Cover Image: Alina: A Song For the Telling

Alina: A Song For the Telling

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Alina: A Song for the Telling by Malve von Hassel is a work of historical fiction aimed towards young adults. I was definitely drawn to this book by the cover, which includes a Da Vinci style portrait reminiscent of the Mona Lisa. The book is good, and I wish it had gotten more hype.

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Alina had always dreamed of becoming a woman troubadour. However, that dream always seemed unreachable for Alina. In order for a woman to become a troubadour, Alina had to be from a wealthy household and marry into a good family. Alina did not come from a wealthy household nor did she possess a good dowry. These circumstances prevented Alina from chasing her dream. When her father dies and she is forced to live with her mean aunt and greedy uncle, Alina finds the chance to pursue her dream. She and her brother, Milos, join a group of knights to go on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. During the journey, Alina finds adventure and the courage to become a troubadour.

Even though Alina narrates the story, it was hard finding her voice. Alina was not a well-developed character and was passive throughout the novel. It was hard to understand her feelings and emotions. Most of the time, she was overshadowed by more fascinating characters in this novel. That was not to say that I did not like her. I found some of her traits to be very admirable. She was very loyal to her brother. She yearned to defy the expectations of women’s roles during her time and was determined to follow her dream. Thus, while Alina was a passive character, she was still very likable and relatable.

Overall, the message of this book is to follow your dreams. The novel’s main drawback was that it is mostly told and not shown. This made it hard to be engaged in the story and the characters. However, there were moments of intrigue and a dash of danger that made reading the story enjoyable. Alina: A Song For The Telling is rich with vivid historical details that will transport readers to the Middle Ages. I recommend this novel for fans of Courageous, Crossing to Paradise, and Angeline.

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Thanks to the publisher for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Based on what I read in the blurb, I was hoping for more detail in their journey to the Holy Land. Instead there's very little information beyond noisy sleeping quarters, smell, and the fact that long hours were spent on horseback. Very quickly they've traveled from Provence to Venice and I felt as if I'd "seen" none of it.

Also the siblings had plans to travel as troubadours which seemed to be abandoned at first and was only revived when the brother got robbed. Even then initially Alina seemed dismayed by the idea. I thought that was the whole purpose?

The pace is quite slow, deliberate, and - I hate to say - a little boring. Unfortunately, this just isn't a book that holds my attention. DNF

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Alina suffers a major loss with her immediate family. She has an uncle and aunt who arrive and their opinions of what is right vs wrong and what she should be doing in her station really rock her foundations, As a last ditch effort Alina and her brother Milos convince her aunt and uncle to send them on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to pray for their losses.

Alina meets many people that help shape her and give her the confidence to follow her dreams even if society and being a female dictate otherwise.

The book was really good and I wasn't able to put it down. There was a lot of action and major plot lines that really reeled me in.

I would suggest this book for anyone who enjoys seeing the main character grow as a person and with her personal relationships with a touch of historical fiction.

Great read!

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Alina and her brother decide to make the long journey to Jerusalem to pray for their father's soul. After all their prospects at home are rather grim. Their au t and uncle swoop in after the death of their father and take over his estate.
They travel with a caravan made up of the knights templar and some counts and different people join along the way. Alina and her brother have been taught by their father how to play instruments and to sing. They are the nights entertainment whenever they have time.
Alina's brother becomes a squire for one of the counts. She is supposed to be the princess companion.
The story progresses but is rather slow to get to where it finally goes.
This is a historical fiction so of course some of the characters were real and some were not.

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Thanks to the publisher for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Sometimes a book can be perfectly fine, but you're simply not the right author. Anne of Green Gables is one of my favourite series and Little Women is one of my favourite classics so I was really excited to read Alina, but it just wasn't for me.

True to its comparison, Alina has a slow, character themed plot. The subject matter is something I haven't seen explored much and the writing was objectively excellent but it just wasn't the book for me.

Hopefully it'll be the book for you.

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