Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3/5)
* I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. This in no way affected my opinion of the book.
Song of Blood & Stone is a historical fantasy that follows Jasminda, a mixed-race girl, who finds herself in the middle of a war after saving a stranger with her magic, known as Earthsong. The land it’s set in is separated into two areas: one belonging to the Lagamiri (those with magic) and Elsira (those without). Jasminda is an outcast, despite belonging to both worlds, but her dark skin in Elsira leaves her to lead a life in isolation.
This was a fascinating read I have to say. I wasn’t expecting much, but I left more satisfied than I had expected. The story parallels to many moments in history, but more closely to our times today, and how refugees are treated and negative media bias. We see how Jasminda is affected and how Jack, the white male lead, learns to use his privilege to do better than his peers and ancestors. It also discusses abuse, erasure and systematic oppression.
I have to say it did take some time getting into the story and understanding the general plot. The romance was overwhelming and felt a bit forced, more like we were told to like them as a couple rather than growing to love them together, which may be because of the rushed ending. There wasn’t as much world building incorporated as you would expect from a fantasy book, I hope this to be built upon in the next books since I felt a bit puzzled in the first half of the book.
Overall, I really enjoyed this. I’ve been in search of a new fantasy series, and I think maybe what I’m looking for.