Sequel to STATE OF SORROW by best-selling fantasy author Melinda Salisbury.
Sorrow Ventaxis has won the election, and in the process lost everything…
Governing under the sinister control of Vespus Corrigan, and isolated from her friends, Sorrow must to find a way to free herself from his web and save her people. But Vespus has no plans to let her go, and he isn’t the only enemy Sorrow faces as the curse of her name threatens to destroy her and everything she’s fought for.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review but this did not impact my opinion at all.
I feel like a lot of people have been anticipating this review from me since my review of the first book, State of Sorrow(check that out here), is my most viewed post on my blog by a landslide. This was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and as I predicted, Queen Mel did not let me down.
As I said on my twitter, this book just further reinforces my belief that Melinda Salisbury is the queen of YA fantasy. Her books are addicitive, enthralling and deliciously dark. I don’t even know if I preferred this conclusion over the first book because I loved them both so much.
The Sorrow duology is not your typical YA fantasy. It is very politics heavy which I loved about them. This book in particular, was slower than your usual fantasy books in terms of action but it was still addictive based on the amount of political drama that was occurring. I’ve recently realised that political based fantasy books are something that I adore. I don’t read a lot of them as I don’t think there are a lot of them but they’re just so unique. This duology in particular doesn’t feel like your average cookie cutter YA fantasy novel.
What really makes Melinda Salisbury’s fantasy worlds so captivating is her characterisation. She has a way of making you fall in love with every character in her books. Sorrow is an excellent protagonist. She’s firm and she does what she believes in but she’s still vulnerable. I’m fed up of these YA female protagonists who are all ‘strong’ but seem to have no emotions or feelings. Sorrow expresses her vulnerability and we as the reader see her struggle constantly which makes her feel much more relatable as a character, even though she’s experiencing things we don’t go through at all. She’s also still feminine which I appreciated. I especially loved this quote:
She put on full make-up, each stroke of a brush an act of war against her enemies.
Even though Sorrow is an amazing protagonist and we spend all of our time with her in the book, all of the side characters are fully developed too. Luvian is a particular favourite of mine(for obvious reasons) along with Charon and Irris. I also love seeing Sorrow’s relationship with everyone and how they all differ. Seeing the sort of familial love that she experiences from Charon, Irris, Arran and Mael makes me so happy and I loved learning more about the other characters (particularly enjoyed exploring more of Mael with another specific character). I especially enjoyed seeing the development of her relationship with Rasmus as their circumstances changed.
One thing that I need to touch on was the way that sex was handled in this novel. Obviously, I’m not going to spoil it for you but seeing a sex scene like that in a YA novel (especially in a YA fantasy novel) made me so happy because we hardly ever see proper sex scenes explored in YA which I think is a travesty.
So if I haven’t convinced you already, you need to pick up Song of Sorrow, the conclusion to Melinda Salisbury’s Sorrow duology. It is already one of my favourite books of the year and I know that is going to be on my list when we get to the end of 2019.