War ravages Leira and the Song has fallen silent.
Freed from the hold of a slave ship, Birdie, the young Songkeeper, and Ky, a street-wise thief, emerge to a world at war. Hordes of dark soldiers march across Leira, shadowed by whispers of plague and massacres, prompting Ky to return to his besieged home city in hopes of leading his fellow runners to safety.
Desperate to end the fighting, Birdie embarks on a dangerous mission into the heart of the Takhran's fortress. Legend speaks of a mythical spring buried within and the Songkeeper who will one day unleash it to achieve victory. Everyone believes Birdie is the one, but the elusive nature of the Song and rumors of other gifted individuals lead her to doubt her role. Unleashing the spring could defeat the Takhran once and for all, but can she truly be the Songkeeper when the Song no longer answers her call?
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Someone once said that there can be no beauty without pain, or something to that effect. And, in the case of Songkeeper, it holds true. There is much beauty in this book, but there is much pain as well.
-Amos continues to be pretty much my favorite character in the entire book. He's broken, imperfect, struggling- but still brave and determined and unwilling to give up hope. His unwavering protection (sometimes over-protection) of Birdie is sweet, and his interactions with others add a bit of humor to many a dark situation. And we learn more about his history in this book, which is both fascinating and a bit saddening.
-Grundhold would be another of my pretty-much-favorite-characters. I mean, he's a griffin, which means immediate awesomeness. And, like Amos, he's determined to protect Birdie- but he also wants to see her fulfill her destiny. (Surprise, surprise, he and Amos clash a fair bit. It's really fun to read.)
-Other characters continue to be great as well. Ky most definitely needs a hug or five. Poor boy. But his interactions with Migdon and the members of the Underground are great. Migdon, for his part, is hilarious and devious and just a lot of fun. Cade is still thinking with his emotions instead of his brain half the time, and it drives me a little crazy but mostly it just makes me sad because I like him and he keeps getting in trouble. Sym and Inali are pretty cool too, even if I'm still sorting out my exact feelings on one of them. And Birdie is still uncertain about her future about her future and struggling with how everyone seems to be pushing her one way or another and no one's really giving her answers- but even in the midst of disaster, she doesn't give in. She's strong without being your typical Strong Heroine.
-Riding lions. The desert culture in general is pretty cool- but the lions are the best part. (And it's mentioned that they're not entirely comfortable to ride, which makes sense and just increases the awesomeness of the people who are totally at ease around them.)
-It hits right in the feels. Right. in. the. feels. (SPOILERS- highlight to read: Migdon . . . nooooooo! Why him? That was not ok! And Amos . . . I'm trying to convince myself that since we didn't actually see a dead body, he's still alive, because that's how this works, right? And he's too important to die. Right? (I swear, if Gillian pulls a Cruedwyn with Amos, I will be too upset for words.) And Cade and Aliyah . . . *sniffle* And I should've seen Inali's thing coming. I really should've.- END SPOILERS)
-So, from the cover, I expected that the book would take place primarily in the desert with the Saari . . . but nope. Less than half the book and we head back up north. Granted, two of the Saari are joining us, but it's not the same. Maybe the next book will be better in that respect.
-Certain scenes near the end are a bit dark. And grim. And verging-on-nightmarish if you think about them too much. There isn't a ton of description, so it's still ok, but it could be a touch disturbing for younger readers, in my personal opinion.
-(SPOILER- highlight to read: So Inali's betrayal . . . I should've seen it coming because it was basically the same arc as we had with George in the last book. Y'know. Birdie likes him, Amos distrusts him, he seems like a nice guy and then he turns them in to the Takhran . . . - END SPOILER)
Overall, Songkeeper is an excellent sequel to Orphan's Song. If you're looking for a short, fun read that's still exciting and meaningful, definitely check out both this and the previous book in the series. As for me, I'll be eagerly awaiting Book 3.
Thanks for reading! Now, go check out Songkeeper!
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)