Songstone by Lena Goldfinch

A copy of Songstone was kindly sent to me by Lena Goldfinch in exchange for an honest review. 

Songstone is the story of Kita, a storyteller, who is an outcast and slave in her village because of her unusual looks and mysterious origin. Her master, Matiko, shields the village from his darkness with magic and uses Kita’s blood for his evil spells, but with the appearance of the journeyman, Pono, Kita finally sees a way to free herself from Matiko’s grasp and find out who she really is.

It took me a long time to get into Songstone and an even longer time to finish reading it; it’s not that it isn’t well written, it is, it’s just that it didn’t really work for me – I found it slow and awkward to read. I really liked Kita’s narrative voice at the beginning and the intrigue of her origins, and thought the pace of the novel would really pick up with Pono’s arrival, but sadly, it just didn’t. There is a huge diversion when Kita and Pono are kidnapped by the Huwi and Pono’s task to get back to his village is completely forgotten; the plot that had been so well set up in the beginning of the novel was completely forgotten. I think this would have worked better as two novels as they were two distinct plots that could have been separated and expanded; it seems like Goldfinch has tried to do too much in one book. There was also a very small amount of dialogue which made the story feel very slow, there wasn’t the character interaction you would expect in most young adult novels to drive the plot forward.

Although it fell short of my expectations it is well written and I know that many people will enjoy reading Songstone; Goldfinch really does write some beautiful descriptions, there just wasn’t enough character interaction and development for me.

Read: October 17th-24th 2013

3/5 stars

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