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Publisher's Summary

An instant New York Times best seller!

The first in a gripping fantasy duology inspired by West African folklore in which a grieving crown princess and a desperate refugee find themselves on a collision course to murder each other despite their growing attraction - from debut author Roseanne A. Brown. This New York Times best seller is perfect for fans of Tomi Adeyemi, Renée Ahdieh, and Sabaa Tahir.

For Malik, the Solstasia festival is a chance to escape his war-stricken home and start a new life with his sisters in the prosperous desert city of Ziran. But when a vengeful spirit abducts his younger sister, Nadia, as payment to enter the city, Malik strikes a fatal deal - kill Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran, for Nadia’s freedom.

But Karina has deadly aspirations of her own. Her mother, the Sultana, has been assassinated; her court threatens mutiny; and Solstasia looms like a knife over her neck. Grief-stricken, Karina decides to resurrect her mother through ancient magic...requiring the beating heart of a king. And she knows just how to obtain one: by offering her hand in marriage to the victor of the Solstasia competition.

When Malik rigs his way into the contest, they are set on a heart-pounding course to destroy each other. But as attraction flares between them and ancient evils stir, will they be able to see their tasks to the death?

"Magic creates a centuries-long divide between peoples in this stunning debut novel inspired by North African and West African folklore. An action-packed tale of injustice, magic, and romance, this novel immerses readers in a thrilling world and narrative reminiscent of Children of Blood and Bone." (Publishers Weekly, "An Anti-Racist Children's and YA Reading List") 

©2020 Roseanne A. Brown (P)2020 HarperAudio

What listeners say about A Song of Wraiths and Ruin

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A truly unique and beautiful tale....

A whirlwind adventure tale about love, loss, anger and magic. I loved every moment of this unexpected, beautiful story Rosanne weaved for us.

Karina is already soaring to the top of my favorite characters list. I love her anger, I love her moral compass and I absolutely admire her strength. I truly cannot wait to see where the next book takes her. I can't wait to see her take back her kingdom. A true queen.

10 people found this helpful

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Slow

The story was kind of drawn out and I listened to the end of it on fast forward just wanting to be done.

9 people found this helpful

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No words

It's impossible to find the right words without spoiling some aspect of the story. It's just so good! The world building and the depths of the characters are fantastic, and the themes are refreshingly different than what've become tropes within the fantasy genre.

7 people found this helpful

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Kinda slow in the beginning

Overall the story was good.
a little slow in the beginning though. I had to start it over and over again just to fully understand everything.

5 people found this helpful

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Great story, beautiful performance!

This book was absolutely lovely! Especially 3 dimensional characters for a YA fantasy, world building that draws you in, and a story with twists and turns you always feel like you should have expected (the best kind). No fantasy world holds up to infinite scrutiny, but this is the kind that makes you feel like you don’t have to poke at it. In short, it’s beautifully crafted.

The performance is well suited to the story, with two different narrators (one for each limited omniscient viewpoint). The narrators carry the story well, and stay understated enough to leave room for the listener’s thoughts and interpretations. There are some distinctive voices, but none that feel out of place and no drastic tonal shifts that take the listener out of the story. They both were fantastic.

3 people found this helpful

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Great

My mother and I both enjoyed the book. I can’t wait for book 2. Thank you!

2 people found this helpful

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Beautifully written and Amazingly told!

amazing and original characters and powers. and the main characters arc wasn't corny like some in this genre can be.

1 person found this helpful

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I’ve been waiting for a book like this!

I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed listening to this book. The story is fast paced and every chapter Is exciting. I usually do not enjoy audiobooks with multiple narrators but it really worked here. Karina was the perfect heroine, strong headed and willful but not to the point of stupidity. I wanted to shake Malik a couple of times but that’s a testament to how well written and engaging the characters were. I CAN’T WAIT for Book 2.

1 person found this helpful

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One of my favorite books of the year so far!

"Do not underestimate the strength it takes to be kind in a world as cruel as ours" A Song Of Wraiths And Ruin

Roseanne A. Brown, what a wonderful story you have weaved and one that could rival Malik's storytelling! I was a little hesitant picking up this book, but I am glad I did because I loved it! A Song Of Wraiths And Ruin follows Princess Karina who seeks to raise her mother from the dead after she was assassinated during the Solstasia Festival of their city Ziran, and it also follows Malik who escapes his war torn city with his sisters to make a better living in Ziran. Add in a vengeful spirit, friendly competitions between champions from surrounding cities, magic, hidden cities of the dead, and West African Lore, you end up having some wonderful storytelling that paints such beautiful scenes in your head.

I don't think there was a single thing I didn't like about this book. I feel it's well written, strong characters, very layered plots to the story and it's characters, I absolutely LOVED the West African Lore, all the characters are people of color which is great seeing their representation in magnificent stories like this, and the narration by A.J. Beckles and Jordan Cobb was fantastic! I absolutely loved the character of Hyena and I can't wait until the next book comes out!

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Missing stories

I was hoping that Malik’s big sister would have had her own chapters there was so much to learn about her.

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  • Avid Reader
  • 06-17-20

Great story marred somewhat by a US accent

In looking for stories featuring diverse characters NOT being oppressed or abused by white populations, this was a welcome find. The writing is rich enough to be studied and the content appropriate for middle teens.
As I wanted a book to share with my kids and students showing non-white heroes, it was disappointing to hear the American accent. If I compare it to the narration of Children of Blood and Bone, the story is better but I really thought the narration with the African accent helped me visualise the characters more effectively. Weirdly, with this book, I often found myself imagining white characters and had to consciously remind myself this is supposed to be set in West Africa (or at least that's where the intertwining mythologies come from).
I found the characters convincing, unlike CoB&B, and the avoidance of 'instalove' made the romance more complex and believable.
This is a book I will definitely add to my classroom library and encourage others to explore. I'm really looking forward to the next installation.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Eclectic Taste
  • 07-13-20

Brilliant story

This story keeps you wanting to see what happens next. The characters are well developed and you feel a connection with them. The two people performing the book help to bring those characters alive. I can’t wait for the next one.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 10-10-20

Enjoyed it

My first foray into YA fantasy and I have to admitI quite enjoyed it, looking forward to the next one.

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  • Jade
  • 08-30-20

Loved it!

Loved this book! The narrators were wonderful and engaging, and the story was intriguing and heartbreaking and aaaaaa. Very much looking forward to the second book and finding out where the characters go from here.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-17-21

Amazing!

This narration was done amazing! i loved ths story. The ending made me wanting more. The narrators I cannnot stress how good they were . They made me feel as if I was in zerron myself. hoping they keep the same two on for book 2 .