Reviews for Song of Blood & Stone, by L. Penelope

momina's review against another edition

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rjsthumbelina's review against another edition

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The pacing of this book was a little off at times, but that was probably bc the author was developing such a complex world and magic system. Jasminda was a badass heroine - my only problem was that she sometimes got whiny where Jack was concerned. But I grew to love the romance between them too. I loved that Penelope didn't shy away from tackling racism and the plight of immigrants. I could have done without the unexplained chapter beginnings with animal folktales. I will Read the next one when it comes out

destiel74's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional lighthearted fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


I loved the world-building. The romance also was very well executed with all the juicy sweetness. 

candidceillie's review against another edition

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DNFed at 40%
So, I really wanted to love this book. I loved the cover and I'm all about diverse fantasy. However, the attempted rape on-page and pervasive rape culture throughout the 40 percent that I did read that I couldn't finish it. I am absolutely exhausted with fantasy books that think that the only thing a man can do to show how evil he is is to rape people. This is the same reason I quit reading the Tearling book.

flaviathebibliophile's review against another edition

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Since I’m still very new to New Adult (NA) fiction, and the book that I’ve read in that genre have been both hit and miss for me, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Song of Blood & Stone. By the second chapter, though, I was really enjoying myself! This book reminded me of exactly what it was that I liked about the high fantasy books that I used to read when I was in high school. There is magic, and a lot of adventure and walking on foot through untamed landscapes. Where Song of Blood & Stone differs from the high fantasy that I read as a teen (such as Terry Goodkind’s Wizard’s First Rule and Robert Jorand’s The Eye of the World) is that there is electricity and automobiles! I don’t think that I’ve ever read about a fantasy world (so, a world other than our own, rather than historical fantasy) that had those things, and I found the combination of high fantasy elements and these modern touches to be quite interesting and unique!

As you may have guessed from reading the text about cover, the plot has a lot to do with love, duty, and destiny (a combo that generally tends to make me very very happy)! I clicked with Jasminda and Jack from the start, and shipped them so hard almost as soon as they’d met. Their chemistry was intense, and I also really liked their love story as a whole! The plot in general was well-paced and very quest-like, so I definitely had fun reading it. I also really enjoyed reading about the world that Penelope created for us, and couldn’t believe the amount of detail that was put into it. There is a whole creation story and mythology, a magic system that was unique, and a good dash of mystery. Overall, I really enjoyed Song of Blood & Stone and cannot wait for the next book to be released! I recommend this to readers who enjoy fantasy quests, romance, and NA!

1siobhan's review against another edition

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*I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks for the free book!*

This was enjoyable, yet not a very surprising read. The main elements are: two countries divided by a magical barrier, a girl fighting for her home, a wounded soldier fighting for his life, and a sister fighting for her sister's child. There is also a not surprising romance in there.

Yet the characters are more interesting than you would first think. The world building has a lot of potential, the underlying ideas concerning racism are super interesting, making this more than just your random fantasy novel. I grew to like all characters even though there were no surprising plot twists. Sometimes it's nice to be caught up in a well written story with a prince. :D

I am looking forward to #2!

3,5 Stars

bookishdi's review

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adventurous emotional hopeful tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

jordannedunn's review

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I would first like to start with an incredibly grateful thank you to Brittani Hilles and St Martin’s Press for the opportunity to be part of the Song of Blood & Stone Blog Tour (my very first blog tour! I’m so excited!) and NetGalley for a sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Minor spoilers, you have been warned.

This book took me by surprise in a big way and a very good one at that. Jasminda makes a fierce heroine with an independent streak a mile wide that is hard not to admire. The ways she faces adversity, prejudice and danger throughout the book are amazing and so different from other female MCs in this genre. The world building is so immersive and elegantly done, and although the beginning parts in the town have something of a Western feel (not a bad thing), this is a fantasy novel through and through offering a unique history and a power-set I have not seen explored so well in this genre before.

The romance did have a touch of the insta-love, (well a lot of it), but I felt it was well earned throughout the book and loved that though there were parts when it slipped, the relationship’s dynamic did not falter as events unfurled. I was hooked from the word go and couldn’t put it down – even during the time at court which is almost always the most boring part of royalty-involved fantasy but was intriguing and cut right to the meat of the situation.

One of my favourite parts of the book’s layout was the little fable snippets at the start of each chapter, I found them so clever and gave me an interesting thought process when approaching the next chapter, one of my favourites was:

“Bobcat and Horse raced to the river to see who was fastest. Bobcat fell behind on a turn in the path, and Horse began to gloat. But when he approached the riverbank, he was shocked to find Bobcat leisurely bathing.
How did you beat me? Horse cried, angry.
Bobcat replied, When the path curved I stayed straight. A road is not enough to throw me off my path.”

Although, they are all brilliant and I would like mugs or coasters with them printed on with little characters – Etsy, take me money!

I loved Jack as a character even though I wish we had learned more of his history as opposed to the brief glimpses we get, but I should imagine that will come more into play in the sequel which I simply cannot wait for despite the fact I think this could easily stand alone as the ending was most satisfying. I always find that those kind of endings are worse than cliffhangers since you have no idea where they are going to go with it.

Trigger warning: there are attempted rapes of two characters in this novel, one male and one female, this being an area of upset for me personally I felt it important to include here though (slightly less minor spoilers) both are unsuccessful (the method of which in both made me laugh with both nerves and relief at the absurdity of evasion).

There are also two consensual sex scenes that get somewhat graphic so I’d advise 16+ at the least.

I can’t wait to read more of L. Penelope!

ksmarsden's review against another edition

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Jasminda has always been shunned by those in the village; her dark skin marks her out as a foreign witch. Only when she rescues injured soldier Jack, does she find people that accept her. Together, they are pulled along a path to bring about an ancient prophecy.

I received a free copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

This story follows Jasminda, who inherited her dark looks from her father - a man native to Lagamiri, the eternal enemy of her homeland Elsira. Her mother's family have practically disowned her, and would like nothing more than to scrub her from existence.
After her parents are brothers die, Jasminda has to work hard to keep their little family farm running; made all the more difficult by a sudden and unexpected tax bill, that threatens to bankrupt her.
She has grown up with constant racist abuse and distrust from the local town, who can't abide her magic, and her looks.

Jasminda has no interest or ambitions beyond keeping her head down, and saving her farm from being repossessed. Until a chance encounter with an injured soldier suddenly makes her a necessary part in a scheme to refortify the barrier that stops the enemy True Father from attacking and enslaving Elsira.

The soldier, Jack, quickly becomes the most solid friend she's ever had. Despite the fact that his identity is a shifting blur from "gentle poet" to "warrior", "general" and... well, something else. He is the first person that truly believes in Jasminda.
There is an undeniable attraction between the two of them, and you know that it's only a matter of time before passion consumes them, even amidst the threat of war, and political drama.

There's a distinct change in tone, as the plot moves away from the adventure of seeking a way to protect Elsira, and avoiding a magical enemy; to the luxuries of the capital. Here, it focuses more on dances, dresses, political intrigue, and returns to Jasminda's desire to save the farm.
There is also the romance between Jasminda and Jack, as the real world threatens to ruin the connection between them.

I really enjoyed this story. It provided a lot of history and background, so even though the plot skipped along lightly, it felt well-rounded.
I like how it tackled topics like racism and the attitudes towards asylum seekers. It really built up the tension gradually, and flared in all the right places.
I also liked how Jasminda is not the most powerful witch. Her own magic is weak compared to her father and other full-blooded Lagamiri; but she still steps up to do anything she can to help stop the True Father.

This book can be read as a standalone, but does set up for a series to follow.

bookcheshirecat's review

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Thank you to Netgalley & St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a digital arc in exchange for an honest Review

CW's: Ableist Language, Rape Attempt

Actual Rating: 2.5 Stars