“Magpie? What kind of name is that?”
“I like pretty things. Jingle. Jewels. And eyes.”
“Aye. Shiny. Fun to pluck out.”
Magpie’s Song (IronHeart Chronicles #1) by Allison Pang
Published on August 8 2017
This could be a fantasy book…
buuuuut it also be dystopian…
Oh! Look! A clockwork dragon!
While my attempt to categorize the genre of Magpie’s Song is clumsy, the story telling is anything but! I cannot tell you enough how well Allison Pang blends these elements together perfectly.
“A river of blood
Is all that can flow.
I plant flowers made of tin
While ashes fall like snow.”
The world building of Brightstone is intricate and well detailed; we come to know about them through Raggy Maggy – the main character of the book. However, because we are limited to Magpie’s perspective, little is known about the upper caste: Meridions. All we know is that they are a race who live on a floating city that is linked to Brightstone where the middle and lower caste survive.
Brightstone is more of a slum than an actual city; I’m honestly curious if people can actually get out of Brightstone, say, if they become rich or enlist in certain services. Because the whole atmosphere of the place is filled with corruption and violence as we are introduced to gang-like clans, a plague called the Rot, conspiracies, and a death that remains unsolved til the end.
The concept of Moon Children highlights issues like prejudice through the “untouchability” of these Moon Children. No one knows exactly how they came to be though there are speculations, and for some reason, Moon Children are immune to the Rot. This should hold them as some special miracle, right?
Instead Moon Children are fetishized in brothels, and are also considered “sin eaters” among the “religious”. And this is the world our protagonist Raggy Maggy comes from who I loved to bits, by the way!
She’s foul mouthed, brave, and harsh. She’s a child born for freedom. Brightstone is the only world Magpie has ever known, and Sparrow the only friend she had. Crisis upon crisis falls onto Magpie, and it’s interesting to read how she relies on her limited experiences and skills as thief and scavenger to make sense of things. While Maggy is no stranger to the injustice around her I get a feeling that it’s not peace she wants as I can sense a streak of bloodlust in her, especially after losing her friend and clan.
The secondary characters we are introduced to complicate Maggy’s life much more than she likes, and they’re all very, very grey. Each of them carry their own secrets that adds a complex layer to the story making it more of a character driven story line.
“The bones of your arrogance will crush you
And I’m going to dance them into dust.”
The physical copy of the book I received is so beautiful! The cover is gritty and dark; I especially love the rhymes that start each chapter, it’s a completely different and unique experience for me. They add to overall ominous feeling of the story.
Magpie’s Song is one of those books that I would recommend readers to go into without reading the blurb hence why the lack of it in this review.
Would you consider reading Magpie’s Song?
Do you enjoy reading steampunk novels? Recommend me one!
I want to thank NetGalley, and the author for providing me with an e-copy of this book.
All opinions are of my own.
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