Author: Tanya Huff
Book Name: Sing the Four Quarters
Blurb: The Bards of Shkoder hold the country together. They, and the elemental spirits they Sing – earth, air, fire, and water – bring the news of the sea to the mountains, news of the mountains to the plains. They give their people, from peasant to king, a song in common.
Annice is a rare talent, able to Sing all four quarters, but her brother, the newly enthroned King Theron, sees her request to study at the Bardic Hall as a betrayal. To his surprise, Annice accepts his conditions, renouncing her royal blood and swearing to remain childless so as not to jeopardize the line of succession. She walks away from political responsibilities, royal privilege and her family.
Ten years later, Annice has become the Princess Bard and her real life is about to become the exact opposite of the overwrought ballad her fellow students at the Bardic Hall wrote about her. Now, she’s on the run from the Royal Guards with the Duc of Ohrid, the father of her unborn child, both of them guilty of treason – one of them unjustly accused. To save the Duc’s life, they’ll have to cross the country, manage to keep from strangling each other, and defeat an enemy too damaged for even a Bard’s song to reach.
Review: Not really sure how I felt about this one. It was an okay story, but I had a really hard time getting pulled into it or having any kind of an emotional connection with the characters. Not that they were bad or anything, but there was just so much that seemed to be missing that I never really got to understand them or even the world this was set in.
There were lots of concepts and ideas that were tossed around that you could only ever make some very general assumptions about because they were never explained. I think a huge portion of this was based on the world’s belief system, but with little to no details provided to help the reader understand what that was made it incredibly difficult to grasp a character’s behavior or how those beliefs either enhanced or limited their abilities, if it did at all.
I guess it just felt like there were a lot of important details missing or that they were never fully fleshed out.