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  • Writer's pictureBecca

Dark Star Burning, Ash Falls White Review

The Gods have been unleashed. Lan has the Silver Dragon, Zen chose to sell his soul to the Black Tortoise. Both are determined to stop the Elantian magicians from crushing their culture. However, their choices have separated them and only time will tell if their paths will cross or if their choices will separate them forever.

Amélie Wen Zhao's conclusion to the Song of the Last Kingdom duology is a breathtaking journey through a richly woven tapestry of culture, legacy, and mythology. In Song Like Silver, Flame Like Night, Zhao skillfully draws readers into a mesmerizing world where the depth of mythology feels tangible, almost as if it leaps off the pages.

The intricate world-building and vivid descriptions bring to life a landscape where the legacies of families, clans, and cultures interweave in fascinating ways. Zhao's talent shines as she delves into these legacies' complexities, exploring their profound impact on the characters and the world they inhabit.

What truly sets this book apart is Zhao's ability to create a narrative that resonates deeply with themes of heritage, identity, and the power of tradition. Through her prose, she crafts a compelling tale that entertains and prompts reflection on the significance of our roots and the stories that shape us.

The characters are vibrant and multifaceted, each carrying their burdens and aspirations within this beautifully crafted world. As the story unfolds, their growth and interactions add depth, making their journey emotional and compelling.

Amid the brilliance found in Wen Zhao's Song Like Silver, Flame Like Night, one aspect that may pose a challenge for some readers is the pacing, particularly in the initial chapters. The book takes its time to set the stage, resulting in a slower tempo during the first half.

While the deliberate pacing allows for intricate world-building and nuanced character development, it might test the patience of those seeking immediate action or swift plot progression. Although purposeful, the gradual unfolding of the narrative might require readers to invest more time before the story gains momentum.

However, it's important to note that the measured pace also serves a crucial purpose in laying the groundwork for the intricate layers that make the latter part of the book so engrossing. The depth of detail and the establishment of the world's complexities contribute significantly to the payoff in the latter half, where the story gains momentum and intensity.

The initial chapters might seem less dynamic for readers who prefer a quicker pace. Yet, for those who appreciate thorough world-building and character depth, this deliberate pacing might enhance their immersion in the story.

Despite this pacing consideration, the book ultimately rewards patience with a richly layered and deeply satisfying narrative, making the initial slower sections a crucial part of the overall tapestry woven by Wen Zhao's storytelling prowess.

With a narrative that seamlessly blends action, emotion and a touch of mystique, Song Like Silver, Flame Like Night is an incredible story. It's a fitting conclusion to a duology that captivates readers with its immersive world, intricate mythology, and profound exploration of the ties that bind us to our pasts. Amélie Wen Zhao cements herself as a masterful storyteller with this remarkable conclusion.

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