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The Song Rising (The Bone Season) Hardcover – March 7, 2017
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"This is an ebullient, gloriously complicated fantasy . . . Shannon unravels her tangled tale in galloping prose . . . Very satisfying." - Daily Telegraph
"Like treasures unearthed by mudlarks, Samantha Shannon’s alternative world is studded with fabulous language: mime queens and mime lords have their mollishers; gutterlings jostle with amaurotics in the meatspace; the country groans under the rule of the Scion Republic. With a sharp eye on the politics of identity, Shannon transports us into a world where the oppressed are pitted against one another in the struggle for survival." - Daily Mail
"Never less than captivating. A tantalizing, otherworldly adventure with imagination that burns like fire." - Kirkus Reviews
"Shannon's exploration of a futuristic, perilous Europe remains engaging and evocative . . . The narrative is fueled by a constant sense of tension, as well as both internal and external conflict." - Publishers Weekly
"Evocative, smart, and exciting . . . Shannon vividly and purposefully realizes each meticulously detailed setting, from London's underground to outposts in Scotland, while infusing her imaginative, passionate, and gripping saga with profound insights into humankind's long, bloody history of tyranny and the radiant ones who zealously fight for freedom and justice." - Booklist
"Fans will be rewarded with more character backstory, and new double agents on both sides of the insurgency . . . [The Song Rising] mirror[s] current debates on immigration, violence, and equality. It is within the descriptions of this clairvoyant world that Shannon’s writing shines." - Library Journal
"[Shannon] captures the city [of Edinburgh] with a particular kind of precision, especially the relationship between power and strength, and those who benefit from neither . . . This series of books [is] easily the most politically engaged of any of the contemporary dystopian fantasies." - Scotland on Sunday
"The third book sees feisty heroine Paige Mahoney take on the dangerous role of Underqueen, ruling over London's criminal population." - The Daily Express
"[Samantha Shannon's] brilliance is that she is not afraid of change, both for her characters and her setting . . . The 25-year-old remains a name to watch." - The Independent
About the Author
Samantha Shannon was born in West London in 1991. She started writing at the age of fifteen and studied English language and literature at St. Anne's College, Oxford. The Bone Season, the first in a seven-book series, was a New York Times bestseller and the inaugural Today Book Club selection, and was named one of Amazon's Best Books of the Year. Film rights were acquired by the Imaginarium Studios and 20th Century Fox. The Mime Order, the second in the series, was also a New York Times bestseller. Her work has been translated into twenty-six languages.
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Having escaped Sheol I and defeated all the contenders in the Rose Ring to become the Underqueen of the London Syndicate, in The Song Rising, Paige has now found herself in a powerful position. She is determined to rally her troops to fight for the rights and protection of all voyants, and begins to take the steps in order to make them an army fit to assist the Ranthen in overthrowing Scion and the other Rephaite. However, with great power comes great responsibility, and Paige soon finds that she is responsible for the welfare of her underlings. With Scion dogging her steps at every turn and the military's presence growing, Paige is forced to make some tough decisions as she continues to light the spark of revolution.
I was actually one of the lucky people to receive an early review copy of The Song Rising, thanks to the lovely folk over at Bloomsbury. Since it has been one of my most highly anticipated sequels for ages, I immediately skipped everything on my then TBR in order to reread the first two novels and dive right into this one. Now, even though you're likely seeing this review months from when I'm typing it up, I thought it'd be best to write it while fresh off reading the book.
It was absolutely incredible to be back in the world that Samantha Shannon so carefully crafted in her first two novels, complete with the variety of clairvoyants, the restructured London syndicate and the ever-present threat of Scion and the Rephaite. Since I'd come off of a reread of The Bone Season and The Mime Order, I comfortably transitioned into The Song Rising without any confusion. What is truly impressive, in my humble opinion, is that the world once again expands and introduces us to even more of the world. And while it is obviously sad, bleak and terrifying, it is also so darn interesting to learn about what is going on outside of the London citadel. I love that with every single story, Samantha has been slowly letting readers see the rest of the world in her head, and I absolutely cannot wait for more.
It was also so wonderful to be reunited with Paige, Nick, Eliza, Warden and countless other characters that I've come to know and love (or perhaps revile) in reading the previous novels. For the great majority of the main players that I was familiar with, it felt like deepening a bond with a friend, particularly as we learn more about certain individuals who might not have had center stage (or any stage at all, really) prior to The Song Rising. And for the newer characters who crop up in this story, Samantha does an excellent job of fleshing them out as flawed individuals doing the best they can with the circumstances they are in (in the case of the "good" guys) and psychopaths who are not opposed to death and destruction in order to get their way (in the case of the "bad" guys).
But I need to really take a moment here to appreciate Paige Mahoney, our main gal. She faces a number of challenges in The Song Rising, challenges that would have lesser men and women running like hell, and these challenges are what break her, shape her, make her. She's certainly not perfect, especially considering her youth, and she does make mistakes. But with each mistake, and even each victory, there is growth and there is experience and there is Paige learning to be a strong leader. It really impressive how much Paige grows over the course of this novel, and it is a character arc that felt really organic as well.
So, the world is great. So, the characters are phenomenal. But Lex, you might ask, what about the story? The short answer: it was incredible. The longer answer? Well, it is clear to me that this story was so well-executed. Every scene had a purpose, whether it was to move the plot forward or showcase more of a person's character, and I admired that so much care had gone into the telling of this tale. Each section felt organic and fed right into the next one, and it was hard to stop once I'd started. I was so immersed in the newest chapter of Paige's story, and I devoured the entirety of it in just one afternoon. It was exciting. It was terrifying. It was heartbreaking. It was inspiring. And it was very, very, very good. So, yes, I loved the story as well.
If it isn't obvious from all the gushing, I loved The Song Rising. While it has been a fairly large gap between the second novel and this upcoming one, I can certainly say that the novel (well, the advanced reader's copy) that I held in my hands and read was an insanely good book. Impressive world-building and character development, as well as a compelling story - it's the full package when it comes to the reads I wind up loving, and I cannot wait for more. (Seriously, I need book four now. For reasons. Which you will understand, should you read the third book.)
Samantha has always said Book 3 was the end of one arc of Paige’s story and this book would set up the next story arc. This is completely true in that it sets up the next part of the series while also tying up certain aspects from the beginning. I also think having this end of one story arc is helpful in what will be a seven book series. It helps break up the epic story and give you some sense of conclusion even as the plot expands and you learn more about what they are up against.
One of the things I love about this series is how great Samantha Shannon is at getting you involved in the story and keeping you entertained from the start. The books have this constant action where you are on the edge of your seat waiting to see what Paige and Co. will get up to next. While we only get to see things from Paige’s perspective, her unique gift gives us more insight into many aspects of the world and those against Paige.
This book also features so many of the characters I have come to love but also gave us time to meet new characters and fall in love with them. I think the ending of this book was perfect in the sense it left me feeling optimistic and content with where things stood for our characters but it also left the door wide open for what is to come. So while this book was the end of one story arc, I still hate that I have to wait over a year now for the next installment. Hopefully Book 4 is in our hands sooner rather than later and we get to be back with Paige and Co. soon.
*Copy provided by Bloomsbury via NetGalley for review*
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