You may remember my cover highlight post for “Orphan’s Song” by Gillian Bronte Adams…
Now, having read it… today I’m here to review it!
Summary: Who Will Keep the Song Alive?
Every generation has a Songkeeper – one chosen to keep the memory of the Song alive. And in every generation, there are those who seek to destroy the chosen one.
When Birdie’s song draws the attention of a dangerous Khelari soldier, she is kidnapped and thrust into a world of ancient secrets and betrayals. Rescued by her old friend, traveling peddler Amos McElhenny, Birdie flees the clutches of her enemies in pursuit of the truth behind the Song’s power.
Ky is a street–wise thief and a member of the Underground—a group of orphans banded together to survive . . . and to fight the Khelari. Haunted by a tragic raid, Ky joins Birdie and Amos in hopes of a new life beyond the reach of the soldiers. But the enemy is closing in, and when Amos’ shadowed past threatens to undo them all, Birdie is forced to face the destiny that awaits her as the Songkeeper of Leira. Book one of the Songkeeper Chronicles.
My Review for “Orphan’s Song” by Gillian Bronte Adams
5 stars – Magnificent!
I find it hardest to review the books I love the most. There’s a reason I’ve never written a review for The Lord of the Rings, Narnia, Prydain, etc… Something about their greatness and the depth of my love for them makes it virtually impossible for me to even attempt to review certain books. It’s a daunting task. How do I do justice to them? How do I sum up in a review with my own feeble words the vast awesomeness of how much I loved a book?
I’m going to try, though, in this case. Because ORPHAN’S SONG is definitely one of those books.
Before I can get to the useful part of this review, I just have to squeal a little. ALL THE FEEEEEEELS!!! I CAN’T EVEN. When I finished, I was flailing around and babbling incoherently to my sister, trying to explain how much I loved it and how many feels it gave me. (…Much of which is spoiler-ish to even mention.) BUT SO MANY FEELS. AND THE CHARACTERS. I LOVE ALL OF THEM. YES, ALL. BIRDY AND KY AND AMOS AND CADE! CADE CADE CADE. AND A CERTAIN SOMEBODY WHO I CANNOT MENTION BECAUSE IT IS SECRET BUT OH MY GOODNESS I DON’T KNOW IF I EVER HAD SO MANY CONFLICTING FEELS BEFORE. AAAAAAH.
There is my overall opinion. 😉 So now that’s out of the way, here are the reasons WHY I loved ORPHAN’S SONG so much. The characters are a big part of it, but I’m going to get to them in a little while.
The plot itself was exciting and awesome–so much adventure and peril and epicness! I loved how it followed different points of view. When the characters all converged I was almost squealing with excitement! I love that feeling of following different characters and you see them about to come together and then they do, and just YES.
I loved the writing–it flows in a way that is natural but beautifully crafted.
And the SONG. I loved everything about the Song. It was done gorgeously! Eeep. I also like Christian fantasy when it’s done right, and I felt it was done extremely well… It fit in perfectly and was uplifting.
Sometimes fantasy worlds are hard pressed to hit the right balance between being full of fantasy, magic, wonder, strangeness… but also being believable. The world in ORPHAN’S SONG was beautiful and wild and dangerous, and I loved it. It felt somehow natural, and not even put on display like many fantasy worlds; it was all there, but neither over-stressed, nor too much in the background.
The Underground was awesome! Its literal undergroundness and all the youngsters organized like a delightful mix of Peter Pan and Ender’s Game (the good parts of both).
I don’t believe that I’ve EVER read a book with characters who were more realistically HUMAN than in ORPHAN’S SONG. And by human, I don’t mean flawed, or relateable; I mean REAL. I like characters who are straightforwardly good or bad… I’m tired of the ”flaw” argument for ”realistic” characters. The bad characters and the good characters were all noticeably bad or good. But the bad ones… they had some spark of decency or something that made me connect with them; the good ones each had their own problems, and I even had uncertainties about some, being unsure if they would remain good or if they would make the wrong choice… But I loved all the characters (okay, with the exception of the Takhran), and they didn’t seem to me to be crafted figments of an author’s imagination, trying to have the right mix of virtues and flaws in appropriate balance to make them ”real” or ”human”… They WERE real and human. I can’t explain it very well, but I don’t think I’ve hardly ever read a book with characters like this, who seemed that much like real people. I don’t know how Gillian Bronte Adams did it, but I’m in awe.
As for the individual characters…
Birdie was a fabulous heroine! I loved her and just wanted to hug her the whole time. It’s actually rare for me to like a female MC very much, since normally they annoy me or are too wimpy or too much of a tough-girl. Birdie was perfect, though. She had a quiet strength, relateable but brave, that I loved.
Amos… What can one even say about Amos? He’s an absolute awesome delight. I love his stubbornness and loyalty and occasional grumpiness and Scottish accent and just everything about him! EEEEEEE.
Ky was fantastic–I enjoyed him a ton and can’t wait to see more of him! Clever thief-lads are some of my favorite kinds of characters, and he was just great.
AND CADE. The leader of the Underground, he’s so awesome and probably my favorite, if I can even pick one (which is difficult). I absolutely loved Cade! SO MUCH.
THE GRIFFON. WAS. PERFECT. I wish there was more with him!
I also liked Hendryk. Is that weird? I just thought he was done really well as someone who’s just a normal soldier, so we can kind of see his point of view even though he’s with the badguys. I also loved how he kept popping up everywhere.
As for complaints… yes, I did have a couple. I was a little annoyed at how we kept being in a certain character’s point of view, but we still didn’t see all the secrets that character knew, even though we kept getting glimpses of them in thought-processes–but it would suddenly stop right before it got to the important thing. That’s one of my particular annoyances in books, where the character whose head we’re in lets us see everything they’re thinking… EXCEPT for the one particular teeny-tiny-enormous secret that is deliberately being hid from us until ”the right moment”. Just. Meh. I understand why it’s done, but it doesn’t keep me from being quite impatient whenever I find it in a book. It would work fine in a movie, with microscopic flash-backs or whatever, but in a movie we’re not in the character’s HEAD. By the time we learned the secret I’m talking of (which I do admit I was dying to learn), I had mostly guessed it already, so although it was awesome, I was still left a bit with a feeling of being annoyed with the device of how the secret was kept veiled.
One warning: the book sort of ends on a cliff-hanger. Like, a lot. But, unlike in most reviews where I talk of cliff-hangers, I’m not going to shriek incoherently about my need for a-sequel-right-NOW-get-to-it-at-once-author-do-you-hear? Nope. In this case, I want the sequel SO much that . . . I can wait. And I will. As long as it takes. Even if the author forgets about the series and goes on to write something else for a decade or two (which is, I hope, unlikely) before releasing the second book, I will still be waiting.
I will wait patiently for the moment when I can hold book 2 in the Songkeeper Chronicles in my hand, open it up to the first page, and continue this journey with the characters I love, in this intriguing fantasy land, by this author who has captured the heart of a fabulous story on paper and shared it with fortunate readers.
(Technically, I did receive a free e-copy of this book in return for my honest review–many thanks to the author! But I also bought the paperback as soon as it came out because I needed to own it; and I read most of it out of that. All of that being said, I was in no way required to be positive and these are my own personal opinions.)
I’m not putting spoilers in this review… but if you have read the book, feel free to go over to my review on Goodreads, where I have a spoiler-tagged part near the end, so that you can see my incoherent spoiler-filled flailing. 😉
You can find Orphan’s Song on:
And you can find Gillian Bronte Adams here:
Author Bio: Gillian Bronte Adams was born with a pen in her hand, a sword at her side, and a saddle beneath her feet. As a speculative fiction writer from the great state of Texas, she delights in combining epic adventure and fantasy with themes that point to the greatest story of all—or, as she refers to it, writing to the echoes of eternity. During the day, she works as the Equine Director at a Christian youth camp, while at night, she kicks off her boots and spurs and transforms into a novelist.