A high fantasy following a young woman's defiance of her culture as she undertakes a dangerous quest to restore her world's lost magic in Ilana C. Myer's Last Song Before Night.
Her name was Kimbralin Amaristoth: sister to a cruel brother, daughter of a hateful family. But that name she has forsworn, and now she is simply Lin, a musician and lyricist of uncommon ability in a land where women are forbidden to answer such callings - a fugitive who must conceal her identity or risk imprisonment and even death.
On the eve of a great festival, Lin learns that an ancient scourge has returned to the land of Eivar, a pandemic both deadly and unnatural. Its resurgence brings with it the memory of an apocalypse that transformed half a continent. Long ago, magic was everywhere, rising from artistic expression - from song, from verse, from stories. But in Eivar, where poets once wove enchantments from their words and harps, the power was lost. Forbidden experiments in blood divination unleashed the plague that is remembered as the Red Death, killing thousands before it was stopped, and leaving Eivar's connection to the Otherworld from which all enchantment flowed broken. The Red Death's return can mean only one thing: Someone is spilling innocent blood in order to master dark magic.
Now poets who thought only to gain fame for their songs face a challenge much greater: Galvanized by Valanir Ocune, greatest Seer of the age, Lin and several others set out to reclaim their legacy and reopen the way to the Otherworld - a quest that will test their deepest desires, imperil their lives, and decide the future.
©2015 Ilana C. Myer (P)2015 Macmillan Audio
Partially because the way the author junps around through back flashes, dreams, locations, etc, and partially because the narrator never seems to definitively break between on chunk of prose to the next, it became very difficult for me to figure out who was who, where they were, how they got there, and whether or not it even happened. Good characters and interesting concepts, just really confusing plot.
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