Sunday, April 29, 2018

Song of Blood & Stone by L. Penelope | Blog Tour: Book Review

Hello! Welcome to the next stop on the Song of Blood & Stone blog tour hosted by St. Martin’s Press. I'm really happy to share my thoughts on this book with you! *On sale May 1, 2018 


Synopsis (via Goodreads): 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 Lagamiri 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 it's people from the True Father and he needs Jasminda's Earthsong to do it. They escape their ruthless captors and together they 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.

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I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was later contacted by the publisher and given the opportunity to be involved with this blog tour. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

The cover for this book is what initially caught my attention. It's stunning! Also, I believe Song of Blood & Stone is being categorized as YA, but I would place it firmly on the adult side. The brutality in the beginning of the book was not sugarcoated, and the detailed description of a limp penis will forever be seared into my brain.

Despite the unsavory parts about someone's manbits, the start of the book really captured my attention and had me completely engrossed in the story. I was quickly invested in Jasminda and Jack, and I really wanted everything to work out for them. The fragments of lore were brief but interesting. With that being said... the book's unputdownableness waned after the first quarter. 

Something about Jasminda changed once she left her home. It was subtle, and I can't really put my finger on it, but she just wasn't the fiercely independent woman from before. She easily caved to Jack's wishes, stopped thinking for herself, and started believing she wasn't good enough. I hate it when characters feel inadequate for seemingly no reason, and especially after proving themselves to be pretty flarking important. I don't know what happened to her confidence and determination, but I wish she hadn't lost them.

Another thing that bugged me about Song of Blood & Stone was the side quests (for lack of a better term). She ventured off on her own to visit the refugees, left to sort out her finances with her grandfather, randomly stumbled across her aunt, and so on. A lot of things like this would happen, but then those threads were dropped and never picked up again. The author could potentially be setting up for the second book, but I kept waiting for some sort of conclusion that never came. 

Jack was devoted in his own way. I can't say I ever really liked him. He seemed flaky and incapable of making people listen to him. How to explain this... he was like a spider in a snake's nest. He was intimidating on his own, but completely out of his element. He didn't belong, but desperately tried to make the snakes understand spider-sense. Have I lost you? Moving on!

The end of the book picked back up, but I was supremely disappointed with how everything happened. It just didn't make sense. I felt like something else should have occurred, but the reality was anticlimactic and made me dislike almost everyone. She was underwhelming and not at all what I expected. The explanations for everything leading up to that were also sketchy at best. 

The lore behind the Earthsingers and the Silents was intriguing. I liked watching how their history unfolded over time, but I also wish there had been more to it. After everything that's happened, they still feel like a mystery waiting to be solved. I think it's because I didn't believe everything wholeheartedly, and that can happen when certain things don't add up. 

Overall, Song of Blood & Stone was interesting, but not enough to make me want to continue the series. (Side note: the Collected Folktales at the beginning of each chapter were often confusing, and I'm not sure how/why they were relevant to the story.)


About the Author:

Leslye Penelope has been writing since she could hold a pen and loves getting lost in the worlds in her head. She is an award-winning author of new adult, fantasy, and paranormal romance. She lives in Maryland with her husband and their furry dependents: an eighty-pound lap dog and an aspiring feral cat.

26 comments:

  1. It does look super YA, so I guess it is YA that really should not be YA. Maybe she should have made it adult instead. And I am trying erase the word limp penis fro my brain now

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    1. Haha! The book was way more descriptive. I definitely don't think this one should be labeled YA. There are certain situations and scenes that I think are a bit much for that category/genre.

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  2. oh sorry it wasn't a bit more. I saw another mixed review about this one so I don't know

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    1. I actually had no expectations going into this one. I saw the cover and didn't think to read any reviews before requesting it. (Normally there aren't any, but I believe this book was originally self-published in 2015 and then bought by St. Martin's Press.)

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  3. Sorry to hear it wasn't as good as you'd hoped it would be.

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    1. It's okay! I've already started something else. :)

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  4. Well, at least it wasn’t complete torture. Too bad it didn’t reach your expectations.

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    1. I finished the book, so it wasn't awful. I just wish the middle of it had been more like the beginning and the end.

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  5. Quote: "and the detailed description of a limp penis will forever be seared into my brain."
    πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
    I don't know about the book, but your review was entertaining!

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    1. Lol! It was a horrible situation for Jasminda, but ugh.

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  6. Oh gosh, I'm getting ready to read this one for the blog tour too. We'll see how it goes for me. Sorry it wasn't a better read for you.

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    1. I hope you like it! It just didn't work for me in the end. I look forward to hearing/seeing your thoughts. :)

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  7. It's great when a book grips you right from the start! But it's bummer when it loses that feeling after the beginning :-/ But idk, your description of Jack just made me really curious about his character lol. And that is a pretty cover! Also I'm cracking up at the word 'flarking' lol.

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    1. I stole the word from Rocket Raccoon, lol. I feel like it adequately expresses my feelings on most things.

      Jack seemed too perfect at times, but also oblivious. He kept making dumb decisions that did more harm than good, and Jasminda never really faulted him for that. I wanted to shake them sometimes!

      The start is SUPER gripping, and then... but I also adore the cover!

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  8. I assumed this was young adult too when first seeing the cover, probably a little like how Nevernight has young adult characters but adult content. Seared into my brain, good lord! I love the sound of Jasminda but her journey would have been far more empowering as a character without Jack. That's one of my fictional peeves, female characters who lose their sense of identity as an individual when entering a relationship. Still interested to read this one despite the frustrations but will be pushing it down the list for a rainy day. Sorry you couldn't have enjoyed this more Linds but brilliant review! <3 <3

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    1. Exactly! I feel like she lost herself when Jack came into the picture. He was always there to save her or offer a way out of certain predicaments, and I felt like Jasminda stopped being herself. She claimed to not want his help, but she managed to always inadvertently use it anyways.

      Maybe you'll like it more than I did!

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  9. I love this cover! The rest of it, though, doesn't sound so appealing. I think I'll skip this one. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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    1. The cover is amazing! It's what originally caught my attention and made me interested in the book. I just wish the story had been told a little differently!

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  10. I think I enjoyed this one a bit more, in part for the lush mythology mixed in, but I can definitely relate to the frustration had when Jasminda seemed to waiver in strength and resolve. Great review!!

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    1. I'm happy you enjoyed it! :)

      I really liked the mythology and lore! It was a very intriguing concept that I wanted to know more about. However, I felt like that got lost in the middle once they reached Elsira.

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  11. I'll admit, the cover caught my attention too haha

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    1. It's so pretty! I love the different colors and how the body seems to be a backdrop for other things.

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  12. I agree - that cover is gorgeous! Sucks the book was disappointing in parts...

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    1. It happens! It's disappointing, but there's always the next book. :)

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  13. The book really wasn't for me and I was not convinced from page 1 :( and oh yes the Collected Folktales! I was afraid I would be the only one who didn't get them ... because I found them confusing and not really necessary :/

    - Caro @ https://bookcheshirecat.wordpress.com/

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    1. I almost started skipping them, but I thought they might make sense at the end (they didn't). A few made sense on their own, but for the most part it was just gibberish. It wasn't really for me either, but I'm sorry it didn't work for you!

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