TITLE: Song of the Dead
AUTHOR: Sarah Glenn Marsh
PUBLICATION DATE: January 22, 2019
The Dead must stay buried.
Karthia is nothing like it used to be. The kingdom’s borders are open for the first time in nearly three hundred years, and raising the dead has been outlawed. Odessa is determined to explore the world beyond Karthia’s waters, hoping to heal a heart broken in more ways than she can count. But with Meredy joining the ocean voyage, vanquishing her sorrow will be a difficult task.
Despite the daily reminder of the history they share, Odessa and Meredy are fascinated when their journey takes them to a land where the Dead rule the night and dragons roam the streets. Odessa can’t help being mesmerized by the new magic–and by the girl at her side. But just as she and Meredy are beginning to explore the new world, a terrifying development in Karthia summons them home at once.
Growing political unrest on top of threats from foreign invaders means Odessa and Meredy are thrust back into the lives they tried to leave behind while specters from their past haunt their tenuous relationship. Gathering a force big enough to ward off enemies seems impossible, until one of Queen Valoria’s mages creates a weapon that could make them invincible. As danger continues to mount inside the palace, Odessa fears that without the Dead, even the greatest invention won’t be enough to save their fates.
In this enthralling, heartrending sequel to Reign of the Fallen, Odessa faces the fight of her life as the boundaries between the Dead and the living are challenged in a way more gruesome than ever before.
Song of the Dead picks up almost immediately after the end of Reign of the Fallen and I was all here for that. I love when stories seamlessly flow from one to the other instead of having a gap in the time frame where they have to explain what happened between the books.
I loved that the story explored other areas of the world while still bringing in information about Karthia and how trouble is brewing there. During their time traveling to new lands, Odessa and Meredy befriend new people and Odessa even accidentally adopts a dragon! Nipper is probably one of my new favorite characters and I wish this series was longer than a duology so we could experience more Nipper.
Along with the many new characters, lots of new aspects of the magic system were brought into the story. From Reign of the Fallen, it’s known that different colors of eyes indicates different types of magic. Blue indicates a necromancers and green indicates a beast master. In Song of the Dead, there is an expansion on the magic system. There are characters with purple eyes and hazel and even one who has a different eye color for each eye. It was very interesting to see this expansion as well as see how each of these new magics come to play later on in the story.
“For the first time, I notice that while one of her eyes is blackish-brown, the other is a green so deep it’s almost black, too.”
New characters in the story include Karston and Azelie and I absolutely loved the roles they both played in the story. Karston has grown up hearing stories of Odessa and aspires to do great things. While I can’t say I was thrilled with how his portion of the story went, I understand that it was needed to drive the plot. Azelie is another one of my new favorite characters and I loved the addition she was to the story. She is very into plants and understanding them. She really reminded me of a female version of Neville Longbottom.
I really enjoyed that Valoria was trying to change things once she became ruler and that she was met with resistance. While I hated the resistance, it’s obvious that most people are not easily going to except change and that some of the population is going to fight back to keep things they way they were. Valoria was always one of my favorite characters in Reign of the Fallen so I was glad to see more of her in Song of the Dead.
Can an inanimate object be considered a character? I’m not entirely sure, but one part of the story involved this inanimate object and it affected a couple characters for several chapters and it just absolutely broke my heart.
THE PLOT TWIST! Oh my, I started to see it coming and was like, no, Sarah Glenn Marsh wouldn’t do that to me and then she did it. Oh, man, she did it. I spent several days reading this story to really grasp everything because so much was happening and then about halfway through, I just couldn’t put it down. I couldn’t pace myself anymore. I had to know what was going to happen.
I was so glad for an expansion on all the romances in this world. While I sometimes hate when everyone gets paired off in a fantasy novel, I was living for it in this duology. I love these characters so much and I wanted them to all be happy. Especially after all they went through in Reign of the Fallen.
“This is what scares me-not how I want her body tangled up with mine, because it’s surely only natural to want to kiss a girl this smart, this beautiful-but how my heart behaves around her.”
I found Song of the Dead to be just as amazing as Reign of the Fallen. It was a great continuation from Reign of the Fallen. I highly recommend this duology!
Sarah Glenn Marsh writes young adult novels and children’s picture books. An avid fantasy reader from the day her dad handed her a copy of The Hobbit and promised it would change her life, she’s been making up words and worlds ever since.
When she’s not writing, Sarah frequents the pottery studio, volunteers her time to sighthound rescue, and raises awareness about her autoimmune disease, Type 1 diabetes. She often enjoys pursuits of the nerd variety, from video games to tabletop adventures. She’s never met an animal or a doughnut she didn’t like.
Sarah lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and their tiny zoo of four rescued sighthounds, two birds, and many fish. She is the author of Fear the Drowning Deep, the Reign of the Fallen series, and several books for younger readers.