A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown (A Song of Wraiths and Ruin #1)
Reviewed by Sam!
What I drank prior: it’s Valentine’s Day and it’s also quarantine and FUCK THIS. I’ve had more than 1.5 bottles of wine.
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 Malik’s younger sister, Nadia, as payment into 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 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?
The first in an 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.
Drunk Overview: so this book is basically two people who are planning to kill each other, for different motivations. Malik showed up to the city to get work during their huge ass festival, accidentally gets his sister kidnapped by some scary ass guy that only he can see. Dudeman says “go kill theprincess and i’ll give her back.” Karina s the princess and her mom is murdered and she figures out that if she sacrifices a king then she can bring mama back to life. So at this festival there’s a competition that Malik enters, whoever wins gets to marry the princess, hence having a king and M can get close to K. Phew. Obvi they ~bond~ and it goes from there.
Spoiler-free Thoughts: I adored this book. I ate it up. I love these types of stories. It’s not hate to love, it’s not even friend to love, but like, they are supposed to kill each other but don’t want to. Also, there’s panic attack rep in this, whic is cool considering I have panic disorder and this is cool to see in fantasy.
Characters: So, we talked a bit about Malik and Karina. They’re both incredible characters, highly motivated. Karina is a drunk and I LOVE THAT, obvi. Malik is my son. BUT the side characters in this are realllllllly great. They’re fully developed. They’re also plot tools, but well-rounded plot tools. Tunde is my favorite.
Plot: Lol, my notes say “Malik in hunger games to save sis” and that is an amazing description. It’s got some pacing issues, but it works. The angst is also v real.
Writing Style: Nothing stood out, good or bad. So good? I ggues?
World Building: It’s one of the only worlds that I could actually see in my mind for a long time. I know exactly what the city looks like, and exactly where the other cities are and stuff. I am STOKED for the next book.
What to pair it with: Moscow Mule (i know i know that’s the wrong part of the globe, but hear me out). It’s delicious, you can suck them down like candy, and they will FUCK YOU UP.
Until next time, we remain forever drunkenly yours,