Review: Song of Blood & Stone (Earthsinger Chronicles #1) by L. Penelope

Between love and duty lies destiny

Orphaned and alone, Jasminda is an outcast in her homeland of Elsira, where she is feared for both the shade of her skin and her magical abilities. When ruthless soldiers seek refuge in her isolated cabin, they bring with them a captive – an injured spy who steals her heart.

Jack’s mission behind enemy lines nearly cost him his life but he is saved by the healing power of a mysterious young woman. Together they embark on a perilous journey straight into the heart of a centuries-old conflict.

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.

*I received a copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Jasminda has always been shunned for the color of her skin and her magic abilities, leading up to living a pretty lonely life. Though that all changes when a group of soldiers are seeking refuges at her home during a storm. With them is a prisoner, Jack. There is that immediate connection between them, though I at first wondered if it wasn't just from gratitude towards one another. Still together they start upon an adventure that will lead them into the thick of it all. 

While this might be considered a fantasy romance, I felt the attention was too divided to be either really. For fantasy I missed some world building and the threat from the enemy seemed too far away to matter. In the beginning this was done very well, but somewhere in the middle it just faded. I would like to have seen more of Earthsong, or how it feels, what it can do etc. This was all very much kept to a minimum, so the tension was not enough.

For the romance part of the book, it felt a bit forced to me. I didn't feel that connection between Jasminda and Jack. They are together by circumstances, but I don't feel that they really got to know each other well before too much feelings were involved. So the desperation in some parts of the story, weren't that believable to me.

On their own, the characters were likeable and I could certainly see the appeal. The plot wasn't predictable, just that the ending was anticlimactic. While they were definitely some good parts about this story, I feel like it still needs some work to be captivating.  

The Author
Leslye Penelope has been writing since she could hold a pen and loves getting lost in the worlds in her head. She's a romance junkie who self-medicates with happily-ever-afters and steaming mugs of green tea. She lives in Maryland with her husband, an eighty-pound lap dog, and an attack cat.

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