Samantha LaFantasie has a lot of potential as a writer and it shows in Heart Song.  She has that which cannot be learned: creativity and imagination.  She creates an engaging world with a plot that starts with a bang as the main character, Relena, is running from those that would lock her up and do terrible things to her.

I truly enjoyed the story and, throughout most of the book, was driven to know what would happen next.  The world she creates blends the paranormal with that of the more world-building centric branch of fantasy novels.

There was one scene I especially liked where she is sparing (with swords) and someone has to tell her to stop and breathe.  I used to do Kendo and stopped after an incident where I basically stopped breathing during a sparing match.  When the match was over, I about collapsed on the floor.  This scene really rang true for me because of my experiences.  I also enjoyed the irony of the immortals, who were outcasts themselves and anything but ordinary, being leery of outsiders.  That is generally a human trait and while there were those of the immortal races that considered themselves above everyone else, many were insular and wary of people from the mortal realm, where all of their troubles arose.

I think the characters could have had more depth, but that is more of a personal preference.  The book is good without it.  I think it could have been more.  I understood the lack of depth for Marren.  He is frequently terse and trying to get information out of him is like pulling teeth.  Nothing short of torture will do.  But Relena is the main character and yet we know little of her past.  In fact, a single incident shapes almost our entire knowledge of her past.  It is a major event in her life, but it is still only one event.  That and her relationship with her father are really all we know about her before she meets Marren, making her seem 2D at times.  But, like I said, while I think it would have made for a far better book if we had more insight into the main character, the book was wonderful without it.  LaFantasie was able to create a character that I, as the reader, felt invested in.  I can certainly overlook wanting to know more.  After all, wanting to know more is an essential byproduct of caring about a character and the author definitely pulls off a cast of characters than the reader cares about the futures of and dismays when events don't come up roses.

Of note, the author is planning an update to correct some formatting issues in the conversion process to ebook which were not caught initially.  Until the update is posted, perfectionists may be disheartened by the book at first.

All in all, I enjoyed the novel and look forward to more from the author.

You can find her book at:


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