LAST SONG BEFORE NIGHT
Author: Ilana C. Myer
Pub. Date: September 29, 2015
Formats: Hardcover & eBook
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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
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 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.
The first thing that caught my eye when I found out about this tour was the cover. Gorgeous and intriguing, it had everything I thought of for a fantasy book. Then I read the description and I knew that I absolutely wanted to read this and jumped at the chance to be a part of this tour. I even did a little happy dance when I got to participate.
High fantasy is one of my favorite genre’s, as regular followers for this blog know, and Ilana did not disappoint. The world building for this story was fantastic. So rich and well thought out, I felt as though I was a part of it from the very beginning. That was also in large part to Ilana’s beautiful, lyrical writing. I wanted to get lost in it for hours.
I loved that for the musician’s, or Poets, music was such an intricate part of their lives. It truly was an art form with the tales that they weaved. It wasn’t just about performing, but creating something.
Now, as it often goes in high fantasies, we are introduced to several characters points of view right off the bat, so we have different story lines that we’re following and different aspects of this amazing world, even an ultimate quest . I never felt as though I couldn’t follow with the character changes, especially as secrets and betrayals began to be revealed or uncovered.
In the end, I loved how their journey’s led them together, to intertwine. And, while their was a satisfying ending, I’m hoping there will be more for this world and for these characters… A sequel perhaps…?
About Ilana C. Myer
Ilana C. Myer has written for the Globe and Mail, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Salon, and the Huffington Post. Previously she was a freelance journalist in Jerusalem for the Jerusalem Post, the Jewish Daily Forward, Time Out Israel and other publications. She lives in New York City.
Ilana was born in New York but grew up in Jerusalem, Israel, where she spent her teen years haunting secondhand bookstores in search of books written in English—especially fantasy. It was in one of these shops that she discovered David Eddings and realized that epic fantasy continued after Tolkien, and from there went on to make such marvelous discoveries as Tad Williams, Robin Hobb, and Guy Gavriel Kay.
Since learning to read, Ilana had decided she would write books, but during college in New York City was confronted with the reality of making rent, and worked as a receptionist, administrative assistant, and executive assistant where she on occasion picked up dry cleaning. She afterwards found more fulfillment as a journalist in Jerusalem where she covered social issues, the arts, and innovations in technology, and co-founded the Middle East environment blog, Green Prophet. It was during these years in Jerusalem, on stolen time, that Last Song Before Night took shape.
She writes as Ilana Teitelbaum for various outlets, but decided early on—since the days of haunting bookstores, in fact—that “Teitelbaum” was too long for a book cover. “Myer” is a variation on the maiden name of her grandmother, whose family was exterminated in Germany. It is a family with a long history of writers, so it seems appropriate to give credit—or blame—where it’s due.
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