Blurb: 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?

Songkeeper is book 2 in the Songkeeper Chronicles by Gillian Bronte Adams. This volume picks up immediately after events from the first volume, right in the middle of the action. I haven’t read the first in the series and while it was obvious I had missed a lot, I never felt lost or confused – events were explained well and woven into the action without any info-dumps. The blurb summarizes what happens pretty well – Birdie heads into the heart of danger with a group of colorful, endearing companions hoping to find the mythical spring and thereby stop the big baddie. Ky returns home and clashes with authority figures in a power struggle over how best to save his fellow runners (a gang of orphan thieves living under the radar and literally under the city).

The book was gripping and I couldn’t put it down. But it was also very grim and especially dark toward the end. Almost gruesome but without details that would make it too much. So grim in fact, that I’m not interested in reading the skipped first volume and I’m unclear if I will read the last volume when it comes out. I’m a reader who needs plenty of light in-between the doses of dark and Songkeeper was very heavy. Not to mention it ends with such a major set-back that I question what progress was made at all.

I do have to say, though that the book was extremely well written – one of the best I’ve read in a long time. I was impressed at the quality. The only complaint I had was my ebook had no spaces or separators between scenes which was extremely confusing until I got the hang of being hyper-vigilant keeping an eye out for scene shifts.

What kind of heavy books do you like?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.


    • My vibe for the first book was “Birdie learns she is the Songkeeper, all this stuff happens with a sword and Ky, and probably a lot of people died.” I’m sure I would have enjoyed it, I just don’t feel motivated now that I’ve read the second one.

      I agree the third one will probably end in victory – it’s the wading through a whole lot of fighting and death to get there part that has me hesitant. (Ironically, a dose of romance would probably be enough incentive but these books don’t seem to have any. The Hidden Dagger books are pretty grim, too, but the bits of romance keep me engaged.)


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