BOOK REVIEW: Last Song Before Night by Ilana C. Meyer – DNF

Long ago, poets were Seers with access to powerful magic. Following a cataclysmic battle, the enchantments of Eivar were lost–now a song is only words and music, and no more. But when a dark power threatens the land, poets who thought only to gain fame for their songs face a task much greater: to restore the lost enchantments to the world. And the road to the Otherworld, where the enchantments reside, will imperil their lives and test the deepest desires of their hearts.

 

I did not finish this book. I could barely finish the first chapter.

I only picked this book up because Scott Hawkins, author of The Library at Mount Char (which I liked) mentioned  the author on Twitter. For some reason I took that as a recommendation. Won’t be making that mistake again.

There were too many characters right from the start. I also didn’t realize how much of an epic fantasy his would be (which I do not like). It was too much work for all it’s plainness and dullness. And even the title! Good lord, I could barely remember the title, it was so uninspiring.

The world building seemed like the renaissance. But not very diverse. Euro-centric. Full of courtyards and fountains and bards.

I looked up more reviews after reading to see if I should finish and I’m just not compelled to complete it. Good thing I bought this book used. I should have interlibrary loaned it.

Here’s some other reviews that did not make me feel like reading more:

Wanted to read it because it was interesting, wanted to purchase it because nepotism (err, I heard that the author was also a religious Jew and I think it’s important enough to have varied perspectives in fantasy, including my own, that I vote with my wallet).

 

I’m not sure why every major female character needed some sort of sexual trauma in her life. Just saying.

 

Saints preserve us from Gandalf-wannabes like Valanir Ocune: the mysterious wizard who arbitrarily selects a Chosen One and pops up occasionally throughout the story to push the plot along.

Though heaven knows the characters in this story needed some pushing. Without VO’s help, they would have wandered around the countryside until everyone just died of boredom.

Such a big deal was made of the main character Lin — the woman who wants to be a bard! (Gasp!) Her desire for music would have been more convincing if she were at all musical. Where were the scenes of her singing, playing an instrument, struck by poetic inspiration?

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