In August of 2012, I read about this young woman, an unpublished unknown still at University, who signed a 6-figure deal for the first three books in a proposed seven book series. In October of 2013, I read that book. I moved the review/reaction over to this blog and it should be linked below, but a quick summary is that I absolutely loved Samantha Shannon’s The Bone Season. In August of 2015, I read and reviewed the second installment, The Mime Order. Again, I absolutely loved it. In 2017, I order a signed collector’s edition of the third installment, The Song Rising. I thought I hadn’t read it because I hadn’t reviewed it, but I quickly realized that I had indeed read it (and rated it on Goodreads!) I went through a couple of years where I didn’t post consistently. Pity. But that’s neither here nor there as I’ve read it again to prepare for the fourth installment, The Mask Falling, which arrived on my doorstep on pub day last month! And let me just say that I love Paige Mahoney.
Shannon is an extremely skilled author. She excels at character development and world building (her talents are on splendid display in this series and her high fantasy), and how she’s maintained the heart of these characters and Scion over the course of so many years is simply remarkable. Where so many series tend to quickly fall apart after the first book, The Bone Season series continues solidly along.
The slow burn of Paige and Warden over three books is such a welcomed delight. The romance, the heat, doesn’t get in the way of the plot, and it moves organically with the rebellion. (Unlike in some books that shall remain nameless!)
The tortured relationships between Paige and her father and Paige and her father-figure in Jaxon are brought to a head in the third book, and Shannon gives us one scene in particular, a scene where Paige refuses to look away, that I’d forgotten then remembered. That particular scene, to me, is one of the hardest hitting, albeit relatively brief, scenes in a book that is littered with bruises and blood.
Much like the first two of the series, The Song Rising doesn’t get bogged down in the darkness and despair. The circumstances that positioned Paige as Underqueen and leader of the Mime Order have certainly left their marks, but there remain some wonderfully endearing moments and gestures that breathe a lightness and joy into this bloody and bruised steampunk dystopian world.
Neither this nor high fantasy are genres I read a lot of, but I will read anything Samantha Shannon writes.
Read this series.