Song of Blood & Stone

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 15 May 2018

Member Reviews

This book was too confusing for me. I didn't like the characters or the writing. The cover is pretty. I do not recommend this book.
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A fantastic story filled with solid world-building and characters I could really connect to. Cannot wait for the next book in the series!
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Books, Fantasy, Young AdultSong of Blood and Stone by L. Penelope Kristin  1 Year Ago  No Comments
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E-Book Edition Releasing May 1st 2018!
    
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Song of Blood and Stone Book Cover Title:  Song of Blood and Stone 
Series:  Earthsinger Chronicles (Book 1) 
Author:  L. Penelope 
Publisher:  St. Martin's Press 
Release Date:  May 1, 2018 
 
"Wonderful characters, unique setting, and an engaging romance set against the backdrop of ancient magic. I can't wait to see what L. Penelope will do next."--Ilona Andrews, #1 New York Times bestselling author

A treacherous, thrilling, epic fantasy about an outcast drawn into a war between two powerful rulers.

Orphaned and alone, Jasminda lives in a land where cold whispers of invasion and war linger on the wind. Jasminda herself is an outcast in her homeland of Elsira, where her gift of Earthsong is feared. When ruthless soldiers seek refuge in her isolated cabin, they bring with them a captive--an injured spy who threatens to steal her heart.

Jack's mission behind enemy lines to prove that the Mantle between Elsira and Lagrimar is about to fall nearly cost him his life, but he is saved by the healing Song of a mysterious young woman. Now he must do whatever it takes to save Elsira and its people from the True Father and he needs Jasminda's Earthsong to do it. They escape their vicious captors and together embark on a perilous journey to save Elsira and to uncover the secrets of The Queen Who Sleeps.

Thrust into a hostile society, Jasminda and Jack must rely on one another even as secrets jeopardize their bond. As an ancient evil gains power, Jasminda races to unlock a mystery that promises salvation.

The fates of two nations hang in the balance as Jasminda and Jack must choose between love and duty to fulfill their destinies and end the war.

"Prepare to be hooked. SONG OF BLOOD AND STONE is brimming with captivating lore, unique magic, and plot-turns you never saw coming. L. Penelope has written your next fantasy obsession." --Elise Kova, USA Today bestselling author of The Loom Saga



Song of Blood and Stone by L. Penelope is the first edition in the Earthsinger Chronicles. Earthsingers are people who have a magical ability called Earthsong. It is as natural to them as air, and connects them to nature. They are non-confrontational people but can utilize the elements of earth as defense in battle. Those born with Earthsong are scorned by people who are born without.

Jasminda was the strongest of them all, even if her Earthsong was the weakest.
Song of Blood and StoneDespite being hardly tolerated in Elsira, Jasminda manages to keep her chin held high while living alone on her family property. Her father was an Earthsinger from Lagrimar but stayed in Elsira to be with her mother. Her parents were not well liked in their town because of their interracial relationship. For choosing to marry an Earthsinger, Jasminda’s mother was disowned from her Elsirian family.

Lagrimarians are not trusted, are believed to be inferior, and are often referred to as the slur “grol”. L. Penelope has presented a different concept for representing bias and the hardships people endure for having a quality that is naturally inherent to them. Earthsong is the cause of discrimination while the color of their skin is only an outward indicator of the ability.

Jack, an Elsirian soldier and therefore not an Earthsinger, is our leading man carrying a few secrets. He is caught spying on Lagrimarian soldiers and beaten nearly to death. It is when his captors commandeer Jasminda’s cabin that she and Jack are thrown together in a fight for survival. They are a formidable pair, each saving the other time and time again. Just when they think they can find happiness with each other, they arrive at Elsira’s Capital where less than a handful of people are kind to Jasminda.

Her appearance attracts gossip and rudely open stares.
Jasminda receives little kindness and virtually no respect while in Elsira’s Capital. Internally she feels the pain of being judged, yet outwardly she is the picture of confidence. She is a stronger heroine than most. Her internal struggle with the cruelty of others is honest and how most of us feel when we are misjudged. How she reacts reflects a deep will not to succumb to the prejudice of others. She manages to continue putting the well being of others before her own, desperate to figure out why The Queen Who Sleeps is sending her visions in her dreams.

Despite the personal cost to her own happiness, Jasminda is determined to find a way to wake The Queen and stop The True Father from taking overQueen of Elsira - Earthsong the lands and stealing Earthsong from all Lagrimarians. She finds new friends among the Lagrimarian refugees who have managed to hide from The True Father and retain their Earthsongs. Not all of them trust her, but they recognize that she has been chosen by The Queen.

Song of Blood and Stone touches on another sensitive subject, the treatment of refugees. There is dangerous tension and mistrust among refugees and soldiers. They’re rejected by the community and thought of as less than. This isn’t the key story line but it does easily apply to our very real climate.

There might be some predictability in the love story, but I was not expecting the amount of feelings I would experience in this book. I was entranced by the magic of Earthsong, and impressed at the resilience of a young woman in the face of adversity.

Song of Blood and Stone is much more than a young fantasy story, it is an experience that all book readers need to endure.
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Whoa!  I absolutely loved this!  I devoured this book, twice and then I got a chance to listen to the audiobook and devoured that too!  An amazing fantasy, simple plot, with complex layers, pulling emotions every way and then finally settling, leaving you wanting more!  There are so many elements I want to discuss here, but it’s impossible to do without giving all the goods away!  Which means I have to shout from the roof tops to get my friends to read it!  The way the issues parallel current events in the US is also fun to play with, immigration, interracial relationships, racism, oh my!  Loved this!
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Song of Blood & Stone has had something of a confusing publishing trajectory. If you're new to the series, here's a quick rundown before my review. L. Penelope self-published Song of Blood & Stone in 2015, then the book was picked up by St. Martin's Press and reissued in May 2018. Now there's an extended version coming out in paperback July 2019.  The second book was also self-published and is due to come out in October from the same publisher. There's also a prequel novella out as of January. Got all that?


This review is of the first traditionally published version of this book, read on audio. Not the self-pubbed or the new extended version.


***


Song of Blood & Stone is a timeless and timely fantasy romance filled with politics and violence and magic. The politics and worldbuilding are complicated, so this review will cover but a tiny portion of it. Jasminda's parents had something of a forbidden romance, her father from Elsira and her mother from Lagamiri, two nations that have been at war for centuries. Lagamiri, the kingdom with magic (Earthsong), has been ruled all this time by the True Father, a tyrant who steals the songs of his people in order to subjugate them and keep himself powerful and alive. Elsira is a monarchy, kept "safe" by armies and by a magical wall that keeps Lagamiri from invading. The wall is coming down, and everything is spun into chaos.


 With the magical wall coming down, hundreds of refugees are crossing the boundary from Lagamiri into Elsira. Not unlike current refugee crises around our world, the white Elsirans want to expel the black Lagamiran refugees. Elsira is supposedly not run by a tyrant, but its people claim jobs and housing and "dangerous magic" as the reasons they don't want the refugees. They even make an agreement with the True Father to send back the refugees (who will be killed) in exchange for Lagamiri to not invade. It all sounds so very familiar.


As for the romance, the book begins with Jack held captive by soldiers who decide that Jasminda's isolated cottage is the perfect place to stay for a few days. (Content Warning for attempted sexual assault on both Jack and Jasminda, plus actual physical assault and a close-call escape. The beginning of the book may be difficult for some readers.) Eventually they escape and set out to save the world, as you do. Their relationship builds gradually and is complicated by issues of race, class, and duty. They do get that HEA, but it's an interesting journey to get there, and I did wonder how they'd make it work.


(You may also be interested to know that there's an aunt in a long-term lesbian romance.)


Overall, this is a solid read for fans of fantasy romance. It's thought-provoking and immersive and I look forward to the second, which follows a different couple. My only complaint is that the ending was a bit abrupt, but I suspect that the new extended edition fixes that.





If you're a librarian reading this, I strongly suggest bringing these titles in now that they'll be in trade paperback. (Look at those covers!)





Content Warnings: war, death, murder, attempted sexual assault, children in peril, racism, xenophobia
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I really wanted to like this one--and at first, I did. But then, about halfway through, we start slipping into...how can I put this nicely...smut. At first just a few lines here and there. Then, suddenly, a whole chapter of it. And ick. There is just no need for that. It wasn't even well-written smut. So, I chose to stop reading, because I don't need to put smut into my brain. It's sad, because the world-building was decent and the characters were interesting...but when you take that and dissolve it into petty sex and pouty teenage angst, it rather steals the luster.
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This was such a fantastic read and I highly recommend it for anyone who loves the fantasy genre. I absolutely loved the main character Jasminda and I felt that her character development throughout this story was phenomenal. The plot dragged slightly at time, which can sometimes happen when a book is part of a series. Overall, I highly recommend this book!.
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Jasminda an orphaned girl living in a land that has whispers of invasion  and war . She is an outcast from her homeland of Elsira because she has the gift of Earthsong . When the soldiers take over her cabin she is captivated by a young man who she heals . She and Jack are thrust into a fight for the land and to stop an evil force that's is trying to take over . Will they be able to save the nations and come out the other side with their hearts intact . 
    I truly liked the two main characters , they were written so well and they are complex . Jasminda is an outcast but you see her strength and character . She is tough but also sensitive . She just wants to be left alone in her cabin . She thinks that no one would want her because of her gift . As you read you really watch her grow and become a kick butt character . Jack is a soldier and a prince and a man of honor . He helps brings Jasminda into force to be reckoned with . He is smitten with Jasminda but deep down I think he knows that duty might rip him away from her . There are a lot of supporting characters that help and hinder the main characters on their journey to end the wars . 
    I sat down and started reading this book . I was blown away on how beautifully written it was .. The author takes us on an emotional journey where duty and love collide . The characters will take your breath away they are complex and well written . You will fall in love with Jasminda and Jack  and cry and cheer with them . There is a mystery and romance through out this book  . But I did feel that there were parts of the book that did drag a bit . I felt the last bit of the book could of had more fighting and a bit more action to bring the ending to a resolve . Over all I did love the book and would recommend it for your summer reading list . So check it out .
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“Earthsong moved across his skin like the lips of a lover.”

Song of Blood & Stone is the first novel in the Earthsinger Chronicles. The Earthsinger Chronicles is a new adult epic fantasy romance. It follows the story of Jasminda, an outcast endowed with Earthsong, and her fateful encounter with the injured spy Jack. Jasminda lives on the border of Elsira and Lagamiri, nations caught in a centuries-long feud separated by a magical barrier called the Mantle. Thrust together one fateful winter night, Jasminda and Jack set off to stop the impending war and fall in love in the process.

“The two sides she’d seen before—soulful Jack and warrior Jack—merged before her, giving a complete picture for the first time.”

Song of Blood & Stone contains the familiar tropes of the hero’s—and in this case heroine’s—journey popularized by Joseph Campbell. However, unlike many entries in the mythopoeia genre, Song of Blood & Stone feels fresh. Folklore and romance are interwoven into Jasminda’s coming-of-age and blossoming romance with Jack. Jasminda, a mix-raced Earthsong practitioner, embodies her divided arcanepunk world. While the novel lagged near the end and introduced the dreaded “jealous childhood friend” female antagonist, the ending will keep readers on their toes. Song of Blood & Stone is a daring epic fantasy romance delivering fresh twists on stale tropes! I highly recommend this novel.

Recommended for Readers who Love:

— a soaring epic fantasy, 
— steamy new adult romance,
— and, a magical mixed-race heroine

ZELDA KNIGHT’S REVIEWS:
@AuthorZKnight
ww.zeldaknight.com
www.aurelialeo.com/blog
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I’ve just finished “Song of Blood and Stone,” a fantasy book that i enjoyed. I didn’t absolutely love it but it wasn’t a bad read either!

“Song of Blood and Stone” is an ARC that I’ve had for AGES! I’m trying to get through as many ARCs as I can this month...see below!!

3 Stars!

I read Song of Blood and Stone for several readathons again. These being: 

* Popsugar 2019 Challenge - A book about someone with a superpower - The song aspect in the title gives some of the characters healing abilities - The Earthsong is the superpower in this world. 

* Reading Rivalry - “a book involving the arts” - although we never hear a “song” being sung, it’s what the magic element is called in “Song of Blood and Stone,” so it counts, right?

* Litwits - Involves music - again we never “hear” a song being sung but it counts!

Fiction Feud Society - game of CLUE - Revolver (Sci-fi/fantasy) - “Song of Blood and Stone” is a fantasy. 

* Literary Love Affair - “Book with a kickass heroine” - Jasminda is pretty kickass. She doesn’t just accept things are the way they are. She challenges the rules! 

* mARCh-a-thon - This is my own little readathon, where I’m trying to read as many arcs as I can in the month of March. “Song of Blood and Stone” took a little bit longer than I would have liked to finish because I had a bad run headaches but now I’m better. “Song of Blood and Stone” is Arc #3 so I’m hopeful I can still get 5 read...Wish me luck!

“Song of Blood and Stone” centres on a war that surrounds the Elsira and Lagrimari people and the Mantle that stands between them. This is a fantasy book, as I’ve said, so the Elsira and Lagrimari people don’t really exist. It’s, I suppose like religious sects going to war against each other in the real world. The True Father is like the God that rules over both sects. He is the evil force in this world that our main characters try to overcome...do they??? You’ll have to read to find out...

“Song of Blood and Stone” is mainly written in 3rd person. (The main plot is.) I didn’t hate this, this time because Jasminda and Jack, our main girl and boy character weren’t in every scene, so unless this was duel POV, which I don’t love reading either, it wouldn’t have worked. It was a little like the “Stonewylde series” by Kit Berry, which if you’ve read my reviews for, you’ll know I LOVED. In “Song of Blood and Stone” it might have been nice to have a couple of first person moments from each main character but it wasn’t necessary to enjoy the plot more, I don’t think. I said the main plot is written in 3rd person. Bits here and there, at the beginning and end of chapters were written in first person. This kind of confused me a little bit. I’m still not sure why those bits were written that way. I suppose it’s so Jasminda, our main female character could experience being another person (I won’t give more away, as it’s central to the main plot and giving it away would make the book a pointless read apart from the romance, in my opinion). 

I, of course read this more for the romance, than the war aspects. I’m pleased to say the romance kept me hooked, throughout. I kind of wanted it to go further, which I’ll go more into in the spoiler section below. There’s a 1.5 novella, “Breath of Dust and Frost” to this series that follows the same characters so after I’ve read that, I’ll add a paragraph or two to this review, summarising my thoughts of the story as a whole. I probably won’t read further in the series because it appears we follow different characters after that and I’m not that interested in following other, new characters. 

The app that I use to read my NetGalley arcs didn’t record the quotes that I saved for this review, so there won’t be any. I’ll still summarise my thoughts in the spoiler section but that’s why there’s no evidence. 

Spoilers Below...  

Jasminda is our main female character. She is Lagrimari. We see her trying to overcome a family issue to begin with. Her parents were killed because of this war between the Lagrimari and the Elsian’s. Her Grandfather doesn’t care what happens to Jasminda. She’s of no concern to him, we learn early on in “Song of Blood and Stone.” 

We see that Jasminda lives in a hut because she doesn’t have enough money to afford nicer lodgings. When she’s on her way home after being at the post office to try and solve a situation, she comes across a young man. This young man, Jack is a prisoner of the Lagrimari people. He’s hurt and captured and his captors force their way into Jasminda’s lodgings. Jack is Elsian. Jasminda heals Jack with her Earthsong. You can probably guess what happens between these two characters if you’ve read my other reviews as my favourite books have opposing forces coming to love each other. That’s what happens here, as Jasminda and Jack fall in love. 

“Song of Blood and Stone” is a new adult book, I’d say because the sexual scenes do play out for us. They’re not crude but they’re not off the page, either. We know what’s happening. I would have liked for this romance to have gone further in perhaps, Jasminda getting pregnant with Jack’s baby. It would have been interesting to see him protect Jasminda and their child from the forces that are working against them. Also I’ll note here how Jasminda is Lagrimari and Jack is Elsian so we would have had a baby that’s both if this plot point had of happened, which would have made the plot more interesting for me. 

I wouldn’t exactly call it instalove, although the characters do have sex pretty soon after getting to the palace. Another HUGE point to take into mind is that Jack is Jaqros Edvard Alliaseen, Price Regent, after his brother dies. His brother isn’t a main character. Jasminda doesn’t learn this until she’s at the palace. We only find out when she does, too so if you don’t like books that involve twists that you’d never see coming, as well as kind of instalove, perhaps don’t pick this up!

There is a sort of love triangle in “Song of Blood and Stone” for Jack. I didn’t find it annoying because it was always pretty obvious just who he’d choose but it’s there to add a little tension to the plot, I guess. It’s between Jasminda and a girl named Lizvette. Lizvette has been a friend of Jack’s ever since they were children. Lizvette’s father plays a role in “Song of Blood and Stone” as well. Does she expect to be be Queen? Does her father expect her to be? You’ll have to read to find out! 

There were tense parts, where Jasminda was captured and had to be saved, like a damsel in distress kind of thing but the battle scenes at the end weren’t that good. To be honest the only thing I was reading “Song of Blood and Stone” for was the romance, which I got so that might be why my rating is a little on the high side because I really enjoyed the love story and how it was the main overarching plot.

Overall then, I enjoyed certain parts to “Song of Blood and Stone” more than other parts. The romance was written really well, I thought, even if it was a little easy to guess what the outcome would be. The war elements were somewhat secondary to the romance plot, which, as I’ve said was fine for me but it might have been nice to have seen a little more action to go along with the romance, as this is a fantasy and not just a contemporary. I’ll read the 1.5 novella as it wraps up things for Jasminda and Jack but after that I won’t read anymore in this series, I don’t think. All of that is why I’m giving “Song of Blood and Stone” 3 Stars!
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I loved the characters and the romance! The unique setting only adds to the story, and the plot kept me intrigued!
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What Did I Think of Song Of Blood & Stone by L. Penelope?

So, okay,  I don't necessarily think that Song Of Blood & Stone by L. Penelope truly would fall in the young adult audiobook category. HOWEVER, I do think that it does have some pretty massive crossover appeal, hence including it on this list of young adult audiobooks. Song Of Blood & Stone is the first of the Earthsinger Chronicles series. It's a wildly interesting book about a girl named Jasminda who is an orphan. She has this gift called earthsinging which helps her to determine if people are lying to her or not, among other things. Anyways, the tax man comes knocking and Jasminda gets drawn into this war. On the whole, this is a pretty superb audiobook and I find myself interested in what comes next. I thought that the magic in this book seemed cool. And yes, magic does have to seem cool for me to be interested. Jasminda is someone I care about and felt invested in as a reader. L. Penelope certainly has got talent.

How Is The Narration?

The audiobook of Song Of Blood & Stone is narrated by Allyson Johnson. It is 9 hours and 34 minutes long. For an adult book that works as a crossover, I feel like the audiobook is pretty short. I liked listening to this audiobook. Sometimes my attention wandered, I just have a lot on my mind. But when I was completely tuned in, it was very enjoyable. Johnson has a relaxing sounding voice. It is devoid of annoying tones. So, a good audiobook if you just need to relax and want some solid fantasy to listen to.
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A really good story and a book in which I want to know the characters better and see in more books.  I would read more by this author and hope for more books by this person.
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Jack and Jasminda are thrown together by fate. Jasminda, an orphan, lives on a mountain far away from the people who fear her and her Song. Jasminda can sing, and by singing can change some small pieces of reality. Jack, a soldier and a spy, is brought as a captive to Jasminda's door. Freeing themselves from the soldiers who brought Jack there, Jasminda and Jack set off on an adventure together, increasing drawn to each other even as they know their worlds will try to keep them apart. Though they don't know it at first, they will need to work together to save the world.

Song of Blood and Stone by L. Penelope has an interesting premise. Those gifted with the Song can change the world around them. The story rings true as the various social groups in the story mirror the many struggles of people in our own world. The characters and the plot are also unique. The history of the land is told in fairytale-esc snippets at the beginning of each chapter, which also feed the reader little clues about the mysteries and the magic... bite by bite. At the beginning of each chapter, you learn a little more about the world where the hero and heroine live and a little more about The Queen Who Sleeps. On the flip side, the hero's actions and some parts of the plot became a little predictable, but don't we all want the good guys to win in the end?

I loved the mystery and the magic, but I didn't appreciate the sexual content. The relationship between the hero and the heroine becomes quite physical, thus making this book not an appropriate choice for teens or younger readers. The story was entertaining, but I would have appreciated a more chaste relationship. 

Thank you to St. Martin's Press for the ARC that I received of this book though NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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This was a very interesting story. Though the worldbuilding was a bit confusing, I really liked the main character and following her journey. The romance was really captivating and I loved how Jasminda helped Jack see a different side of the world. My favorite aspect of the story was the visions that Jasminda was having. I would have loved to see more of those. 
Overall I really enjoyed this and I'm glad it could be read as a standalone. I am very interested in reading the next companion book.
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Reviewing for NetGalley 

I loved the concept of the story and the characters but I couldn’t get myself interested in reading if.
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I was so excited about this book. Incredible magic, ceated through song! An interworld war! Unfortunately, I just couldn't get into it. It was promising at the start. I liked the MC and I connected with her voice as she bunkered down in the wilds alone, mourned her family, and tried to hide from enemy soldiers. Unfortunately, after there it just dragged. It became much more about the romance between her and the enemy prince than about the magic. Their relationship didn't compel me, and at times seemed too passionate and deep without reason. I was also just annoyed at how they acted. The prince, for example, brought her to the castle, knowing she would be despised, and then gave her this glorious important title not caring that it would bring them both under fire. I know that characters don't have to be wise to be realistic, but it just rubbed me personally the wrong way. The writing also seemed too tell-not-show. I found myself setting it aside, dreading coming back to it, dragging through it. In the end, it sat on my "Currently reading" list for about two months in which I hadn't touched it before I had to concede defeat. 

I know that others liked it and I hope it charms them, but it just wasn't for me.
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DNF @ 12%
*I was invited to read an ARC of this book from the publisher*
I was uncomfortable with the amount of adult content in this book and I wish I had known about it before reading. While the fantasy prologue introduction was okay, I personally didn't connect with the writing at all. The situation the girl found herself in with the guy that ended up being the love interest was questionable for me as well. They were potentially in a dangerous situation but then witty banter comes in? It didn't work at all for me.
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Song of Blood and Stone was a beautifully written book that was more of a romance than a fantasy book. The characters are really wonderful especially the main character- a girl who has always been a bit of an outcast and alone. I look forward to picking up the rest of the series.
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While the plot is intriguing, the narrative voice in this story did not mesh with me at all. It feels very forced and stilted, and was so distracting that I sadly was not able to even finish the book.
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