Review: Song of Blood and Stone by L. Penelope

Song of Blood and Stone by Leslye PenelopeSong of Blood and Stone
L. Penelope
St. Martin’s Press
Published on May 1, 2018

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

About Song of Blood and Stone
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.

My Review
Song of Blood and Stone has a lot of interesting elements woven together as far as its story world. I liked that it had a sort of turn-of-the-century feel to it—with cars and telephones—but also felt very much like a world different than ours with its harsh landscape, magic elements and legends.

The storytelling reminded me a little bit of The Blue Sword, in the way military and magic play interesting roles in the story. It also reminded me a little bit of Children of Blood and Bone in the way race and racial tension are featured.

I liked both Jasminda and Jack’s characters. You know me—totally a sucker for a good guy who has to make hard choices and is willing to give up everything to do the right thing. Jasminda is a strong woman who is desperately trying to balance independence with pragmatism, and she appealed to me very much as well.

I didn’t expect the amount of sexual content in Song of Blood and Stone. It’s very explicit and takes up several pages of the story. More on that in the content section of my review.

The racial tension in the story feels extremely well-developed and relevant to some of the things we face in the world today. Those themes were well-balanced with the plot of the story, and because the characters are so easy to empathize with, they had some real power to them. If you liked The Waking Land by Callie Bates, you would probably enjoy Song of Blood and Stone. Overall, I enjoyed the book, but the amount of sexual content is really more than I enjoy reading.

Song of Blood and Stone on AmazonRecommended for Ages 18 up.

Cultural Elements
Two races dominate this story. One has darker skin and magic. The other is pale-skinned and has no magic. A female minor character is in a secret relationship with a woman– something her family would cast her off for if they knew.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Strong profanity used infrequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Explicit scenes showing sex between a man and woman. One scene lasts several pages. Another is shorter but still very explicit. Some sexual comments in other scenes about arousal or lust. At one point a guard threatens to rape a woman, and when that doesn’t seem possible, he plans to sexually assault a man.

Spiritual Content
Characters worship/pray to a legendary woman called the Queen Who Sleeps. She remains in an enchanted sleep, but legend says she’ll awaken at need and can speak to her people through their dreams. Worship of another god is mentioned.

Some characters also possess magic referred to as a Song.

Violent Content
A few violent comments in which a man threatens to and tries to rape a woman. Some descriptions of battle scenes. Some racist epithets directed at the darker-skinned and refugee characters.

Drug Content
Alcohol served at the palace.

Song of Blood and Stone on GoodreadsNote: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

 

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About Kasey Giard

Kasey is a mother, reader and aspiring author. When she's not reading or writing, you might find her out on the water fly fishing, pretending she can keep houseplants alive, or talking with the family rescue cat.

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