a magical gift, Malik strikes a deal to kill Princess Karina Alahari, 17, in order to save his sister. Meanwhile, Karina-s mother, the sultana, is assassinated by an unknown man. Missing her mother and not wanting the responsibility of the throne, Karina vows to bring the sultana back from the dead; however, doing so requires a human sacrifice. Malik and Karina-s paths cross during Solstasia, a weeklong Zirani festival celebrating a comet that comes once every 50 years. As they reluctantly fall in love, both wrestle, in a dual narrative, with their individual plans to kill one another. An 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. Ages 13-up. Agent: Quressa Robinson, Nelson Literary. (June)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up An immersive, West African-inspired debut. Malik arrives in Ziran with his two sisters for the Solstasia festival, yearning for a fresh start. A refugee with a sensitive heart, he will do anything to protect his family. When a deal with a magical entity leads to his youngest sister's abduction, he knows that there is only one way forward: He has to broker an awful deal to ensure her safe return. In the meantime, Karina is the crown princess of Ziran with a tragic past and a lot to prove. Plagued by chronic migraines, she wants to live her own life outside of the constraints of her position. When her mother is assassinated, she and Malik are thrown into each other's path; they are both on secret missions to kill the other and salvage what they have lost. A growing mutual attraction complicates their mission, and they learn what is truly worth fighting for. Readers will forgive Brown for occasionally tangled plotting, because the story, characters, and world-building are so skillfully handled. VERDICT A mostly tautly woven tale with a slow build that will leave readers wanting more. The first in a duology, this will appeal to those who love gentle male protagonists, strong female leads, and worlds filled with magic! India Winslow, Cary Memorial Library, Lexington, MA
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Two teens, destined to destroy each other, are caught up in romance, palace intrigue, and magic.Seventeen-year-old, silver-haired, dark brown–skinned Karina is the reluctant crown princess of Ziran. After losing her sister and father to a mysterious fire, then her mother to an assassin, Karina is desperate to resurrect a suitable ruler for Ziran—even if that means taking a dark path into necromancy. Brooding, light brown–skinned Malik is a refugee from the mountain territories of Eshra, where his family is oppressed by Zirani occupation. He travels with his two sisters seeking work during the festival of Solstasia, a celebration that happens every 50 years and ushers in a new age of leadership under one of the patron deities. After tangling with a malevolent spirit, Malik finds himself promising to kill Karina in order to save the life of his little sister. There’s no time for readers to catch their breath as Brown’s complex plot winds and races from beginning to end. Still, the story never feels rushed or underdeveloped, and her exceptionally well-built world is infused with North and West African tricksters, naming conventions, and religious traditions. Matrilineal heritage dictates who rules in Ziran, a place where peripheral queer representation is accepted and celebrated.Revitalizing and exciting, Brown’s debut breathes life into ancient but still relevant folk stories. (map) (Fantasy. 14-18)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Brown delivers an explosive, stunning fantasy debut with her story of Malik, a refugee fleeing the horrors of war along with his sisters. The siblings are seeking a new, peaceful life; however, entry into the city of Ziran comes with a heinous price. Malik's sister is claimed by a demon as payment, and to get her back, Malik must strike a bargain that demands he kill the princess of Ziran. The princess in question is Karina, whose mother, the Sultana, has been recently murdered. Grieving, Karina seeks to resurrect her mother, but the magic requires the beating heart of a king as sacrifice ly Ziran has no king. Karina hatches a plot to marry so she can obtain the heart she needs from her future husband. When Malik enters the competition she arranges for potential suitors, the two are set on a collision course. Familial relationships, duty, and love are among the themes this novel richly explores, and its heroic main characters still feel unique, authentic, and flawed. Brown'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 involving war-torn countries, refugees, and the struggle, hard decisions, and sacrifices people are forced to make for peace and safety.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (5/1/20)
Publishers Weekly (5/1/20)
School Library Journal (5/1/20)
Reading Level: 6.0
Interest Level: 9-12

The first in a gripping fantasy duology inspired by West African folklore in which a grieving crown princess and a desperate refugee find themselves on a collision course to murder each other despite their growing attraction--from debut author Roseanne A. Brown. Perfect for fans of Tomi Adeyemi, Ren e Ahdieh, and Sabaa Tahir. 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 deal--kill Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran, for Nadia'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?


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