A review by frecklesandstories
Ruinsong, by Julia Ember

4.0

"These mages put too much stock in their songs. They never notice how much you can say in silence."

RIGHT SO EMBER. Begrudgingly won me over. Why begrudgingly? It started with a skinny orphan bit and a magic school. Raised some red flags for me, but it was fine it didn't ruin anything.

In a world with what I'd normally call a monarch- except it became more of a dictatorship- nobility stands below the normal person in the eyes of the ruler. And honestly? Loved that bit. 10/10 finally suffer.

This is where song heals, where song destroys. Where nobility gets married to the average person to avoid that target on their back. This is a world in which there hasn't been a male ruler in 500 years simply because, well, they ain't got the range.
It's simply good and I barely put it down. Read Ruinsong because it's good.

CW: animal death!!!, fantasy classism reversed, torture (by song), mind control(?), manipulation, probably more but these are the keys.