Review: Song of the Dead by Sarah Glenn Marsh

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Song of the Dead by Sarah Glenn MarshSong of the Dead by Sarah Glenn Marsh
Series: Reign of the Fallen #2
Published by Razorbill on January 22, 2019
Pages: 416
Format: ARC
Source: the author
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The Dead must stay buried.

Karthia is nothing like it used to be. The kingdom's borders are open for the first time in nearly three hundred years, and raising the dead has been outlawed. Odessa is determined to explore the world beyond Karthia's waters, hoping to heal a heart broken in more ways than she can count. But with Meredy joining the ocean voyage, vanquishing her sorrow will be a difficult task.

Despite the daily reminder of the history they share, Odessa and Meredy are fascinated when their journey takes them to a land where the Dead rule the night and dragons roam the streets. Odessa can't help being mesmerized by the new magic--and by the girl at her side. But just as she and Meredy are beginning to explore the new world, a terrifying development in Karthia summons them home at once.

Growing political unrest on top of threats from foreign invaders means Odessa and Meredy are thrust back into the lives they tried to leave behind while specters from their past haunt their tenuous relationship. Gathering a force big enough to ward off enemies seems impossible, until one of Queen Valoria's mages creates a weapon that could make them invincible. As danger continues to mount inside the palace, Odessa fears that without the Dead, even the greatest invention won't be enough to save their fates.

In this enthralling, heartrending sequel to Reign of the Fallen, Odessa faces the fight of her life as the boundaries between the Dead and the living are challenged in a way more gruesome than ever before.

This book – this series – was so absolutely amazing, I don’t even know how to put it into words. I’m both immensely satisfied with the way it ended (the book and, consequently, the duology as a whole), yet also heartbroken because I’m not ready to leave this world or these characters. I miss Sparrow, Meredy, Simeon, Danial, Valoria and everyone so much, you’d think they were real people and not characters in a book. I want to be back in Karthia with them. I want to see what lies ahead in their adventures. I don’t want to let them go. I never will. I connected so hard and in so many ways with both Reign of the Fallen and Song of the Dead that I’m not even ready to discuss all the reasons why. It was just That Book for me (or Those Books? Since it was both. I’m not sure of the grammar here..).

Sparrow was an incredible, incredible character. She was more than just a character. She felt so real and I loved everything about her. She kicked butt and took names. I loved her journey and growth from book one to book two, and throughout book two.

Meredy was, by far, my favorite character. She was strong and fierce, yet had some very emotional, vulnerable moments in this book. I loved seeing that side of her.

Danial and Simeon were just… Omg. I don’t even have words.

Another character I really loved was Kasmira. I kept picturing her as an older Uma (China Anne McClain) from the Descendants 2 movie.

ALL MY SHIPS SAILED AND I COULDN’T BE HAPPIER!!!!!!!!!!! Like, there were some ups and downs with my two favorite ships (I won’t name them right now because spoilers, but those of you who have read the book will know who I mean), but they made it through in the end and my heart is so happy beyond belief, it’s bursting with feels!!!

NIPPER!!!! Omg I adored Nipper. I don’t want to spoil who/what Nipper is, but OMG I WANT HER!!! Haha.

TBH, I enjoyed Song of the Dead so much that I was awful about taking review notes for it… Which made writing this review really difficult (as I’m sure you can tell… Eeek…), but I was just so immersed in the story, I didn’t want to stop and take the time to write anything down – I just wanted to relax and enjoy the story, not pull myself out of it every time I had a thought I wanted to write down. So this review honestly doesn’t even do the book justice. All I can say is READ IT. It was SO good. Sarah Glenn Marsh is DEFINITELY going on my Auto Buy List.

So, overall (if you couldn’t tell, which.. if you couldn’t…????), I LOVED this book. ADORED IT. Can’t put it into words, can’t say it enough. Just go read it as soon as possible. Seriously. Go. Now..!!


Review: Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh

Review: Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn MarshReign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh
Series: Reign of the Fallen #1
Published by Razorbill on January 23, 2018
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Buy on Amazon

Odessa is one of Karthia's master necromancers, catering to the kingdom's ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it's Odessa's job to raise them by retrieving their souls from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised--the Dead must remain shrouded, or risk transforming into zombie-like monsters known as Shades. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, the grotesque transformation will begin.

A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears among Odessa's necromancer community. Soon a crushing loss of one of their own reveals a disturbing conspiracy: someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead--and training them to attack. Odessa is faced with a terrifying question: What if her necromancer's magic is the weapon that brings Karthia to its knees?

I’ve been in and out of a reading slump for nearly two years, so the list of books I’ve loved beyond words (within the time frame of said reading slump) is super small. Reign of the Fallen has made that list. Everything about this book was perfection. The characters were amazing. The plot was amazing. The world was amazing. The writing was amazing.

Basically, everything was amazing.

I’ll start with the world, which was well-developed, lush and intriguing, especially the Deadlands. It gave me major Xena vibes, which probably only makes sense to those who know a lot about Xena and how the Gods and the Underworld are portrayed. It also, (more) obviously, gave me major Greek mythology vibes, which you guys know I LOVE.

I also loved the setting, Karthia. I know it’s weird to like a place in the same way as you would a character, but it’s like Hogwarts or Narnia – it has a personality of its own, with its own rules and quirks. The whole idea that change is forbidden in Karthia was beyond intriguing, and made for some interesting side plots.

I really liked Odessa (Sparrow). She was a strong character who went through a lot of emotional turmoil. I liked the way we saw the stages of her grief. It felt realistic and relatable. She definitely ranks up there as one of my favorite heroines, along with Feyre, Alina, Celaena, Inej and Audrey Rose.

I LOVED Meredy so much. She reminded me of Jules from Three Dark Crowns, especially since she had Lysander, who reminded me of Cam. She was strong and fierce, like Sparrow, but more so. She was a fighter who refused to back down, and she was loyal to those she loved. She and Sparrow had major “hate to love” trope vibes and I was ALL FOR IT.

Another character I really liked was Valoria. I like that she’s a princess but also an inventor, going against the king by trying to bring about change – something that’s forbidden. She’s smart and independent, and stands up for her beliefs. I LOVE that she wears glasses. That’s not something you often see in fantasy books, and certainly not on a young princess – glasses are usually for old men and such. So, as someone who wears glasses (and has for MANY years), I found this very refreshing.

All the shippy feels to Simeon and Danial! I loved these two as the epic individual characters they were, but I also loved their relationship beyond words. Whereas Sparrow and Meredy were “love to hate” shippy goodness, Simeon and Danial were just FEELS FEELS FEELS.

Finally, I never liked or trusted a certain prince. That’s all I’ll say on that.

Overall, if you couldn’t tell (I mean… did you READ my review…?), I LOVED THIS BOOK BEYOND WORDS. I’m pretty sure my review was nothing but ramble, but there’s no way I can truly put my love for this book into actual words that people can comprehend – and trust me, I tried; I’ve been working on this review for FOUR DAYS and I STILL don’t think it’s good enough…

Anyway, back to the review!!

This book had an incredible world, incredible characters with lots of shippy feels, necromancers, rogue necromancers, and an Underworld reminiscent of Xena. If that’s not enough to get you to read, I don’t know what else to say.

Needless to say, I’m already counting down the days to the release of book two, and anything else Sarah Glenn Marsh ever writes. Ever. Period. Auto-Buy List forever.