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10 thoughts on “Song of the Beast

  1. Kristalia Kristalia says:

    Final rating oscillating 454755 stars Sing to meEase the grieving of my heartTransform me into that which I have beenBeloved soothe my uttermost sorrowsTransform meMake me remember It is so rare to see a great stand alone fantasy the one with proper beginning middle and end never to bore It's easier for authors to write series books euals character development extended story world building But some authors can manage all of that in 1 book only given the right amount of pages And some authors sadly but true fail miserably while writing series The point? Well done book with amazing characters a storyline which exceeds expectations and a very good world building with the creatures i love the most DRAGONSAnd not only dragons are here we also have sexless race very interesting one and their culture and history was very interesting to read about We also have kingdoms dragon riders and godsI met Carol Berg's work through Rai Kirah series and ever since I read first book I knew I loved her style of writing and I WANTED NEEDED to read of her works As soon as possible And what I love the most? I love stand alone books that move me emotional level yes I felt so many emotions while reading this book There are murders betrayals so vicious I felt so sad angry and hurt while reading it But there is also that feeling of hope of feeling happy when the character is happy and it was worth itWith Berg's works one could say their endings are realistic This is what makes me adore her works Rai Kirah is one of the series I enjoyed reading and this one is similar in terms of hardships the main characters endure If I am to compare whose life was worse I could not decide between Seyonne from Rai or Aidan from Song Both of them are forced into inhuman situations no one should ever live through and are broken so broken both of them struggle to heal and be normal again Neither of these two are moved by revenge they only want to heal and live But that's that when it comes to the similarities these two shareThis book is written in first person point of view but it had POVs than one And it was done wonderfully Change in perspective is always appreciated and it gives us much when it comes to condemning or forgiving the actions of certain people Overall I loved the characters Aidan is the most important as he is our narrator but side ones are important as well and some of them have their own POVs There were some plot holes which is why my rating is oscillating I may have missed the answers I was seeking but it did not feel that way Anyway everything important was explained but some things remained a mystery But we have answers than uestions which is great ► WORLDBUILDING Elyria is the most powerful of all kingdoms with strong allies They keep strong hold over their allies and enemies because of their force of dragon riders Their rulling caste is Senai class tall dark haired people of Elyria there are also Udema blond haired middle caste and others one of them being a genderless race of Elhim whose members look alike each other too much with gray eyes and paleness who are not welcomed by Senai nor Udema not even by foreigners Dragons are thought to be mindless cruel vicious and capable of eating and killing anything that moves But the bloodstones and dragonsbane herb jenica keep them under the control of riders One group of riders called RidemarkTwelve families are the best and strongest force of dragon riders in the world ► STORY Aidan McAllister our primary narrator a Senai nobleman and a musician was the most famous singer in all the Kingdoms Wherever he went he was welcomed his voice soothing the hurt sadness inspiring awe happiness joy Aidan was content with the way he lived he was singing playing music helping people's souls doing the work he loved most in the world Cousin to the King Devlin he was never interested in power and only ever interested in music his own god Roelan and dragons Roelan god of music is the one who gave most of the support to Aidan and he sang for Roelan inspired by Roelan's voice his music his love for Aidan For seven years I traveled the length and breadth of all known lands my life an unending celebration of beauty and mystery and joy I refused no invitation shunned no venue as too remote or too dangerous or unworthy and I took no payment save food and shelter for there was nothing that could match the gift of my life I was the voice of a god and I carried his joy into noble houses and into lepers’ dens into palaces and the poorest uarters of great cities I sang before the king and I sang for his soldiers in the field of battle and I sang for the stunned and starving victims of war in their sualid tenements But when he was 21 in his best years and when he was the happiest he was arrested thrown into prison by his own kingdom tortured daily and his torturer asked himself what is the best way to silence a musician? Break his fingers too many times so he can never play instrument again break his body and mind in order to silence him for 7 years straight Seven years and he would go free But Aidan couldn't stay silent for long 10 years and when he stopped hearing the voice of his god he broke and was forced into silence for the next 7 years in total 17 years of absolute misery What Aidan didn't know was the reason for this cruelty was it something he sang about something he said something he did? He never found out during his captivity he never knew why he had to be silencedUntil one day the actual beginning of the book he was released from the prison But was it a mistake? Did they honor their 7 years punishment by finally freeing him or did someone break him out? This is a story of Aidan who is trying to find out why he had to be silenced and the reason why one of the conditions for his freedom states that he must never be near a dragon again? The story is uite complex and this is only a small part of the story with many events great world building and wonderfully written and realistic characters ► CHARACTERS The story is told from multiply POVs But the most important one is Aidan He is confused scared broken and he wants nothing than to be left to heal and to be able to live his own life normally But how can he when his dreams are shattered his voice lost his hands broken never to play again? He does not pursue revenge but he wants to know why he had to go through all of this What did he do to earn half of his life spent in madness darkness and finally feeling dead? “Bollocks No one leaves Mazadine alive”Foolish girl She couldn’t see that I was really dead Other key players in this story are Narim an Elhim who helped Aidan during his recovery thoughtful very intelligent and dangerous; and Lara a woman from dragon rider clans who wanted to ride a dragon and ended up scorched who is uick to judge harsh strict hard hearted but also thoughtful and sympathetic when needed to be There are others too but a reader meets other key players during the story and writing about them would be a waste of my time i could be reading another book by then and also it's sometimes better to know less; b spoilerish; c not recommended But I loved their complexity ► OVERALL Wonderfully written strong emotional with great plot interesting characters with motivations and desires and who are complex compelling writing and dragons And great worldbuilding Carol Berg twisted tropes and I loved it Betrayals love realistic ending everything was so well done Honestly out of everything in the book I was satisfied with the end LIKED ☑ Wonderful writing☑ Fantastic characterization☑ Multiply POVs☑ Dragons☑ Elhim race☑ Aidan and some other people☑ Roelan☑ World building☑ Story DISLIKED ☒ Minor plot holes OTHER IMPORTANT INFO ⚠ Standalone YES⚠ Point of View First POV multiply characters⚠ Cliffhanger Nonexistent ⚠ Triggers view spoilerrape attempt slavery torture hide spoiler


  2. Alissa Alissa says:

    This book and its author are a stonking discovery I’m a fan of Janny Wurts The Wars of Light and Shadow is my favorite epic fantasy series ever and Carol Berg was recommended to me as a not to be missed uality fantasy author with a gift for prose well rounded stories and characterization I decided to start with this book since it’s a standalone and the summary with the element of music as part of the plot and a mature protagonist intrigued meIt also sounded like traditional fantasy with Dragons Bards Chosen Ones and Evil Kings; fine by me originality is not of paramount importance as long as the story is entertaining and the characters interesting to read about meaning ambivalence spontaneity and unpredictability This book truly exceeded my expectations the traditional fantasy tropes are skilfully rendered and its main strength is Berg’s narrative techniue the story never flounders I was emotionally involved and I couldn’t really put the book down even if it’s neither a pacy romp with break neck battles nor a complex character driven play of obliue intricacyThere is a single plot line and a linear progression with depth and emphasis on the protagonist’s development which I liked very much; truly all the characters are not banal even the stereotyped ones merge beautifully in the tale because all the motivations are complex entwining entrenched and changing There were some details that puzzled me a little but the story moves forward so sinuously there’s both action and introspection it feels very fresh and immersiveActually this simplicity is truly deceptive there are several plot twists and the structure of the work is consistent and engaging to say nothing of the rhythm which is carefully researched throughout the intensity never wavers it builds steadily and increases when the story reaches its peak When I was reading I noticed none of that I artlessly savored the tale and let myself go with the flow it came so natural Now that I am thinking about it two Berg’s books strong already read Transformation for good measure I see the pattern is deliberate and effective The narrative is in first person mainly told from Aidan viewpoint but a few other characters share the lead and the shifts are handled ingeniously also seeing certain scenes from other vantages enhanced my experience and never caused confusionThe introduction grabbed me at once; the protagonist and the background are disclosed very gradually enough to piue my curiosity but not too much at once as to mar the harmony of the reading progression The description of Aidan of his trauma and inner dilemma are very poignant and I promptly sympathized with the bard and his terrible imprisonment Seventeen years before he had everything Cousin to a king a skilled musician the like of which has not been seen for years beloved of the gods “he had been twenty one impossibly healthy and filled with the unutterable joy of spending his life doing what he loved most”He is a standard fantasy good guy with a twist because he’s strong willed he clings to life but he has lost any purpose he is so scarred inside and out that even the simplest things escape his grasp Filled with the dread of not knowing why he was so harshly silenced and why he was so suddenly released only to be chased again his gift lost he slowly reinvents embarking in a difficult journey “to unravel the puzzle of his life and find a path that was not solely the way of vengeance” But how can a man who cannot undo the past and cannot see a future find something to live for make a sense of his longings all the while preventing those who help him from dying?The perspective starts to widen as Aidan learns to be human again and rises above the most basic instincts Other characters enter the stage and the mystery behind –and around the fallen bard grows along with the conflicting interests of the various parties In the eye of the storm the most powerful weapons in the realm’s arsenal the dragons and their eerie enigmatic callsTo sum up my impressions the world building is delicate enough to flesh out the action but it never gets overly detailed The tale is exuisitely narrated classic fantasy with some turns which I didn't anticipate for the most part on the contrary I was eager to know what was going to happen next and how Thinking about it the tale is simple yet irresistible The ending was satisfying and the building of tension to delivery impeccable the last chapters have a gradual and neat tying up of the plot The characterization is the forte of the novel the various sides are not so clear cut and it was really engaging to read about the clash of cultural heritages and personal interests The romance subplot is nice the theme of love has an intriguing take here; the element of music and the ethereal descriptions of the dragons’ mysteries have a strong emotional impact tooBeautiful I can see why a fellow fan of Janny Wurts should not miss this author and the other way around too Berg writes adult fantasy featuring solid plots with great prose no absolutes and focus on characterization I've liked her short story in the BLACKGUARDS Tales of Assassins Mercenaries and Rogues anthology I've read with delight this novel and Transformation now I think it's high time for of her skill and imagination possibly in a multi POV book I too was becoming something new Something unknown


  3. carol. carol. says:

    A bump up from three and a half stars Written like a traditional epic fantasy plotting still went in a few unexpected directions in romance and manipulation At heart is a mystery why the lead was imprisioned and part of him is reluctant to find out He meets a person or two to boot him on his way I enjoyed the mixup of races and clans A few times I was completely unsurprised by the direction the plot took but nonetheless it was an enjoyable ride thereHere's the problem I enjoyed it but I started reading it in New York continued on a car trip with a ten year old and a six year old and finished when I got home Shall we say less than ideal conditions? Thus I feel both my reading and review suffers so it's back on the 'to be re read' shelf so I can do both justice


  4. Sarah Sarah says:

    It’s been a really long time since I’ve read a fantasy book that I enjoyed as much as this one It’s definitely a fantasy novel but it has a lot of really delightful aberrations from standard fantasy tropes For example rather than being a young handsome farmboy thrust into the middle of a great struggle the main character is 38 is of noble descent has been imprisoned for 17 years for reasons unknown to him and is horribly disfigured from his stay in prison Before his imprisonment he was the greatest musician there had ever been widely believed to have been blessed by the gods but his hands were destroyed in prison and his voice silenced Rather than being hellbent on revenge he’s mostly confused and conflicted over the whole situation and he struggles with what is the proper way to feel The plot focuses around discovering why he had been imprisoned in the first place and his path to finding meaning in his life again without the ability to play musicI’ve just made this sound horribly dull and navel gazing but there are also dragons and fighting and dragons and unlikely love and dragons – did I mention the dragons? The dragons are pretty cool actually though I’m not sure how much they deviate from the way dragons are usually portrayed in fantasy because I usually avoid books about dragons at all costs They sure as hell aren’t Pern dragons thoughThis is Berg’s first book and it shows a little There are parts that I would have liked to have better developed or spelled out for me I sometimes felt that as a reader I really had to work to figure out what was going on with the way the narrator referenced something It is told in first person from different narrators though so I’m not sure if that issue was part of that character’s nature or a fault in the writing I never felt that the first person narration was done hokily – there aren’t any instances of the narrator explaining something that another character should have known for the benefit of the reader or the narrator info dumping for the narrator’s benefit But some of the sentences are very obliue very glancing so you have to think about what is really meant by themAnyway yes I enjoyed this Pleasant surprise really


  5. YouKneeK YouKneeK says:

    Song of the Beast is a standalone fantasy novel set on a fictional world with dragons I haven’t read tons of fantasy books with dragons but I have read several and this book wasn’t like any of the ones I’ve read at least not in any significant way The story opens up with a character named Aidan as he’s being released after 17 years of imprisonment He’s a mess his fingers were broken repeatedly for years he’s afraid to talk and he doesn’t even know why he was imprisoned nor why he was released He doesn’t get much of a chance to lick his wounds before his life is in danger againOne thing I like about Carol Berg’s writing is that she starts off with what seems like a simple story and I think I can see where things are going but she keeps revealing new layers and I keep realizing that there was just a little to what was going on than I had suspected Her stories may not be super complex but neither are they ever uite as straight forward as they first appear and I never find myself comparing them to other books because they aren’t full of tropes or at least she doesn’t take them in a common directionAnother thing I like about Carol Berg’s writing is that she can tell a full satisfying story in a relatively short span of pages This book was a little under 500 pages and is not part of a series I’ve also read two very satisfying duologies that she’s written and one very satisfying trilogy I enjoy a long epic fantasy series as much as the next epic fantasy fan with characters who become my second family for months but they’re a huge time commitment and they limit my ability to get to other books I’m also interested in It’s great to be able to satisfy that craving in a smaller doseThis book was a little romancey than her other books that I’ve read and that part was maybe a little tropey and angsty but I didn’t feel like it overshadowed the story I bought into it well enough and never felt annoyed by it I liked the main characters especially Aidan I preferred reading from his POV although I liked the other main POV well enough I just had a little bit of trouble adjusting after I’d been reading from the first person of Aidan for most of the first 250 pages and it switched to the first person POV of a different character Sometimes I forgot I was reading from a different POV when I first picked the book up after not having read it for a few hours This wasn’t a big problem for me just an occasional annoyance and there were advantages to telling parts of the story from the POV of different charactersThis is the 8th book I’ve read by the author and I consider her to be one of my favorites I enjoyed this book a lot and it reminded me that I really need to fit her into my reading schedule often However I did like the other 7 better This one held my interest and I was always happy to pick it back up when I had the time but I never uite reached that point where nothing short of a catastrophe could make me put the book down like what I’ve experienced with her other books I’m giving it 45 stars but rounding down to 4 on Goodreads


  6. Laura Laura says:

    'I scorned him for huddling by the fire and he offered to share his tea I reviled him for his cowardice at the kai’s lair and he made me soup I ridiculed his noble ancestry and he laughed at himself and cleaned my hearth I drove him unmercifully in his schooling and he devoured it as if I’d gifted him with jewels''But I found steel beneath his soft spoken manner I could not break him Despite his struggles with the tasks I set him he lived with everything of gentleness and grace' This book kept me up till half past stupid in the night because I couldn't set it down until I turned the last page Even when it was a re read and I knew how the tale will unfold I found myself caught up in the misery and struggles of Aidan McAllisterOnce the most famous musician of his generation celebrated as a man beloved of the gods Aidan was imprisoned at the peak of his career With no explanation given of what he did wrong apart from an order to be silent he is thrown in a dungeon and tortured in the worst possible ways day after day for years It takes a long time for Aidan to break despite the countless broken bones and misery he faces And when he breaks he does so completely “Bollocks No one leaves Mazadine alive”Foolish girl She couldn’t see that I was really dead Out of his prison after years of horrible abuse Aidan is but an empty shell of the man he had once been Confused scared and completely broken he wants nothing than to be left aloneHis voice is now silent his hands ruined his music that offered beauty and hope to war torn Elyria destroyed Even the god who nurtured his talent since boyhood has abandoned him He is a bard who can never play again And the only thing he wants to know is WHY?What did he do to earn 17 full years of cruel imprisonment and torture?But to discover the truth Aidan must risk his hard bought freedom to unlock the mind of his god and the heart of his enemy Sing to meEase the grieving of my heartTransform me into that which I have beenBeloved soothe my uttermost sorrowsTransform meMake me remember This book has grabbed me from the very first paragraph and wouldn't let me set it down until the endThe plot is deceptively simple and takes several unexpected twists and turns while the intensity never wavers steadily building at a faster and faster pace And it is beautifully interwoven with an in depth emphasis on character development Motivations introspection inner dilemmas as well as the long lasting effect of prolonged trauma are masterfully portrayedAidan has to practically reinvent himself and learn to be human again But how can a man with no future in sight find the will to live again? Especially when those who dare to help him may die because of himAll the characters are complex and well drawn but Aidan is downright memorable My heart broke for him Song of the Beast is an exuisite classic fantasy that delivers a profound emotional impact Delicate wordbuilding and a deceptively simple absolutely engrossing plot are beautifully complemented by masterfully drawn characters any reader is bound to feel for Add in intriguing cultures a beautiful romance lovely music and dragons and there you go the perfect recipe for an unputdownable readHands down one of the best books I've ever read


  7. Tammie Tammie says:

    Brutal imprisonment has broken Aidan McAllister Once the most famous musician of his generation celebrated as a man beloved of the gods his voice is now silent his hands ruined his music that offered beauty and hope to war torn Elyria destroyed Even the god who nurtured his talent since boyhood has abandoned him But no one ever told him his crime To discover the truth he must risk his hard bought freedom to unlock the mind of his god and the heart of his enemy This was our book club pick for June and the first book I've read by author Carol Berg It's a stand alone and we're always looking for stand alone fantasy to read for book club so that was one thing that drew us to it This book pulled me in instantly Carol Berg has a writing style that is beautiful yet easy to read and that's just how I like a book to be The main character Aidan went through so much in prison and I just loved him right from the beginning I could feel his hurt so much and I loved the beautiful person that he was and how his attitude was not bitter despite all those things that happened to him One of the best things about this book was that it featured a bard We don't often get a main character who is like Aidan And while I like the rough manly men who can wield swords and all that are often featured in fantasy I could relate to Aidan and I loved his kind and gentle nature and his love of music and song I scorned him for huddling by the fire and he offered to share his tea I reviled him for his cowardice at the kai’s lair and he made me soup I ridiculed his noble ancestry and he laughed at himself and cleaned my hearth I drove him unmercifully in his schooling and he devoured it as if I’d gifted him with jewels But I found steel beneath his soft spoken manner I could not break him Despite his struggles with the tasks I set him he lived with everything of gentleness and grace The other characters were also very compelling to read about Lara took a little while to grow on me but her story was interesting and I ended up liking her uite a bit despite her stubbornness and her fear of sharing her heart She had a protective nature that made her appealing The Elhim are obviously based on Elves and I liked a couple of them uite a bit but their scheming ways made we wary of trusting them at times The ending left we wanting a little There was one thing that I really wanted to happen that didn't and I think most people will probably feel the same way I do about it but other than that this was an excellent read and I highly recommend it if you love high fantasy and dragons Even if you don't love dragons I still recommend this book The dragons are mostly just talked about and don't really come into play until the end and Aidan's story is worth reading The story was so compelling and it had just the right amount of romance for me I'm going to have to read of Carol Berg's books nowReview also posted at Writings of a Reader


  8. Alexis Hall Alexis Hall says:

    It's been a long time since I read this but I remember being uite pleased with itHe says faintlyOkayLemme do betterFirst off this is standalone fantasy and I am on principle a huge fan of standalone fantasy Because pretty much every fantasy trilogy or fantasy uintuplet or whatever has contained about 15 books of incident spread across 3 5 or 15 novels And inevitably book 2 is total bobbins and is just there to make you wait for book 3But standalone fantasy has all the stuff I like about fantasy presented into me in a way that doesn't seem designed to be irritatingBerg I seem to recall tends to write character driven fantasy And she has some interesting takes on gender in that her men aren't paragons of masculinity and her women have agencyThis book centres on Aidan once the world's greatest musician lately imprisoned for 17 for reasons he can't understand Silenced and crippled and broken he spends uite a lot of time being confused and conflicted and trying to work out how exactly he feels about the role he's expected to play in the wider happenings of the book It's a little bit introspective especially in the early sections but hell the fellow has causeThe early plot deals with the mystery of Aidan's imprisonment and the later with the conseuences of it There's high stakes and an unusual romance and also dragonsPretty damn entertaining really


  9. Lema Lema says:

    I don't know 45 475? heck I'll give the full 5 starsDo you know that awesome feeling of finally finding a ridiculously cheap book on Bookoutlet that actually sounds promising and it actually turns out one of your favorite reads of this year? yep this book gave me that awesome feeling All of us fantasy fans know that finding a decent standalone fantasy novel is probably as easy as walking into Mordor well look no further I strongly recommend that you give this little gem a chance I was really impressed by the author she managed to give us three dimensional full cast of characters within the span of less than 400 pages we have a whole sexless race with their own history and mysteries many other human subcultures and different customs lovable main characters with complicated pasts and heart wrenching interactionsAnd can we talk about how amazing the protagonist is? He's a divine musician beloved by gods and men thrown in prison without explanation his hands mangled beyond recognition and his voice silenced I gotta admit the beginning was a bit slow but I just fell in love with Aiden McAllister that I didn't mind He's damaged and awkward and completely useless when it comes to fighting however his heart of gold and dry sense of humor made him rise in my eyes to the ranks of the badass warriors I've read about in other famous seriesI won't go on and on about other characters and plot suffice it to say it's been a great ride and a most pleasant surprise The writing is beautiful and I still can't get over the fact that it's only 380 pages yet it still managed to build a vivid world with a thrilling story


  10. Rachael (RedRchlReads) Rachael (RedRchlReads) says:

    45 StarsA good solid high fantasy read Fantastic if a bit slow If you're feeling like a story that unspools slowly and are in a patient mood you'll love thisRTC


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Song of the Beast ✻ [BOOKS] ✯ Song of the Beast By Carol Berg ❅ – Buyprobolan50.co.uk Brutal imprisonment has broken Aidan McAllister Once the most famous musician of his generation celebrated as a man beloved of the gods his voice is now silent his hands ruined his music that offered Brutal imprisonment has broken Aidan McAllister Once the most famous musician of his generation celebrated as a man beloved of the gods his voice is now silent his hands ruined his music that offered beauty and hope to war torn Elyria destroyed Even the god who nurtured his talent since boyhood has abandoned him But no one ever told him his crime To discover the truth he must risk his hard bought freedom to unlock the mind of his god and the heart of his enemy.