A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown was one of my favorite reads last year (review here), so I was eagerly awaiting the conclusion, A Psalm of Storms and Silence. I'm happy to report that it didn't disappoint!
*Potential spoilers ahead*
|Pub Date: 11-2-21|
YA - Fantasy
Karina's whole world fell apart after the events of the Solstasia festival. When her mother was killed, Karina vowed to do everything in her power to bring her back. Even if that meant dabbling in dark magic. She found a spell of resurrection, and all she needed was the heart of a king. Pledging to marry the winner of the festival, Karina thought her plan was set, but she was very wrong. After being betrayed by someone close to her, the ritual brought forth her sister instead, and Karina found herself on the run as the most wanted person in Sonande. Now, the only hope she has of reclaiming what's rightfully hers is to journey to the long-lost city of her ancestors to harness their divine power.
After imprisoning the Faceless King within his mind, Malik thought his fighting days were over. But with the resurrection of Karina's sister bringing forth nothing but chaos and destruction, Malik has no choice but to become an apprentice to Farid, the acting leader of Sonande. Malik has always wanted a fatherly figure he could look up to, and he believes Farid to be that person, but as they work together Malik starts to see cracks in Farid's facade. When they discover that Karina herself is the key to restoring balance, Farid tasks Malik with using his powers to lure Karina back to their side. With the world around them tearing apart, Malik and Karina once again find themselves torn between their duties and their desires. It's up to them to decide what they value most: a power that could change the world or a love that could change their lives.
There were a few things I had forgotten from the first book, so it took me a couple of chapters to reorient myself, but once I did, I was invested. The relationship between Malik and Karina was still strong, though I could do without the romantic element since it occasionally feels forced. But I enjoyed the dynamic between Malik and Idir much more. They had this push-and-pull thing going on, and I loved how they started as enemies but eventually found this balance and regard. We also got introduced to a few new characters in here that brought some much-needed humor and lightness. Much like the first book, Brown doesn't shy away from topics such as abuse and self-harm, and I think she does a beautiful job at respectfully handling mental health. As for the plot, I enjoyed it, but it did feel all over the place. It was almost as if everything and nothing were happening all at once. It was still kept me turning the pages, but the real action doesn't start until the third act. Aside from that hiccup, I thought this was a bittersweet ending to the series and would recommend it to anyone looking for a new fantasy to pick up.