It’s been hard to keep this quiet, I’m notoriously bad at hiding when I’m excited, but this is (technically) my first time as a host for a book tour alongside Turn the Page Tours! I’m also going to be making an instagram post (@Gimli_reads) so go check me out there, and look out for when I change my Insta to match my pigeon based persona!
There will be a giveaway at the bottom of this post, so read down and check it out!
Songs of Autumn is a YA Fantasy, self published debut book by Lauren Sevier, and the description had me excited right away. I’ll place the full description at the end of this post, alongside links to purchase, but it’s available from November 21st 2020 and you can all add it onto your to-read piles on Goodreads as soon as you fancy by clicking here
I’m going to start my review today by talking about my favourite things, then I’ll give a general review, and I’ll wrap it up by giving you some info on the author.
My favourite things about Songs of Autumn
- Fast paced – this book flew by so quickly
- Strong protagonist – Liz is fantastic, she’s headstrong and knows what she wants. Who doesn’t love a practical, no nonsense princess?
- Found family – I love this trope, and Songs of Autumn has it by the bucket full!
- Diversity within the book – I loved when I read the authors note on Goodreads, and she specifically stated it was important to her to have diversity within the book. I’m absolutely loving that new fantasy authors are really trying to be more inclusive in their writing.
- Finn. I loved that cute lad. I have had him for the day this book took to read and already I would kill for him.
Expanding on the above, there was a lot to love in this book – and I was surprised to find out it was self-published. Really surprised. The writing flows, the pacing is speedy and the premise is one we’re familiar with within the YA Fantasy community, but was handled really enjoyably in this book.
It was a touch fast at times, but not as confusingly fast as some traditionally published works I’ve read recently. The romance was a touch instantaneous and from the very start I would have loved it if she’d have gotten together with Tia instead as their chemistry was just magical, but as we know from the blurb itself we know that isn’t the case, so no spoilers here. Just know that I shipped it. The romance with Mat was steamy and ferocious and a little instantaneous. I would have loved when the drama did happen that it had a lingering effect. Even if the tension and ‘heartbreak’ was for a chapter or two and then we got the train back on the tracks. That could just be my love of slow burn though; if you’re someone who loves a whirlwind romance then you’d love the connection between Mat and Liz.
Mat’s band of merry men were incredible. I absolutely loved them, they had so much character and as I said in my favourites section, I’d die for Finn. Precious angel. I’d love to know how common or uncommon red hair is, or if Mat’s group of friends are just soft-hearted idiots. They don’t realise who she is, but then others realise immediately. I’m trying really hard not to spoil anything here, but it was a sort-of plot hole at times, and you couldn’t help but wonder if they’re a big ol’ group of himbos not to notice the literal princess is among them, with her famous red hair.
I loved the religion. Something I always adore in fantasy is the world building, the around-the-characters stuff that really makes a fantasy story shine. Is that where I always end up rambling in my own writing…yes. Was it a point where this book really shone…absolutely. The nets around the houses, the blood rituals, the singing to the gods – I want to know so much more about the world we have here, the Gods within it, the songs, the rituals. I would have loved more songs, as it’s such an important point in the book, but the imagery of songs depicting lives is fantastic.
There’s a potential love triangle but it isn’t fully explored, and wasn’t the love triangle that I wanted (as I mentioned earlier) – I think it’s going to be a bigger point in the next book though, and I look forward to seeing it in motion. There was also some slightly backwards views towards virginity in this that I wasn’t a huge fan of, lots of talk of ‘ruining’ a woman – the protagonist fights against those views and scoffs at them, but part of me things they didn’t need to be mentioned at all. Unless it’s going to be a plot point in the next book, I’m tentatively hoping that’s why such a big deal was made of it.
Oh! How did I almost forget – curvy princess. Love it. I’ll have ten more, please and thank you. Lets try and make 2021 the year of diverse female protagonists.
Rating -🐦🐦🐦🐦 /5
I’m going to give this one a 4 out of 5. The self-publishing has increased the stars, as like I said, it’s a touch fast in parts, and the plot of displaced royalty and doomed love isn’t all that rare in fantasy. But the skill of the writer shone through throughout, and for doing this without a publisher behind them is incredible. I’ve also rated it as I have because of the authors want to add diversity, to consciously write a rich spread of characters and to explain that this was a motivation – it’s a good message to have.
What if your entire life you knew the exact day you were going to die?
Magick in the Kingdom of Aegis has almost run out. When that happens, the seasonswill stop changing, the tides will cease to turn, and the sun will no longer be able to riseand set. The only way to save the lives of her people is if Liz agrees tobe a bloodsacrifice in a brutal ceremony that will take her life.
The problem is, Liz isn’t ready to go.
With the help of a mischievous wanna-be soldier, Matioch Steele, Liz dares to take her fate into her own hands. Defying a blood-thirsty sorcerer, her desperate flight teaches her how to truly live while Mat finds out what’s worth dying for. Each other
Love, Death, Magick, and Mystery come together to weave one girl’s epic tale of self-discovery.
Her song will echo within us all.
Lauren Sevier lives a simple life in small town Walker, Louisiana with her family and two mischevious dogs. She’s a proud firefighter wife and mother to her miracle son, born through IVF after an eight-year battle with infertility. She works full-time for a non-profit hospital in Cardiology caring for the elderly and low-income families all over the state of Louisiana in satellite and outreach clinics. Writing and being in the service of helping others are her two passions in life.
She started writing song lyrics and poems on the front porch swing of her family home nestled amidst a 200-year-old pecan tree orchard that was once part of a Civil Warplantation. She’s inspired the most by Shakespeare, the Bronte sisters, Jane Austen, and JK Rowling. Her background in Theatre introduced her to classic British literature, playwrights, and poets from a very young age. This helped her to understand story concepts, dramatization, and character development the way Shakespeare once did, as an actor.
Now her biggest inspiration for writing is her son who, like all children, learns by example. Lauren is determined to set a specific example for him; to live simply, work hard, and to never stop chasing her dreams. Because, one day, you might catch them.
Click here for the giveaway! Thanks to Turn the Page Tours I’m able to take part in a giveaway for a digital copy of the book!
Check out the rest of the tour here, there’s so many amazing blogs involved and I’m really looking forward to seeing what everyone else made of the book!-