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Publisher's Summary

An instant New York Times Best Seller!

The first in a gripping fantasy duology inspired by West-African folklore in which a grieving crown princess and a desperate refugee find themselves on a collision course to murder each other despite their growing attraction - from debut author Roseanne A. Brown. This New York Times best seller is perfect for fans of Tomi Adeyemi, Renée Ahdieh, and Sabaa Tahir.

For Malik, the Solstasia festival is a chance to escape his war-stricken home and start a new life with his sisters in the prosperous desert city of Ziran. But when a vengeful spirit abducts his younger sister, Nadia, as payment to enter the city, Malik strikes a fatal deal - kill Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran, for Nadia’s freedom.

But Karina has deadly aspirations of her own. Her mother, the Sultana, has been assassinated; her court threatens mutiny; and Solstasia looms like a knife over her neck. Grief-stricken, Karina decides to resurrect her mother through ancient magic...requiring the beating heart of a king. And she knows just how to obtain one: by offering her hand in marriage to the victor of the Solstasia competition.

When Malik rigs his way into the contest, they are set on a heart-pounding course to destroy each other. But as attraction flares between them and ancient evils stir, will they be able to see their tasks to the death?

"Magic creates a centuries-long divide between peoples in this stunning debut novel inspired by North African and West-African folklore. An action-packed tale of injustice, magic, and romance, this novel immerses readers in a thrilling world and narrative reminiscent of Children of Blood and Bone." (Publishers Weekly, "An Anti-Racist Children's and YA Reading List")

Don't miss the second book in this epic duology, A Psalm of Storms and Silence!

©2020 Roseanne A. Brown (P)2020 HarperAudio

What listeners say about A Song of Wraiths and Ruin

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    5 out of 5 stars

Stunning, Rich and Magical

From the entracing world to the vibrant characters, this book is so well written, I couldn't get enough. Brown mixes just enough real-world historical culture in with her own mythos that it feels familiar and new all at once. The setting is one I especially loved, being a great fan of Egyptology and stories set in North Africa and the Sahara.

The characters are so rich and I appreciate how Brown has written their trauma and its effects on them, which are vastly different. The central romance is crafted as a slow burn, with Karina and Malik playing opposites attract. But the crux of their budding romance is what truly gives the story delicious tension as they both take a dangerous journey towards self-discovery and reconciling the past.

Honestly, I highly recommend. Brown's novel will leave you on the edge of your seat and combining her prose with the absolutely fantastic narrators, you won't want to miss this one, guys!

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A fun listen

Dragged a little at times (lots inner angst by both POVs!), but otherwise it was a fun/fresh story that was enjoyable to listen to!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-08-18

A truly unique and beautiful tale....

A whirlwind adventure tale about love, loss, anger and magic. I loved every moment of this unexpected, beautiful story Rosanne weaved for us.

Karina is already soaring to the top of my favorite characters list. I love her anger, I love her moral compass and I absolutely admire her strength. I truly cannot wait to see where the next book takes her. I can't wait to see her take back her kingdom. A true queen.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Wrtiersbloc
  • 2020-08-13

Slow

The story was kind of drawn out and I listened to the end of it on fast forward just wanting to be done.

11 people found this helpful

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  • S. Geib
  • 2020-09-27

No words

It's impossible to find the right words without spoiling some aspect of the story. It's just so good! The world building and the depths of the characters are fantastic, and the themes are refreshingly different than what've become tropes within the fantasy genre.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Cassandra B
  • 2020-07-02

Kinda slow in the beginning

Overall the story was good.
a little slow in the beginning though. I had to start it over and over again just to fully understand everything.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Joyce C. Simmons
  • 2021-11-01

Terrible Narration, So-so story

Narration: this is a story that takes place in West Africa. The narrators don’t even try to pronounce words with an African accent. In fact some words they mispronounce. It comes across as inauthentic and a little insulting. Were there no African actors to narrate? Were there no actors that could pull off a Nigerian, Liberian or Ethiopian accent? The narrators do a poor job of distinguishing between characters. The reading is set up where the narrators alternate chapters. The problem with that is that sometimes characters cross chapters. So sometimes the princess sounds like a man! Sometimes it’s unclear which character is speaking! The male narrator reads too fast, you have to slow his voice down. As a sci-fi/ fantasy novel there is a lot of world building. In a too-fast narration you get lost.

Story: the writer takes way too long to build the story. You have to listen for a while before you get to the incident that kicks off the story. By then you struggle to maintain interest. The only thing that kept me listening to the end was the fact that I paid for the audible. The writer sometimes uses two to three names for the characters (the queen has three different names, one of the main characters has two. The villain has two to three) it’s just confusing. Also you get towards the end of the book and the solutions to the problems are explained too easily. There is no catharsis at the end off the book and at no point do you grow to like Karina one of the main characters. She spends most of the book pursuing a mission only to see the goal accomplished in an unexpected direction and her response? “oh that’s wrong.” With no real action towards the oppression in the kingdom, no real sense of personal responsibility to others except for when that person can help her. That’s not a hero. C’mon!

Maybe reading the book instead of listening solves the narration issue but there were some story and character development issues I couldn’t get over.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-10-13

Great story, beautiful performance!

This book was absolutely lovely! Especially 3 dimensional characters for a YA fantasy, world building that draws you in, and a story with twists and turns you always feel like you should have expected (the best kind). No fantasy world holds up to infinite scrutiny, but this is the kind that makes you feel like you don’t have to poke at it. In short, it’s beautifully crafted.

The performance is well suited to the story, with two different narrators (one for each limited omniscient viewpoint). The narrators carry the story well, and stay understated enough to leave room for the listener’s thoughts and interpretations. There are some distinctive voices, but none that feel out of place and no drastic tonal shifts that take the listener out of the story. They both were fantastic.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jessica Reyer
  • 2021-01-10

I like the concept

I like the concept. Before the two main characters knew each other promises are made. They each have their own stories yet they collide. Neither knowing the other's true story or purpose. In stead of an obvious and seemingly easy end game, it all goes up in the air. Decisions and actions no longer easy and sacrifices change. The end not so clear or easy.

I think if I read the book, rather than listened, I would have been more involved into the story and more connected. Not sure why it didn't always hold my interests. Narration wasn't horrible but it didn't bring it 100% alive either.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Michaelle
  • 2020-08-08

Great

My mother and I both enjoyed the book. I can’t wait for book 2. Thank you!

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  • Daniel M
  • 2022-02-07

An almost love, an almost death and a loose magic

I enjoyed this story.
I want to see where is goes next.
I want more details around the magic system.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lucretia T.
  • 2020-10-27

Beautifully written and Amazingly told!

amazing and original characters and powers. and the main characters arc wasn't corny like some in this genre can be.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Daily Debby
  • 2021-09-13

Une intrigue qui le laisse sur ma faim

Malgré un univers prometteur je reste sur ma faim. L'autrice nous offre de belles descriptions mais l'intrigue met du temps à se mettre en place et surtout à AVANCER. J'ai l'étrange sentiment que toute l'intrigue se résume au synopsis pour s'accélérer dans 100 dernières pages.

Mais quid de l'évolution des personnages ? On passe du tout au tout, sans que je ne puisse faire le lien entre la description faite au début de roman et les qualités qu'on attribue aux personnages à la fin.

Je pense que je suis passée à côté...