Review | A SONG OF WRAITHS AND RUIN by Roseanne A. Brown

A SONG OF WRAITHS AND RUIN (A Song of Wraiths and Ruin #1) by Roseanne A. Brown

Rating: 5 out of 5.

“First, a story ends when it ends, and not a moment before. If you are unhappy with this ending, make a new one.”

A SONG OF WRAITHS AND RUIN is a strong debut with great characters and interesting magic

I absolutely loved this book and need the sequel asap. What a strong debut novel! The magic in A SONG OF WRAITHS AND RUIN was so unique and interesting, and the characters were well-developed. The anxiety rep was also fantastic.



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 Malik’s younger sister, Nadia, as payment into 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 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?


I need to get something off my chest before I start this review. I do not like real people on book covers. Don’t get me wrong, the girl on the cover of A SONG OF WRAITHS AND RUIN is absolutely gorgeous, but I personally prefer illustrated book covers over live models. For example: here is the Russian cover of the book, and it’s absolutely stunning. I’m hoping a Dutch publisher will pick this amazing book up and use the illustrated cover.

The world Brown created was absolutely stunning. I listened to this audiobook while on the public transport and got just transported (heh) to this beautiful world. I do recommend reading the blurb before starting the audiobook, so you know how some things are spelled (e.g. Ziran).

The magic in A SONG OF WRAITHS AND RUIN was so unique and interesting. I’m hoping we’ll see more of this in the sequel!

I also really liked the fact that A SONG OF WRAITHS AND RUIN was inspired by West African folklore.

I loved the characters a lot. I’ve seen a lot of people saying that Karina was annoying, but I adored her. She is just trying to live her own life and has been through a lot. My favourite was definitely Malik though. I loved everything about him. He has such a sweet soul and cares about everything and everyone.

Another thing I absolutely loved was the portrayal of anxiety attacks and migraines. I personally struggle a lot with anxiety, so seeing it being portrayed in books is so important to me. I think it’s nice it was the male lead who struggled with anxiety and panic attacks.

I listened to the audiobook and found the narrators to be amazing and a great fit for the characters. I like it when there are multiple POVs and multiple narrators. A.J. Beckles and Jordan Cobb both did a great job!

I honestly can’t wait for the sequel A PSALM OF STORMS AND SILENCE which will be out in November of this year!

Would I recommend it?

Yes! This is such an amazing book.


Trigger warnings
Mild self-harm ideation, fantasy violence, emotional abuse, physical abuse, anxiety and panic attacks, parent death, animal death, fire, murder (on-page), war crimes
All Black cast (own voices West African inspired fantasy), anxiety and panic attack, migraines
Fantasy (young adult)
Publication date
June 2nd, 2020
Balzer + Bray
About the author
Roseanne “Rosie” A. Brown was born in Kumasi, Ghana and immigrated to the wild jungles of central Maryland as a child. Writing was her first love, and she knew from a young age that she wanted to use the power of writing—creative and otherwise—to connect the different cultures she called home. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor’s in Journalism and was also a teaching assistant for the school’s Jiménez-Porter Writers’ House program. Her journalistic work has been featured by Voice of America among other outlets.

On the publishing side of things, she has worked as an editorial intern at Entangled Publishing. Rosie was a 2017 Pitch Wars mentee and 2018 Pitch Wars mentor. Rosie currently lives outside Washington D.C., where in her free time she can usually be found wandering the woods, making memes, or thinking about Star Wars.

1 thought on “Review | A SONG OF WRAITHS AND RUIN by Roseanne A. Brown

  1. Dit boek was voor mij echt een verrassing afgelopen jaar 🙂


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