This is it.
The breath before waking. The stillness before the thunder breaks. The sense of peace before the plunge.
Songkeeper comes out tomorrow.
I can’t help but grin at the thought of it. In only a few short hours, Songkeeper, the reservoir of a year of night dreaming, heart aching, white-knuckled typing, and boggswoggling hard work, will be turned loose into the world.
It’s always a terrifying moment.
And a glorious one.
But what to say about this book?
Where to begin? (A writer at a loss for words? Horrors!)
This book was incredibly hard to write. The story it tells is that of the characters—of Birdie, Ky, Amos, and Gundhrold—and not my own, of course, and yet it springs from the many of the struggles and fears and hopes that have wrestled their way through my mind over the past year.
Compared to Orphan’s Song, Songkeeper may seem somewhat more intense. I think it remains true to the overall feel of the first story, but times are hard, war has broken out, and things get ugly … and rightfully so. War is not a beautiful thing. It is a somewhat weighty book, but there are still plenty of lighthearted moments thrown in, and the brokenness is balanced by glimpses of beauty and hope.
“In my novels, you can expect battle and bloodshed, but bravery and beauty as well. Heartache and hope. Sorrow and sacrifice, but also courage and peace.
I write about broken characters muddling their way down broken roads. Though my heroes and heroines may not be clad in shining armor, they are willing to stand to the fight even when their armor is battered and torn and simply standing requires what strength they have left.
They are the forgotten, the wounded, the outcasts. They are us. And so often, I have found, it is the thorn-riddled paths that yield the greatest beauty in the end.”
These words I think accurately describe Songkeeper. As Samwise Gamgee (dear Sam!) says in the Two Towers movie, “In the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines, it’ll shine out the clearer.”
Songkeeper may seem intense at times, perhaps even painful to read, but my favorite scene in the entire book—actually, I think my favorite scene that I have ever written—is the final scene. Read on to that scene.
I hope you’ll see why.
War ravages Leira and the Song has fallen silent
Freed from the hold of a slave ship, Birdie, the young Songkeeper, and Ky, a street-wise thief, emerge to a world at war. Hordes of dark soldiers march across Leira, shadowed by whispers of plague and massacres, prompting Ky to return to his besieged home city in hopes of leading his fellow runners to safety.
Desperate to end the fighting, Birdie embarks on a dangerous mission into the heart of the Takhran’s fortress. Legend speaks of a mythical spring buried within and the Songkeeper who will one day unleash it to achieve victory. Everyone believes Birdie is the one, but the elusive nature of the Song and rumors of other gifted individuals lead her to doubt her role. Unleashing the spring could defeat the Takhran once and for all, but can she truly be the Songkeeper when the Song no longer answers her call?
Be sure to check back on the blog tomorrow as the book release celebrations begin!
Songkeeper has been with advance readers for several weeks now, and the reviews are starting to come in!
Check out what readers are saying about Songkeeper on Goodreads.