Hey everyone! Welcome to my stop on the Songstone Blog Tour hosted by the author, Lena Goldfinch and Amber Stokes of Editing Through the Seasons. Click here for the full tour schedule! :)
Author: Lena Goldfinch
Expected release date: July 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Source: Review copy provided for tour
My Rating: 5 / 5
Kita can meld song into stone. In a world with no written word, storytelling - the ability to meld (or magically impress) song into stone - is greatly honored. The village honors her master as their medicine man, but Kita knows he's secretly a sorcerer who practices black magic using drops of her blood. She fears he'll use her beautiful gift for a killing spell, so she conceals it from him. Each day, his magic tightens around her neck like a rope. His spells blind the villagers, so they can't see him for what he really is.
Not that anyone would want to help her. She was found in the forest as a baby and would have died if a village girl hadn't brought her home. But the villagers saw Kita's unusual coloring and decided she belonged to the mysterious tribe who lives in the forests of the volcano, a people feared for their mystical powers. So they fear her too. Now seventeen, she can barely admit her deepest longing: to know who she really is and where she belongs.
Then Pono, a young journeyman, arrives from the other side of the island. He's come to fulfill a pact between their villages: to escort a storyteller back to his village - a storyteller who'll be chosen at the great assembly. Finally, in Pono, Kita sees her one slim chance at freedom and she'll risk her life to take it.
A dark, twisty tale of sorcery, tummy-tingling romance, and adventure, inspired by the folklore of New Zealand's Māori people.
I loved how unique and surprising this book was for me. Kita is an amazing heroine, the kind you dream of reading about. I didn't know what to think about her at first. She seems stuck in an impossible situation, and the way she copes with it is by hardening herself against caring about anyone or anything. The gift she has of melding song into stone is exactly why I had to read her story - the idea of having an ability like this was mesmerizing to me. I wanted to know how it works and how she uses it. Needless to say, I wasn't disappointed at all.
Kita lives a hard life as a social outcast. Found as a baby, she is brought to a village where she doesn't look like anyone else, and so the other villagers believe she belongs to a group of people who live up north - a group whom the villagers fear. Kita is raised by the family who found her until she's eight, when the village "medicine man" takes her to live with him as his slave, even physically harming her. Everyone is tricked by his magic into thinking he's a medicine man while Kita really knows he's practicing black magic. The moment comes when she sees a way to leave the village when a journeyman named Pono arrives, and she grabs it.
This story is beautifully and emotionally told. I couldn't imagine being someone's slave and not knowing who I really am or where I came from. I wanted Kita to have a normal life where she was free to come and go as she wants and no longer has to worry about whether or not her master is going to kill her. Almost more than that, I wanted her "master" to suffer the consequences of his actions. Lena Goldfinch's skill in weaving a tale is tenfold - not only do you have the pleasure of reading a magical story, you also realize she has cleverly infused lessons about life and love underneath it all; for example, the fact that Kita is seen as an outsider because she looks different from everyone else even though she has lived among them since she was a baby.
If you're looking for magic, romance, and adventure with a spunky heroine, this is the story for you. This is the first book by Lena Goldfinch that I've read and will definitely not be the last!
~About the Author~
Lena lives in a scenic small town in Massachusetts with her husband, two kids, and a very spoiled Black Lab. She writes fiction for young adults, mostly light fantasy with a healthy dose of "sigh-worthy" romance. You can visit her online at www.lenagoldfinch.blogspot.com.