Happy Saturday, everyone! 😀
I recently finished A Mortal Song and really liked it ^^ And I know that some of you are interested in reading this book as well, and that’s why I feel the need to say that I don’t reveal major spoilers in my review, but I say more than what I wish I had known before I started it. I only knew it was a book about a girl who finds out she’s not the ‘chosen one’ and that it was based on Japanese mythology. Everything else came from the experience of reading the book, and every review on Goodreads seems to reveal the same as mine, so read at your own risk 🙂
Title: A Mortal Song
Author: Megan Crewe
Publisher: Another World Press
Number of Pages: 382
Sora’s life was full of magic–until she discovered it was all a lie.
Heir to Mt. Fuji’s spirit kingdom, Sora yearns to finally take on the sacred kami duties. But just as she confronts her parents to make a plea, a ghostly army invades the mountain. Barely escaping with her life, Sora follows her mother’s last instructions to a heart-wrenching discovery: she is a human changeling, raised as a decoy while her parents’ true daughter remained safe but unaware in modern-day Tokyo. Her powers were only borrowed, never her own. Now, with the world’s natural cycles falling into chaos and the ghosts plotting an even more deadly assault, it falls on her to train the unprepared kami princess.
As Sora struggles with her emerging human weaknesses and the draw of an unanticipated ally with secrets of his own, she vows to keep fighting for her loved ones and the world they once protected. But for one mortal girl to make a difference in this desperate war between the spirits, she may have to give up the only home she’s ever known.
I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
You know when in a book the main character finds out she’s part of this amazing world she has never heard of before/doesn’t believe in and plus – she has to save it? There’s usually some other character that tells her all about it, but what if that other character spent her whole life thinking she was the one destined to save her world and then she finds out she’s not the princess she thought she was and has to be the one to reveal it to the real girl? Pretty cool + an original idea = A Mortal Song.
Sora was a likable main character, and we could really feel her emotions through her story. I felt really sorry for her when she found out she wasn’t the kami princess, or even kami, especially because she didn’t find out nicely, but she didn’t need any pity from others. She was strong, and even though there were some self-pity and down moments (namely when she felt jealous), it was understandable, and she quickly recovered. She had a long journey of finding out who she was and her limits as a human, but also her strengths, and she developed a lot. I really liked her overall. Chiyo was a lovely character too! She took the news rather well, unlike other YA characters in her position, but her cheerful personality and her wish to help everyone won me over. And no one can really dislike a character with such cool lavender hair as hers 😛 However, I didn’t feel a strong connection between these two characters, which was apparently intended to.
The rest of the characters in their group were nice too, but I didn’t care about them as much as I cared about Sora. Takeo might be an exception; he was absolutely perfect and caring, always worried about Sora’s well-being, even though he didn’t have to serve her anymore, as she wasn’t really the princess. We didn’t get to see much of Haru, or that’s what I felt, but his love and devotion to Chiyo was lovely. He had a huge part in teaching Sora that being ordinary is totally fine. And Keiji – I have so many mixed feelings about him! He was the most stereotyped character of them all and made me roll my eyes a couple of times, but at the same time, he had his funny moments. 😂
There’s also one thing which I think I need to mention: there’s isn’t exactly a love-triangle here, but there’s a slight confusion of feelings (but Sora handled it quite nicely) and some people also considered it an insta-love situation (it’s kinda that, to be honest), BUT most importantly, what I wanted to mention is that this story would be strong enough without any romance at all – not that the romance makes it weaker, it was just unnecessary.
The research process behind this book is very visible, but I don’t know what is actual culture and what is fiction 😂 I felt everything that was introduced was very well-explained, even though I’d have liked to learn more. Kami beings came in different shapes and forms and had different tasks, and there was an interesting theory about demons and ghosts, but some other aspects weren’t very explored. There was a lot of action going on throughout the entire book, and the writing was very straight-forward, which I usually enjoy (and still did), but its simplicity kinda made me lose interest in what was happening.
The plot came out as a surprise: a nice one, thankfully. I had expected this to be about Sora’s accepting her true self only, and turned out not completely different, but with more. It showed a really inspiring message of ‘you-are-what-you-decide-to-be’. The ending wasn’t so satisfying, as it wasn’t as amazing as the rest of the book, felt rushed and basically told me Sora and Chiyo would be besties from there on, instead of showing me the developing of their friendship throughout the chapters. Don’t get me wrong there: I love the idea of Sora and Chiyo being friends and acting like sisters, but I just couldn’t see it.
Overall, though, I truly enjoyed it and recommend it 🙂