A Flame of Song, by T.R. Thompson, is Book 3 of the Wraith Cycle. I highly recommend that you read The Blood Within the Stone (Book 1) and The Forked Path (Book 2) before reading the A Flame of Song.
The book starts with a Prologue involving the Tangle. There is a conversation between The Guardian and the Elder One (a enormous tree). Without giving away spoilers, I will say that those who live in the Tangle – or visit it from time to time – are aware that something big is happening. The Elder asks the group to listen to the Song. My impression of this conversation, which is far from being straight-forward, was that this story was going to be one of strife for the characters from the previous books.
That guess turned out to be accurate. The small group of young people who traveled from Redmondis to Sotnair are still there at the start of this book. Daemi is plagued by nightmares of previous, and terrifying, battles. Heather, a Crafter, very badly misses someone she is still in love with. She quietly hopes that the person will return, understanding that this is likely impossible. Frankle is starting to improve as a wielder, and has spent time digging into books and resources that were left by a powerful person who died.
Wilt returns to this group, but not in his human form. It would be a spoiler to explain why, so I will leave that to the reader to discover. What I can say is that Daemi and Wilt haven’t lost their interest in each other. This provides a conflict for Daemi, who appears to be attracted to Lodan (who is now looked on as one the leaders of Sontair.) It is clear that Lodan likes Daemi, and he is patiently giving her time to consider him.
The official leader of Sontair is Captain Mont. He is short-tempered, and a bit pushy at times. Towards the start of the book, he brings the group of young people a prisoner to … question. Captain Mont wants information that he and his guards could not obtain from the man.
In Book 3, the characters are trying to pick up the pieces that were not fully understood after the battle ended (in Book 2). With the help of Wilt, they are able to learn about events that were previously unknown to them. The knowledge comes at a price, especially for Frankle, who is assisting Wilt to pull out memories from others via the wields. This rather innocent and somewhat inexperienced wielder must delve into things he is not ready for.
In addition, there is another story being told. It involves two people who are prisoners in a jail that is far away from Sontair. A boy wakes up to the voice of girl in a nearby cell. She is trying to advise him about how to survive in the place where they are being kept. Again, without giving away any spoilers, I will say that the two of them start working together, hoping to escape the hellish place they are in. Those who read the first two books will immediately recognize one of them… but perhaps not the other.
Much of the story revolves around memories. The prisoner’s memory is discovered without his consent. The boy in the jail has memories of his life before he was captured. Daemi’s nightmare could also be a memory. There are times when one of them views a memory that isn’t their own.
What I found to be the most interesting about the use of memories in this story is that each memory serves as a reminder for the reader. If you read the first and second book a while ago, you might have forgotten some of it. Adding key parts to book three makes things more clear for the reader.
Battles, both small and large, are fought within the city of Sontair by people who are barely trained for them. Individuals are fighting with unpleasant memories that may or may not be their own. Others will be forever traumatized by what they see on this new field of battle.
Eventually, (and I’m leaving a lot out of this review), the small group of young people must leave Sontair and travel to The Eternal Sea, which is filled with grass that is tall and as sharp as a razor. Trying to walk through it would be dangerous. Fortunately, another form of travel appears. The group heads towards a mountain that is spewing out hot lava.
The title of the book gives the reader some clues. “Song” is a reference to the wield song that wielders can hear. “Flame” refers to the mountain (which has its own name), and it also refers to a specific character. The story winds up some loose ends, and leaves open the possibility of more books to come.
A Flame of Song – by T.R. Thompson is a post written by Jen Thorpe on Book of Jen and is not allowed to be copied to other sites.
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