Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Evensong's Heir: Book One of the Songbirds of Valnon (Volume 1) Paperback – April 22, 2013
|New from||Used from|
About the Author
Leah S. Baird is a native of Kentucky and a graduate of Berea College with a degree in Theater. She has been by turns a weaver, a costume designer, a tour guide, an animal handler, a jewelry maker, an actor, a switchboard operator, a corporate drone, and a cash register jockey. She has been telling stories all her life, including the one when she was seven about how it was totally someone else that drew on her jeans with magic marker. She's been getting into trouble over her stories ever since, up to and including getting married because of them. Currently she lives in Maryland with her partner, Joy, their cat, Tseng, and their action figure collection, Legion. She is a dragon-year Cancer, a believer in mountain folk magic, a player of video games and a baker of cookies. She is not the famous silent film star you will find when you google her name. She enjoys dressing up as other people and talking about herself in the third person. Her hair is often pink. You've probably read some of her fanfic.
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle Edition for FREE. Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
As for the book itself: It would have benefited from slower pacing, and lingering a bit more to let the reader get to know the characters and the setting a bit better. It feels a bit like a lot was cut down or trimmed out, leaving it feel like what should have been two books crammed into one. Baird excels at hitting emotional beats, but the rushed pacing breaks suspension of disbelief in some parts, and when the author misses, it feels all the stranger because the author's displayed she knows how to do it well at other times in the novel and leaves it feeling somewhat incomplete.
The relationship between the protagonists also rubbed me a bit the wrong way. The helpless effete uke and capable, angsty seme dynamic never did anything for me, as a queer man, because relationships - even BDSM Dom/sub relationships - rarely play out that way IRL. I couldn't relate to either of the characters as men. They are clearly written as a female yaoi (Japanese M/M romance manga) fantasy. This is fine if you're into yaoi, but I struggle with that particular kind of relationship in fiction.
On saying that, I think this is a solid little fantasy book in most respects, and certainly hooked me in until the central climax. The worldbuilding is spectacular and the book is worth reading for that alone.
If you like coming-of-age stories, read this book. If you like music, read this book. If you like tasteful romance, read this book. If you like same-sex relationships treated like they ain't no thing, read this book. If you like fantasy and song-driven magic and prophetic dreams and politics and mysterious players and a world steeped in music and legend and mythology, read this book!
If there was anything I would have wished for, it would have been more points of view and more description of how things went from points A to B. A few times events would happen that, from one character's point of view, seemed utterly fortuitously random. The coincidence would be explained shortly after, but sometimes it made the pace of the book (which picked up considerably in the second half) almost TOO fast. Or maybe that was just me, page-turning feverishly to find out how it all ended! I would have liked to see more of Valnon, also: life in the city, how the average folk went about their lives. The same with a few of the villains, who I would have liked a bit more time with to understand why they made the choices they did.
In summary, this is a great book and the only thing wrong with it is that I want more of it. Cannot wait for book 2. :)
This is not just a romance. This is not an action novel, or a political novel. This is not the standard good vs. evil, and the side characters are anything but second string. This is an ensemble cast with a little bit of everything that comes together in a masterful whole to satisfy every taste. Even though Evensong's Heir wraps itself in a good stable place by the end I selfishly want more of these characters and more of Valnon and her people, and the "Book One" on the cover cheers me immensely - it means there's more to come!
The short version: Read this book, you won't be disappointed.
The long version: If you like non-fantasy-standard magic, if you like worlds with history, if you like knights with integrity and snappy dialog and a brisk but unhurried pace, if you like tasteful romance and intriguing politics and coming-of-age... You owe it to yourself to take a chance and read this book.
There's pretty much everything you could ask for: action, adventure, mystery, romance, and political intrigue, and it all works well, without one element overshadowing the other. I can't wait for the next book in the series!
Most recent customer reviews
The book is a classical fantasy sword&sorcery. It is well written, and a fun read.Read more
I finished the book about a week or so ago, and ever since I've been trying to think of the right words to write...Read more