A Song of Wraiths and Ruin Review

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin Review | Roseanne A. Brown

Let us return, fair readers, to the bane of my existence: obtain a book, do not touch said book for a year, read it, curse not reading it sooner. Needless to say, A Song of Wraiths and Ruin is one of my top reads for 2021 – my review explores why.

Publisher: Balzer + Bray | Date: 2020 | Genre: Fantasy

Plot: For Malik, the Solstasia festival is a chance to escape his war-stricken home and start a new life with his sisters in the prosperous desert city of Ziran. But when a vengeful spirit abducts Malik’s younger sister, Nadia, as payment into the city, Malik strikes a fatal deal—kill Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran, for Nadia’s freedom.

But Karina has deadly aspirations of her own. Her mother, the Sultana, has been assassinated; her court threatens mutiny; and Solstasia looms like a knife over her neck. Grief-stricken, Karina decides to resurrect her mother through ancient magic . . . requiring the beating heart of a king. And she knows just how to obtain one: by offering her hand in marriage to the victor of the Solstasia competition.

When Malik rigs his way into the contest, they are set on a course to destroy each other. But as attraction flares between them and ancient evils stir, will they be able to see their tasks to the death?

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin Review

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin Review

Everything about this book just screams yes! A fantastically crafted world, an intriguing forbidden magic, flawed yet perfect characters and a plot that leaves you gasping out loud. This had so many twists in it that to say I couldn’t put it down is an understatement. A highly recommended read.


To start, the characters. The narration is divided in two: Malik and Karina.

Malik is the typical underdog: poor background, helpless situation and a forced into an impossible deal to save someone he loves.

I wanted to protect Malik throughout. But you watch him grow in confidence, powers and start to finally understand his legacy and who he can be. His inner turmoil is presented so well: he’s anguished, but never in a self-pitying way.

Never before have I witnessed a character so consumed with anxiety and panic – then turn that to his advantage. It was such an empowering message: it didn’t define or weaken him, but just part of who he was.

If Malik is the underdog, Karina is the spoilt princess. She’s got away with doing what she wants (in an independent way, not spoilt) until her world falls apart. I love her stubbornness and the way she cares despite knowing she can’t afford to. She doesn’t shy away from what needs to be done, but neither is she ruthless and cold.

The chemistry between the two of them is fantastic. There’s so much passion – both driven by what they think needs to be done. The twists in their relationship literally have you on the edge of your seat.

But it’s also true that to aid even one person is to save an entire world.

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown


While the characters make this book for me, they’re hardly the only well-crafted element. Brown creates a fantastically complex world, imbued with history, magic and secrets. I loved you never truly got a deep understanding of the magic – the characters didn’t know what they were capable of, why should the reader?

The pacing and tension balanced each other. It’s a slower, softer start while elements are being established. But there’s an undercurrent of danger from the start. This tension heightens with each chapter.

There’re twists along the way that, no kidding, made me gasp out loud. You think you know how things will play out due to the nature of the book – but you’re wrong. I didn’t see things coming, and it’s been a while since a book has had me on the edge of my seat so much.

Final Thoughts

I adored A Song of Wraiths and Ruin – as this review might give away! It had everything I love in fantasy novels, plus a refreshing, new and absorbing storyline. The only blessing with leaving it so long is now I don’t have to wait for the sequel for as long. If you’re a fantasy fan, I can’t recommend this book enough.

Have you read this book? Does it sound like your thing?

Also in the series:

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15 thoughts on “A Song of Wraiths and Ruin Review | Roseanne A. Brown

  1. I have had this book on my tbr for quite a while, and your review certainly has me excited to read it! Thank you for the lovely review, glad you enjoyed it so much!!


  2. I freaking LOVE this book. I listened to the audiobook last year and then wound up becoming online friends with Malik’s narrator haha! I did an interview with him on my blog and everything. Plus, the author is SO cool. It’s just all-around an amazing book and world and I’m so excited to read the sequel soon 🙂


    • It’s definitely a good one if you want re-immersing in a fantasy world – I loved it. Judging by the reviews I’ve read, I’m not the only one either – I hope you enjoy it if you get the chance.


  3. I’ve not heard of this title or author but having re-read my Laini Taylor books so many times, I’m desperate for a new read so will be checking this one out now. Fabulous review, Lindsey, you can really tell how invested you are in the story!


  4. I will admit, this doesn’t sound like my sort of book but I can 100000% relate to what you said at the start. I’ve read loads of books that have sat on my shelf for years and for some reason, have just put off reading them. When when I finally do, I absolutely love them and hate myself for leaving it so long!


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