Cover Image: Cry of Metal & Bone

Cry of Metal & Bone

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While it may have taken me quite a while to get to “Whispers of Shadow and Flame” after reading “Song of Blood and Stone” over a year earlier, I was much more prompt in my continuance of the series this time. It took reading the second story to really remind me how fantastic this series really is! The fact that each book centers around a new set of characters while continuing the overall plot of two countries needing to come together in a new world just adds to the appeal. And not for nothing, but I also really like the cover on this one. Let’s dive in!

After so long kept separate by the magical barrier known as the Mantle, it’s no wonder that the countries of Elsira and Lagrimar have struggled to come together. Thing only get worse when there’s an attack on an Elsiran holy site. The King and Queen, desperate to hold their country together and with a shared vision of the prosperous land that could be these two countries united, bring together a small group of individuals to seek out the culprits. Darvyn, still working to find Kyara, his love who has been captured, joins a smuggler and an ex-socialite. For her part, Kyara works to begin to understand and control her powerful magical abilities.

This series seems to just get better and better! Like I mentioned already, one of the things I’ve liked so far has been that each book has introduced a new set of characters/romantic pairing. But as the series continues, this also becomes a more challenging task to undertake as the previous, now four, other characters still exist in the story, some with active storylines playing out. Darvyn and Kyara, for example, from the previous book, ended their story on somewhat of a cliffhanger. They were separated, and Kyara was still learning how to manage her magic. So I was thrilled to see them given the time and page count needed to continue their stories in a satisfying way.

At the same time, these characters can’t outshine the new characters introduced. I really like both of the new character we got here. They each had distinct voices and backgrounds that set them apart from the characters we’ve seen before. I also really liked the romance that developed between them (I’ve really liked all the romances in these books, another feat!). I was perhaps a bit, a bit, less interested than in others just because I was still very distracted by Darvyn and Kyara’s drama that was still unfolding. But that is barely a complaint at all.

I also really liked the continue exploration into the magic of this world and the various powerful players working behind the scenes. The history of the land also continues to unfold in new and surprising ways, keeping you constantly guessing at who was in the wrong or the right. I really like this type of nebulous story-telling that reflects history so well: it’s often told by the winners and so much is lost to time. My only real criticism here is that the villains in all of the books, including this one, have felt rather one dimensional with unclear motivations.

Fans of the series should definitely check this one out. Each book can technically be read as a stand-alone, but I think this one, even more than the second, would suffer as a first entry for new readers. There’s too much of Darvyns and Kyara’s story that would be lost. I’m excited to see where the story will go from here.

Rating 8: Another great entry with a new set of compelling characters and a sweet romance.
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Interesting and great story.  

I liked the flow and the characters.  There was a great amount of conflict and interest to keep page turning.

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I love this whole world, the world building is just amazing and the author builds these characters that are so intricate, I cannot wait for a new series from her.
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Once again, I am blown away by the world-building and storytelling of this author. I keep wanting to come back to this world that is so cleverly dripping in metaphor and political intrigue.
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I really enjoyed the third book, the characters were great and I really liked going on the journey. I hope there is more from the author and this series.
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Cry of Metal & Bone is the third book in the Earthsinger Chronicles by L. Penelope. Released 11th Aug 2020 by Macmillan on their St. Martin's Griffin imprint, it's 496 pages and available in paperback, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.
Even though it's the third book in the series (there's also a novella in addition), I think it would work reasonably well as a standalone (I've read the previous two books but not the novella).  I had no trouble following the plot or the wonderfully complex and rich world building and magical systems. It's a hybrid high fantasy with some nods to steampunk/technology. The author is quite gifted, especially with her descriptive prose and dialogue. I wasn't yanked out of the story one single time by clunky or unbelievable dialogue.

There is a romance theme, so readers who are only in it for the swords will probably skip the kissing bits. There's also quite a lot of violence. I liked that the books have strong female representation who are practical, resourceful, and intelligent. For readers who prefer their speculative fiction romance-free, this book does include a significant romance subplot.  The writing is superlative however, and the included romance element wasn't cringe-worthy or badly written at all. I would classify it as mature YA/NA but I didn't find it juvenile in any way (I would say 'adult' but that conjures a different demographic). 

Four stars. This is a gifted author with an intelligent and immersive story to tell.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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I can't wait for the next book. Is the awakened queen good or bad? Will all of our beloved characters survive? This series is so well done that waiting for them is pure torture.  Her world is so detailed and thought out that I almost feel like I could visit it. There were very little mistakes making this a very enjoyable read.
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I ran across this installment of the series before I was familiar with the other books.  I was pleasantly surprised at how much I was able to enjoy Cry of Metal & Bone without reading the previous books.  However, it is my suggestion to take in the previous books in the series. for a better understanding and enjoyable experience,

If you enjoy a good fantasy, you will want to pick this up. Great read!
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Cry of Metal and Bone is a true epic fantasy. The world building Is fantastic. The reader is transported into a world of intrigue, magic and flying machines. 
This book though fantasy is timely in that is addresses several of the issues we are dealing with today — prejudice and xenophobia. Circumstances make the character face their bias as they are forced to work together for goal , which includes a quest which challenges them and draw them together.
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Ok. Can we just start off with how gorgeous this cover is! 5 stars for the cover art.

I feel like this series just keeps getting better! This might my favorite installment so far. If you are looking for a smart fantasy series with a great cast of characters, political intrigue, great worlding building and plot, then this is definitely one to try.

The author not only examines important themes that readers will see reflected in the real world (and perhaps even their own lives), but she does such a great job creating a strong magic system that honestly becomes more and more entertaining with each book.

Definitely give these books a try!
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Rating closer to a 3.5

*Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an advance digital copy in exchange for my honest review*

I'm sorry to say that this was my first DNF this year (very very rare for me). I really tried but I had to give up at around 60%. L. Penelope's writing was lush and skilled as always and I still adore the magic system in this world, I just found myself really dreading when the narrative switched to certain characters (there are MANY pov's in this book, and naturally some where more compelling than others).

While there were parts that were very engaging and characters that I really enjoyed, I found my attention drifting every time the story switched to certain characters and I spent over a week trying to push past and finish. I'll return and try again in a few weeks, maybe I'll have better luck.
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This book was a great third entry in the Earthsinger Chronicles. I'm looking forward to reading the last book in the quartet when it's released.
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Title: Cry of Metal & Bone
Author:  L. Penelope   
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Six weeks after the fall of the Mantle, centuries-old enemies Elsira and Lagrimar struggle to unite. The will of the goddess is that the two nations become one, but while the war may be over, peace is still elusive. As desperate Lagrimari flee their barren land for a chance at a better life in Elsira, a dangerous faction opposed to the unification rises.

When a shadowy group with ties to the Elsiran government takes responsibility for a fatal attack and promises more, an unlikely crew is assembled to investigate. Among them are Lizvette Nirall, a disgraced socialite seeking redemption for past mistakes, and Tai Summerhawk, a foreign smuggler determined to keep a promise he made to a dead man. Powerful Earthsinger Darvyn ol-Tahlyro is sent with a secret assignment, one that Queen Jasminda can’t know about. And in a prison far away, Kyara ul-Lagrimar searches for a way to escape her captors and save a family long thought dead.

It’s a race against time in this world of deadly magic, secret agendas and court intrigue to discover those responsible for the bombing before the next attack. And in another land a new enemy awakens—one that will strike terror into the hearts of gods and men.

I’ve enjoyed all the Earthsinger Chronicles books, and this one is no exception. The characters are the best part of this series, all of them being diverse and vividly realized. No cookie cutter characters here. Tai was probably my favorite character in this, although Lizvette was great, too.

The cultures in this series are very distinct, and I enjoy reading about them and feeling like I’m exploring the lands themselves. All the settings are detailed enough to get lost in, but not so overly detailed that there’s no room for the reader’s imagination to fill in the blanks. I love the continuing saga of these characters.

Leslye Penelope lives in Maryland. Cry of Metal & Bone is the third book in the Earthsinger Chronicles.

(Galley courtesy of St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.)
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Wow, what a ride! This book takes the foundation laid in the previous books and novellas and starts tying together many of the threads. I would strongly not recommend reading this without reading the previous books, and most certainly the previous novella.

“Listen,” she said, “if someone doesn’t try to kill you at least once in your life, then maybe you’re not making a big enough impact in the world.”

Unlike the previous books which focused mainly on one couple, this book starts tying together multiple plot lines. In practice, this means there are multiple POV characters, from previous book’s characters like Jasminda, Kyara and Darvyn as well as new ones. My personal favorites among the new viewpoints were Tai and Lizvette and the romance between them, with a romance that verged on insta-love but was still enjoyable in its execution. Others, like Ella’s with her clumsy investigation of the bombing and adoption of the two Lagrimari orphans, slowed down the pace for me, though it did show the day to day issues with integrating the Lagrimari population with the Elsirans. And, at first, I thought that’s what this book would be about, but what’s happening in Elsira is just a small cog in a larger machine.

“Do we not have a responsibility to serve and help those weaker than we are? Isn’t that why we have this power?”
She turned away again, Her voice growing oddly hollow as She spoke. “My power was not unusual in my time. I was as everyone else was. It is only now that it sets me apart.”

I’ve had my suspicions about Oola ever since the first book (“Oh hey, yeah I’m back, but lemme just make this big proclamation and then abdicate all responsibility for actually doing anything about it”) and while each book has revealed a little more of her motives, what exactly she’s trying to accomplish is still unclear. What is clear, though, is the Yalyan Physickers’ endgame and how they hope to accomplish it, and it’s just as horrifying as you’d expect. Much of the book takes place in Yalya, whether it’s the experiences of the imprisoned Roshon, his family, and Kyara or from the team, including Darvyn, Tai and Lizvette, sent to investigate Lizvette’s father’s connection to the unrest in Elsira, and, in a secret known only to a few of them, the possible rescue of Jasminda’s family. Of all the characters in this series so far, Darvyn and Kyara remain my favorites, and their viewpoints were the highlight of the book for me. Watching the sheltered and angry Lizvette shed the shell her parents built around her was also quite enjoyable, especially her interactions with Tai, who can’t resist yanking her chain. I have to say, though, coming off reading the previous novella, that I especially missed Ani in this one, though I would agree that adding in one more POV wouldn’t have been prudent. The Yalyan portions of the book are very action-packed, so much so that in comparison the parts of the book set in Elsira drag. The worldbuilding continues to be excellent, and I loved the stark comparisons between Yalya and the much more agricultural and “backwards” Elsira.

“She knew he felt the need to make this right. Isn’t that what the Shadowfox did? He’d spent his whole life saving people he didn’t even know, and she loved him all the more for his determination to rescue her, even when she didn’t deserve it.”

While the book ends on quite a cliffhanger, there’s also a clearer idea of what Jasminda and crew will be facing down in the next book. I’m especially looking forward to all the hints pointing to more Kyara in the next one! So, overall, while I enjoyed the book – especially how it upped the stakes – all the POVs never quite meshed for me, so I’d give this 3.5 stars, rounding up to 4. I will definitely be looking forward to the next book next year, and hoping for another novella in the meantime!

I received an advance review copy of this book from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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This is probably my favorite adult fantasy series. L. Penelope is an auto-buy author for me. Even if I get approved for the ARC, I always end up buying the e-books because I want this series to last FOREVER.
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I enjoy so much having a fun series to escape reality with. Cry of Metal & Bone is  a great followup to Song of Blood & Steel. The world becomes bigger the threats become larger and the stakes become higher. I really loved the additional world building we got. The world expands in natural and relevant ways.

The plot of this story was definitely a lot more interesting. I found that the first book was little bit predictable in the plot, but this one was definitely a nice surprise. There were still some aspects that were predictable but the ending wasn't exactly what I expected, it was a pleasant surprise. The pace is quite fast given the fact that there are lot of adrenaline-rushing moments that completely kept me engaged to the story line.

Lastly, I wanted to say a little on the magic system and the myths/histories that are used to inform others of why this fantasy world exists as it does. There were some huge plot twists in this second book that had me rethinking everything I thought I knew from the first book. The mature topics and humor made this a book I wold recommend to anyone who enjoys fantasy. The ending leaves so much more to be explored in the coming series, and hints to more secrets to be uncovered. I can't wait to continue reading this series.
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I feel like this series just keeps getting better! Since Cry of Metal & Bone is the third book in the series, I won't go into too much detail, but I think this is my favorite installment so far. If you are looking for a smart fantasy series with a diverse cast of characters, deep thematic content, a strong dash of romance, political intrigue, and a world that blends magic and technology, then this is definitely one to try.

The author does an incredible job of weaving together plot threads from all of the different perspectives, further developing the world and magic system, creating nuanced, interesting, and diverse characters, placing plot elements in juxtaposition to create tension, and addressing bigger issues such as racism, misogyny, and attitudes toward immigration, all from within this unique fantasy story. She's just doing so much here, even dealing with things like interracial adoption and how that can be affected by bigoted family members. And while I wouldn't quite call this a fantasy romance, it does have a strong romantic element to it. I would love to see more people pick up this series. I received an advance copy of this book for review via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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Cry of Metal & Bone by L. Penelope is the Earthsinger Chronicles, Book 3. This  edition to the epic fantasy series reads well as a standalone. 

The Mantle, the magical barrier which separates the countries of Lagrimar and Elsira, has fallen. Two powerful factions have formed. One wants to unite the Lagrimari and the Elsirans as one harmonious country. The other seeks to keep the countries separate and force the Lagrimari to a far off land. To further agitate the populace someone has bombed a sacred Elsiran site. The Elsiran monarchs assemble a ragtag team to investigate the bombing and other matters of state. Rich girl gone bad, Lizvette Nirall, bad boy trying to make good, Tai Summerhawk and Earthsinger, Darvyn ol-Tahlyro, embark on a mission that unearths magic and secrets that have long been buried. Magical forces align foretelling devastating events to come.  

Author, L. Penelope, enhances the fascinating world of vast wonders she’s built in the Earthsinger Chronicles. Cry of Metal & Bone picks up right where Whispers of Shadow & Flame left off without losing the continuity of the series. L. Penelope expertly handles the complex intertwining of the numerous well-developed characters she’s created without confusing the reader. The plot is engrossing and held my attention from the first page to the last. The ending is a perfect lead-in for future installments. Earthsinger Chronicles Book 3, Cry of Metal & Bone, is a strong 5 out of 5 star read that I throughly enjoyed. I recommend it to those who enjoy in-depth fantasy/sci-fi. 

My thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book. However, the opinions expressed in this review are 100%  mine and mine alone.
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I've essentially binge read this series in the lead up to the release of this book and it was a fantastic journey. I think for many people, this will be the strongest installment yet. For me, the reader who really likes a dash of fantasy with her romance about 85% of the time, I would say that this particular installment advances the romantic arc resolution of the second book and develops a new one. Unfortunately, after loving the novella right before this one because I adore Ani, there was a serious dearth of her in this book. That said, we did get to see Ella again, who aside from Ani is my favorite character!

So now that I've told you more about what I wanted that I didn't get, let me tell you about all of the things we did get that I enjoyed. There are several perspectives in this novel and I really liked seeing some of the storylines start to intersect more in comparison to the second novel. There are still a few distinct storylines happening here that don't feel like there is cursory rather than true intersections. Also, what this solidified for me is my hatred of the Goddess. I dislike her immensely and I want her de-platformed immediately.

I think the world L. Penelope has created is vast and I'm so delighted to be exploring more of it. I am so keen to find out what happens next because there is a lot of work to do and we've got a new war looming on the horizon that I do not quite understand. And then there was that epilogue??? I have questions.

So, all in all, this is a delightful series and a great continuation of the series and I am so excited for the next one! Thanks to St. Martin's Griffin and Netgalley for the advanced copy for review.
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Following the fall of the Mantle, Lagrimari flee to Elsira. A group with ties to the Elsiran government starts launching attacks, so a team has to investigate them. Disgraced socialite Lizvette Nirale and smuggler Tai Summerhawk must team up to look into deadly magic, secret agendas, and court intrigue to discover the truth.

Cry of Metal and Bone is the third book in the Earthsinger Chronicles, and it definitely helps to have read the first two novels first, because the stars of those appear here as well. This novel is focused on Tai and Lizvette, but it still starts in Elsira weeks after the fall of the Mantle. Intrigue abounds, as there are factions that don't want the Langrimari to live in Elsira, whether by expelling them forcefully or creating a second separate kingdom for them to live in. On top of that, the other neighboring kingdoms still exist and have their own motives for clandestinely sending operatives to Elsira.

As the book progresses, we see more of other kingdoms besides Elsira and Langrimar. Racism is rampant in all of the countries, especially Elsira. Classism is also present, and there are those who look down on the Physicks, those who combine magic and machinery into amalgams. These feature in multiple story threads, as well as explaining some mysterious events from earlier books. There's danger in every story thread, from those staying behind in Elsira and unearthing a conspiracy involving high ranking officials, to those heading to Yaly to find Lizvette's father. It's a novel with more political and racial overtones than prior novels because now Jack and Jessaminda are in power when so many others disapprove of that.

There will be more in this series of novels, as we're seeing more of the broader world. It's fascinating, and it's difficult to avoid drawing parallels to our world.

As with our world, it's going to take the dedicated work of those seeking justice and the betterment of the people to effect change.
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