Every generation has a Songkeeper—one chosen to keep the memory of the Song alive. And in every generation, there are those who seek to destroy the chosen one.
When Birdie’s song draws the attention of a dangerous Khelari soldier, she is kidnapped and thrust into a world of ancient secrets and betrayals. Rescued by her old friend, traveling peddler Amos McElhenny, Birdie flees the clutches of her enemies in pursuit of the truth behind the Song’s power.
Ky is a street–wise thief and a member of the Underground—a group of orphans banded together to survive . . . and to fight the Khelari. Haunted by a tragic raid, Ky joins Birdie and Amos in hopes of a new life beyond the reach of the soldiers. But the enemy is closing in, and when Amos’ shadowed past threatens to undo them all, Birdie is forced to face the destiny that awaits her as the Songkeeper of Leira.
Book 1 of the Songkeeper Chronicles series.
Orphan’s Song begins with a familiar tune: an encroaching dark lord, an old peddler with a mysterious past, a ragtag band of urchin-rebels, and a Cinderella figure imbued with a power she doesn’t comprehend. But Gillian Bronte Adams’s arrangement rings with sincerity, drawing us into a classic medieval fantasy setting populated with archetypes that somehow feel fresh and vigorous. Birdie, the titular orphan who alone can hear and channel the deistic soundtrack of the universe, is beset by doubts (but not by irritating angst). Her friends and allies likewise inhabit the third dimension. Relentless foes keep our heroes on their toes. Sudden violence and forceful diction drive the action forward, relieved by descriptive flourishes that accent secondary-world beauty for its own sake.
Best for: Young adults seeking the trailhead of a well-styled fantasy series that doesn’t ask much of them.
Discern: Low scruples, moderate bloodshed, and high dudgeon.