I have been a big fan of Juliet Marillier’s writing. I adored her Blackthorn and Grim series and so I jumped at the opportunity to read more in this world, although I have not yet read the other 2 books in this Warrior Bard series.
A Song of Flight is set in the same world of Winterfall, and Blackthorn and Grim appear in this book as well, although they are much more minor characters in this one. The main characters in this are their 3 children, now all grown and making their own way in the world. As always, Marillier creates a lush, descriptive world for her characters to inhabit. So similar in many ways to our own with hints of magic and the world of the fae touching the world of humans that you can easily believe all of these tales happened. Her writing is evocative of all the best things in fairy tales: good versus evil, the importance of being kind to folk who might not be like you, and curses that must be broken by hard work and good deeds.
The story begins with characters from the elite warrior group on Swan Island tasked with finding the missing Prince Aolu. It’s unclear if this is the work of the mysterious (and sometimes violent) Crow Folk, or perhaps an abduction by a neighboring clan. Liobhan, one of the Swan Island warriors, has a personal stake in this as her brother, Galen, is the prince’s bodyguard and he is found, badly injured, with no memory of who has taken the prince. Also involved is their other brother, Brocc, who has been living in the Otherworld, but now has to undertake a journey of his own to try to find his calling and path in life.
Plenty of great action sequences skillfully blended with back story and tales of the Crow Folk, and the journey each of the siblings must take swept me away to this world and I absolutely LOVED this book. It took me a few chapters to get caught up with the characters since I had not read books 1 and 2 (although these went immediately on my TBR list when I finished this one) and it’s not necessary to have read other books in the Winterfall world to follow the plot and understand the characters in this one. I thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself in the mysteries, waiting for each bit of the puzzle to get teased out, and then all of it coming together in the final chapters. An entertaining and lovely read – exactly what I would expect from this favorite author of mine!
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC. The opinions provided in this review are entirely my own.