Book Review: A Psalm of Storms & Silence

Title: A Psalm of Storms and Silence

Author: Roseanne A. Brown

Genres:  Fantasy

Pages: 480

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Review Copy: Purchased

Availability: Available now

Summary: Karina lost everything after a violent coup left her without her kingdom or her throne. Now the most wanted person in Sonande, her only hope of reclaiming what is rightfully hers lies in a divine power hidden in the long-lost city of her ancestors.

Meanwhile, the resurrection of Karina’s sister has spiraled the world into chaos, with disaster after disaster threatening the hard-won peace Malik has found as Farid’s apprentice. When they discover that Karina herself is the key to restoring balance, Malik must use his magic to lure her back to their side. But how do you regain the trust of someone you once tried to kill?

As the fabric holding Sonande together begins to tear, Malik and Karina once again find themselves torn between their duties and their desires. And when the fate of everything hangs on a single, horrifying choice, they each must decide what they value most—a power that could transform the world, or a love that could transform their lives.

Review: I really enjoyed the first novel, A Song of Wraiths & Ruin, so I was excited to see how Roseanne Brown was going to end Karina and Malik’s story. I was rooting for both of them at the end of ASWR, so obviously the cliffhanger got me in knots and I wondered how they could ever get their happy ever after. And even through A Psalm of Storms and Silence I wondered the same. For most of the book Karina and Malik are apart on various journeys – Karina traveling through Sonande and Malik learning how to use his magic from the worst possible teacher. When they broke the barrier that kept Karina’s family in Ziran, their magic ended up becoming linked so the two are able to steal some “moments” together, after they stop fighting of course. They each grow on their own individual journeys which actually helps them grow with each other, so when they are able to finally be in the same space they come together as true equals. 

While I understand that Brown had to separate her two main characters in order for them to grow, I do feel like it slowed the pace of the book for me. I felt like the first third of the book was a bit slow (or this could have been me) as I just couldn’t seem to quite connect to Karina or Malik. I would get into a chapter, feel the flow, and then it would end on a mini-cliffhanger and then switch POV’s. The switch is what would take me out of the story because I wanted to know what happened next with whichever character I was with and I was annoyed that I had to wait. But then Brown does something wonderful which is have Karina and Malik experience similar events, therefore the event is told from two different perspectives. Let me tell you, I loved those parts of the book! After the first event, the book picked up for me and got more intense to the point I couldn’t put it down. 

. A lot happens with Karina and Malik throughout the book that challenge both of them not only physically, but mentally and emotionally. Karina’s journey has her take a good look at herself and determine what type of leader she know she can be, and Malik has to learn how to wield his new strength while still staying true to who he is. Both also have to learn to love themselves in the midst of trying to save their country. It’s a tough ask, but Karina and Malik, through their experiences and learning to lean on each other, are able to rise to the occasion. 

Much like Karina and Malik’s romance, A Psalm of Storms and Silence is a slow burn and is well worth the read.