Orphan’s Song / by Gillian Bronte Adams. (The Songkeeper Chronicles, 1) 10.23.2017

Enclave ISBN 9781683700289

YA Grades 6-8 Rating: 4

Twelve-year-old Birdie is haunted by the five notes of a beautiful song that continually come to her ears alone. She has never dared to sing the melody aloud or tell her secret to Madame, the tyrant she works for who already believes Birdie is nothing but a crazy, unwanted orphan. When she finally has the courage to sing the song to Amos, the peddler who has always shown her kindness, he warns her never to sing the melody again for it is dangerous and unnatural. Only moments after the final note fades from her lips, Birdie finds herself on the run from evil men.

As she tries to learn the truth about the song from Amos and those that aid her along the way, everyone seems to avoid giving her clear answers, whether out of protection or fear for what she is. Whom can she trust? Are the notes of such a beautiful melody truly to be feared and kept silent? Or is it, and she, the sole hope against a powerful enemy about to rage war on her land?

Orphan’s Song by Gillian Bronte Adams is a fast-paced, action-packed fantasy with page-turning suspense that will draw readers from the start. Complete with mythical creatures, talking animals, and a powerful sword, the plot holds true to its genre, while spinning its own unique twists and turns, presenting a fresh storyline and well-developed characters. The story is told from the alternating omniscient third-person point of view of Birdie, Amos, and Ky. Birdie is a timid orphan that has been beaten down her whole life but finally discovers the courage to give voice to the song that has always been inside. Amos is a fiery, loveable hero with a haunted past, while Ky is a brave, young thief with warring convictions and loyalty. A fight to silence truth and the few braves souls who dare to take a stand paint an age-old battle between good and evil. Overall, this first book is a great start to the series and is sure to prompt one to pick up its sequel.

Justina McBride, CLJ