Songs of Autumn by Lauren Sevier
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
First, I have to say that I have seen the cover art, even though I read the e-book and not the paperback. The cover art, though, is very beautiful and simple. At the time that I saw it, I felt it was a harbinger of mystery, and possibly of death.
The cover artwork—the outline of a thistle, a drop of what looks like blood falling from it, over a brocade-like pattern—leaves quite a bit to the imagination. The cover art immediately drew my attention when I saw it for the first time, my curiosity piqued.
The story, told from two characters’ points of view, of Princess Lisabetta and Matioch Steele, drew me in with its characters. Lisabetta is, however, essentially the main character, and while she is the princess of her realm, is awaiting her own death.
The priestesses in her realm of Aegis believe that an ancient prophecy will be fulfilled, and that “Liz” is the one who will save it from disaster. Magick is dwindling in Aegis, and so nature is not working properly. The prophecy has been interpreted to mean that she must be sacrificed, but she is trying to outwit this prophecy.
I have to say that this was a very interesting premise. The prophecy states many things that could possibly be misinterpreted, and Liz is trying to subvert it, and trying to prove that the ones who say she has to die, have it wrong.
The story in general drew me in, and before long I was immersed in the story. And so many elements of the story immersed me in this world, especially Sevier’s honest descriptions of Liz’s feelings of despair and also of her growing attraction to Matioch. There were also her descriptions of the cities and lands of Aegis, Sevier’s medieval-like world that she has built for this book and subsequent series.
The two central characters of Princess Elisabetta, who wants her close friends to call her “Liz”—and Matioch Steele, also called Mat, a blacksmith who wants a different future for himself—are both looking for clues, Mat to his past and Liz, to her future. Liz wants to know if she has to die to save her kingdom, and Matioch hopes to prove that he is more than his low birth and current station in life.
While the two main characters grow and change in the process of the story, fulfilling a wonderful character arc for them both, there is more, and I again won’t go into much detail here except to say that other characters grow and change over the course of this book as well, including a couple of characters who seem pulled from modern times.
The story concept—a romance mixed together with a fantasy element, lots of action, and a race against time, plus a large cast of well-drawn characters—pits a princess against her fate.
I thought this was a very original concept for a plot, especially that a princess who despite what everyone says is in store for her, is searching for something else, something that seems just beyond her reach, if only she can understand the problem presented to her.
I don’t want to include too many spoilers, so I won’t be very precise here, and go into territory that will spoil the mystery for readers of Sevier’s book.
Suffice it to say that the mystery seems to go on to the next book in the series, and I for one want to continue reading on, to find out what is in store for Liz and Mat.
Five stars to Songs of Autumn!
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