Praise for L. Penelope and her debut book.
From the very first pages of her debut, L. Penelope delivers as a new force in the fantasy genre. The first book in the historical fantasy Earthsinger series was originally self-published, earning a quick fan base, the Black Caucus of the American Library Association Self-Publishing Award and a starred Publishers Weekly review calling it a “fantastic opening to a promising series”. Now traditionally published to kick off the new series, SONG OF BLOOD & STONE (St. Martin’s Press; May 1, 2018) is a treacherous, thrilling, epic fantasy about an outcast drawn into a war between two powerful rulers. With the world building of Brandon Sanderson, the romance of Ilona Andrews, the epic quest of Lord of the Rings, and the doomed star-crossed love of Romeo & Juliet, the start of the Earthsinger series has something to keep any reader entranced for books to come.
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.
As a reader, it’s not common to come across a truly original world, but Penelope manages to do just that in SONG OF BLOOD & STONE. In the vein of Brandon Sanderson’s Way of Kings, Penelope “shines a bright light into epic fantasy” (Booklist) and bridges the gap between the world of romance and fantasy. Inspired by religion and folklore, Penelope develops the start to what will be a series that will take readers by a storm.
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Fly Girl’s Review:
What a great debut novel. This is the second one in the last couple of months I’ve gotten to read that I’ve been amazed by. L. Penelope’s work is riveting. She tells a moving, yet imaginative story in a dystonia society that truly makes you long for a little bit of magic.
This one has a Romeo and Juliet style feel to it, but as two adults they handle things differently, not by intending to sacrifice themselves, but to carve their own paths through society. The angst isn’t so much their relationship as the war that is about to befall their country. One has a fierce loyalty to his country, rightly so, while the other is just trying to fit into her own skin and find her place in society. His royalty and her magic are the forces that keep them apart and create a hostile situation for both of them.
I love that she didn’t give us a cliffhanger instead there is a HEA for the two lovebirds, but I still must read books two and three. Since this is a Young Adult novel, I’ll give you the lowdown on what makes this a good read. The main themes are self worth, fighting against prejudice, standing up for what you truly believe no matter what, anti-bullying behaviors, and consequences of decisions. So if those seem good ones for the young adult in your life, you really should pick this one up. If you don’t have a young adult, I still recommend this one. I’d love to see this made into a movie or a miniseries. It is that good. For all of these reasons, I give this one 5 of 5 propellers. Happy Reading and Ms. Penelope, please consider the Wickedcoolflight Crew for your next release.
Fly Girl’s Rating: 5 of 5 Propellers
Sneek Peak at Book 2:
WHISPERS OF SHADOW & FLAME, follows a parallel timeline to SONG. It’s about Darvyn, a character we hear about in SONG who was the Earthsinger responsible for disguising Jack. The disguise’s failure gets Jack captured and he wonders what happened to Darvyn. So in WHISPERS, we find out. But it also pushes the story forward, showing what’s going on in Lagrimar in the days before the Mantle comes down and setting up the next challenge that Jack, Jasminda, and Darvyn will face.
Connect with L. Penelope
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.