The dull doom of impending marriage at his back and a reticent royal at his side, remarkable minstrel Gant-o’-the-Lute is off in search of adventure, and you can be sure he finds it – complete with much music, magicked maidens, and a dangerous power so great, Lute might for once find himself outmatched.
Whoo hoo! I got my hands on an ARC! *cough* Ahem. *recomposes self*
The Song Caster is the fourth book of the Wilderhark Tales (1:The Swan Prince, 2: The Stone Kingdom, 3: The Seventh Spell). As I've mentioned before I've been fortunate enough to follow Miss Shipley since she started The Swan Prince and I haven't been let down by her stories yet.
Woot! This book promised to feature my latest favorite character, Gant-o'-the-Lute aka Jackillien (Sorry Villem and Edgwyn, I still love you too). I had expected it to be solely through Jackillien's point of view but Shipley has changed it up again and it's told mainly through two points of views which is was fine with me. To be honest, I was a little disappointed that it wasn't just through Lute's point of view but that's just selfishness on my part. Having the two point of views proved to be a good decision as I read on in the book. It was unexpected but quite pleasant when I saw who she brought back. (Hint: It's someone from Rosalba's previous encounters.) I grew to like the other protagonist as well. I enjoy how Shipley continues to bring back old characters, even the ones we've forgotten about or declared as unimportant or just plain gone.
The story had a bit of mystery and it was funny to see the two characters who are almost complete opposites got along. I loved how we got to see the characters change and grow. That's probably one of my favorite thing about reading stories. It's how we can learn when we observe the characters transform based on their experiences and encounters. I find it enjoyably challenging. The one thing I was a bit disappointed about was the lack of Viralei until about 2/3rds of the way and even when she did appear she wasn't daring or adventurous enough for me. I wanted to see more about her when she wasn't in a certain form.
I like the new characters that Shipley brings in and do think it's clever how she added them so that there wouldn't be an excess of useless characters. That's actually a pet peeve of mine but I didn't have to worry. It was quite clever and so are her characters. I don't want to spill too much but I do wholeheartedly approve of our new friend. Oh, and don't worry too much, we do get to see our old friends but only for brief periods of time.
Shipley continues her well crafted story telling and there continues to be no dull moment in her pacing. Most of that, of course, is because of magic that brings a little trouble to our protagonists who will have to get out of them in due time. This is another great tale told by our great wordsmith. I always enjoy the different fairy tale parallels the author throws in for us to find. She even changes things up a bit to keep us on our toes. I'm still sort of hoping that she'll throw in a tale that and twist it so that I totally won't see it coming but only time shall tell. Nevertheless, I don't get tired of reading Shipley's retold fairy tales. :D
The ending is satisfying and complete. It successfully sums up the troubles the protagonists have gone through and needed to solve. It's nice and clean that leaves you with fluffy warm feelings. lol I'm going to leave it at that for you. (Working on my no spoiler review rule I've set for myself.) Lute continues to steal my heart and I'm looking forward to the next adventure Shipley has in store for her next story. Can I have it now? *makes grabby hands* lol Just kidding!
The Song Caster is available June 24 so don't miss the release! Also head over to Miss Shipley's website! She hosts a series of random awesome giveaways. There's one going on right now which I'm sure you'd want to win if you're a Wilderhark Fan! :D Enter now! It ends Saturday!
4 out of 5 rating for me!
*I wrote this review several weeks after I had read it, so this is my after book thoughts.
(An ARC was provided by the author for an honest review. I was not compensated in any other way.)
About the Author:
Danielle E. Shipley’s first novelettes told the everyday misadventures of wacky kids like herself. …Or so she thought. Unbeknownst to them all, half of her characters were actually closeted elves, dwarves, fairies, or some combination thereof. When it all came to light, Danielle did the sensible thing: Packed up and moved to Fantasy Land, where daily rent is the low, low price of her heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, firstborn child, sanity, and words; lots of them. She’s also been known to spend short bursts of time in the real-life Chicago area with the parents who home schooled her and the two little sisters who keep her humble. When she’s not living the highs and lows of writing young adult novels, she’s probably blogging about it at www.EverOnWord.wordpress.com.
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