By Gillian Bronte Adams
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: 2016
Content Warnings: some violence and mild gory descriptions
After the harrowing journey across Leira and discovering that she is the Songkeeper, Birdie’s journey continues in Songkeeper, book two of The Songkeeper Chronicles. The story picks up where book one, Orphan’s Song, leaves off, with Birdie and her thief friend Ky stuck in the hold of a slaver’s ship. The owner of said ship wants Birdie to be his Songkeeper, singing for him at will. But Birdie refuses, for while she can hear the Song and the melodies of the world around her, she can’t control it or them. She feels powerless and bitter, not understanding her role in her world.
Things are solved fairly quickly, and Birdie and her friends start making the trek across Leira to Mount Eiphyr in search of a fabled river, said to hold the ultimate Song that was used by the Master Singer to create the world.
Adams writes with lyrical prose that is reminiscent of Tolkien’s style. While she isn’t as masterful as Tolkien (in my opinion, no one is or ever will be), Adams is an amazing writer in her own right, weaving word together to create a fantastical world that I can almost hear.
However, the plot of Songkeeper isn’t as musical. Most of Birdie’s chapters are slow, filled with travel and planning and not much else. To be honest, I enjoyed Ky’s chapters more than Birdies because at least he had a set goal in mind and a lot more was happening with him, as he tried to keep his makeshift family—a group of thieving orphans—safe. Meanwhile, Birdie is traveling, doing whatever Amos says, and doubting herself. The pace of the story doesn’t pick up until the very end. It almost felt—to me—that Songkeeper was a filler book to bridge the gap between the first and last. While yes, the events in the book were important, they just didn’t hold me like Orphan’s Song did.
Still, Songkeeper was an interesting tale of family loyalty, honor, and self-identity.
I Rate It: 3 ½ stars
About the Book:
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?
(Description taken from Amazon)
About the Author:
Gillian Bronte Adams is a sword-wielding, horse-riding, coffee-loving speculative fiction author from the great state of Texas. A love of epic stories and a desire to present truth in a new way drew her to the realm of fantasy. During the day, she manages the equestrian program at a youth camp. But at night, she kicks off her boots and spurs, pulls out her trusty laptop, and transforms into a novelist.