Friday, June 8, 2018

Song of Leira Review

Hey'a, everyone, and welcome to the Song of Leira blog tour! I'm super excited to announce that Song of Leira, the final installment in the Songkeeper Chronicles, finally released this past week. The festivities for this release, including a Facebook party and a photo contest, will continue all month, so that'll be fun too— you've got a whole month of reviews, interviews, character spotlights, guest posts, and more, besides the already-mentioned "big things", to enjoy! Today, I'll be sharing my review of the book— but before that, a little about Song of Leira and its author!

About the Book:  

 The Song bids her rise to battle.

Reeling from her disastrous foray into the Pit, Birdie, the young Songkeeper, retreats into the mountains. But in the war-torn north, kneeling on bloodstained battlefields to sing the souls of the dying to rest, her resolve to accept her calling is strengthened. Such evil cannot go unchallenged.

Torn between oaths to protect the Underground runners and to rescue his friend from the slave camps, Ky Huntyr enlists Birdie's aid. Their mission to free the captives unravels the horrifying thread connecting the legendary spring, Artair's sword, and the slave camps. But the Takhran's schemes are already in motion. Powerful singers have arisen to lead his army - singers who can shake the earth and master the sea - and monsters rampage across the land.

As Leira falters on the verge of defeat, the Song bids her rise to battle, and the Songkeeper must answer.






About the Author:

Gillian Bronte Adams is a sword-wielding, horse-riding, wander-loving fantasy author, rarely found without a coffee in hand and rumored to pack books before clothes when she hits the road. Working in youth ministry left her with a passion for journeying alongside children and teens. (It also enhanced her love of coffee.) Now, she writes novels that follow outcast characters down broken roads, through epic battles, and onward to adventure. And at the end of a long day of typing, she can be found saddling her wild thing and riding off into the sunset, seeking adventures of her own (and more coffee).

She loves to connect with fellow readers and wanderers online through her blog, Facebook page, newsletter, and Instagram.





My Review:

This, my friends, is a book well worth waiting for.

Ok, so, two years isn't that long of a wait— not compared to how long some authors have taken to release new books. But with our favorite characters in dire straits, fans of the Songkeeper Chronicles have been anxiously waiting for this final installment to reassure us that, yes, the Takhran will be defeated, Amos, Birdie, Ky, and the rest will live, and the Song will be restored. And now that that book is here and those questions can be answered, I just have to say: Song of Leira is the best of Gillian's books yet. And trust me, you won't see the ending coming.

One of the things Gillian does best— always has done best— is theme, and Song of Leira is no exception. Powerful without being preachy, cheering without being cheesy, Gillian speaks her message clearly through the decisions of her characters and the results of those actions. Even in the midst of darkness, even when our characters are at their most beaten-down, they find hope, for the Master Singer is still in control. Even when it doesn't make sense, characters choose to follow His lead— and in that, they find triumph, though there is much heartbreak along the way. And even when evil is overwhelming, they seek to do the good set before them, for such is where the fight begins and ends. The road is hard and the path is long; Gillian doesn't try to pretend otherwise. But there is light at the end of it.

Besides the themes, one of my favorite things about the Songkeeper Chronicles is the characters themselves. It's amazing to see how they've grown and changed since Orphan's Song. Birdie, once pushed here and there by the decisions of those around her, steps forward to seek the Song and follow its lead for herself. Ky, once constantly at odds with the ways of the Underground, now finds his way as their leader. Even Cade has mellowed out some. And Amos . . . oh, poor Amos. The brokenness he once hid behind a bold mask has been compounded until he can hide it no more. They're all broken, these characters. At times it seems as if they're just fumbling and feeling their way along in the dark; they're lost in the storm of sorrow and trouble they face. Yet they stay strong and hold true to what they know, and even the most broken find healing in the end.

Yet it's not just the characters who've grown. It's the author as well. Orphan's Song, Gillian's first book, felt . . . safe. There was danger, there was fear, there was a cliffhanger ending, but very rarely did I doubt that the characters would make it through somehow. And there were parts in Orphan's Song, even in Songkeeper, where I read it and I thought, that, that could've been handled better. This seems off. 

But Song of Leira is anything but safe. The pain, the darkness, the sorrow, they're as real as the joy and the hope and the peace. Beloved characters fall and fail and are lost and— not going to lie— some die. (One death in particular, midway through the book, just about tore my heart in two.) Gillian has clearly taken lessons from the masters in how to put readers' emotions through the wringer along with her characters. But none of the book, from the darkest sorrow to the brightest joy, is overdone or underwhelming. It's right. The prose, in many places, is beautiful— not something I say about many books. And the ending— oh, the ending! I don't think I can say much about it without giving spoilers, but it's magnificent. Just trust me and read it.

In conclusion: Song of Leira is an excellent ending to the Songkeeper Chronicles. The deep themes and beautifully broken characters will speak to readers' hearts, and the storyline itself will keep them constantly turning pages. If you're a fan of the Songkeeper Chronicles, you won't be disappointed— and if you haven't read the series yet, what are you waiting for?

Are you excited for Song of Leira? What about the book are you most looking forward to? If you haven't read the series yet, are you interested? Please tell me in the comments!
Thanks for reading!
 -Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)


  1. Love your review! Yes to all the things! :D Definitely my favorite of the books! ^_^ I miss the world already, too. :P Just--GAH! *huggles all the characters* (And I know which death your talking about and ME TOO.) But yes, so much joy and just--I LOVE IIIT. <3

  2. Just started Song of Leira last night! Can't wait to finish, but also savoring every moment!

  3. Thanks so much for writing up a review and taking the time to share your thoughts on the book!


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