Song of the Forever Rains (The Mousai, 1)
This story had potential. Larkyra, the youngest of three magically gifted sisters, has recently returned from her thirty-day Lierenfast. Having survived in the city alone and without magic for thirty days, she is now permitted to partake in missions. Her first mark is the Duke of Lachlan. She must suss out how he is smuggling Phorria from the Thief Kingdom and using it to siphon magic off his subjects. Feigning interest in an engagement with the duke, Larkyra gains access to his estate, where she searches for answers. Along the way she falls for the duke’s stepson and uncovers a more devious plot.
I felt there were two stories for very different audiences being weaved together, which left it unpalatable. On the one hand, there was a young storyline with meet cutes, petty sister squabbling, cliched moments, and emotionally immature characters. On the other hand, there was a dark and mature storyline that tackled themes of forced self-mutilation and abuse. There were also questionable scenes around consent that didn’t fit either audience and could have been re-written to send a more positive message about survival versus victimization. Overall, a missed opportunity.
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