This is an exciting post for me because this is my first time taking part in a blog tour! Many thanks to Shalini at Digital Reads Blog Tours for letting me take part. The book in question is Song for a Lost Kingdom by Steve Moretti, perfect for fans of Outlander and lovers of classical music.
Find out what this book is all about with the official blurb:
“Adeena Stuart is a struggling cellist ready to give up on her dream of landing a spot with the National Arts Centre Orchestra. All that changes when she receives a musical score, lost for almost 300 years in a Scottish castle, sent by her dying grandmother.
When the score is played on the oldest surviving cello ever made in the UK, the music connects Adeena directly to the past as Katharine Carnegie, struggling to find words to complete her symphonic tour-de-force in the midst of 18th Century political rebellion that is tearing apart Scotland and England.
But Adeena is not a scientist or historian. What she wants more than anything is to create and compose. As she is buffeted back and forth between the past and present, she grows to want more of the past, even though the promise of her most yearned-for professional dream is coming true.
With a clear voice that sets us in modern day Ottawa and old world Scotland, Song for a Lost Kingdom, Book I, begins a journey of discovery between two women who share the same musical soul and love for the same doomed man.”
TW/CW: This book contains scenes of r*pe and physical violence, and mentions of cancer/terminal illness
I signed up for this blog tour because I loved the concept for this book – two women, from different centuries, connected through time by music? Sounds great! Plus, I absolutely love Scotland and the beautiful Scottish Highlands, so the choice of setting is perfect!
The concept of connecting people through music and through time reminded me of one of my favourite quotes from Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy:
“She thought, without exactly wording the thought, how strange and god-like was a composer’s power, who from the grave could lead through sequences of emotion, which he alone had felt at first, a girl like her who had never heard of his name and never would have a clue to his personality.”
The writing style is pretty lighthearted throughout (barring some scenes that are heavy on the action, as they can be pretty intense!), and largely humorous. Some of the jokes I found pretty funny, but a lot of them fell flat for me – but that’s all part and parcel of using humour in fiction; you can’t make everyone laugh every time. But whether it makes you laugh or not, the light and humorous tone of the storytelling and dialogue creates a great sense of contrast for the more serious and important scenes, making them stand out even more.
Set in modern-day Canada and 18th-century Scotland, this book had two worlds to build. From what little I’ve seen of Canada in person, I’d say it’s a pretty spot-on depiction of modern life there in terms of setting (but anyone who lives in Canada, feel free to correct me!). The hard part, though, is creating a realistic 18th-century Scotland. A lot of historical research has clearly gone into writing this book, and barring a few dodgy Scottish accents, it definitely pays off.
Speaking of research, Moretti has clearly put a lot of time and research into the musical detail of his novel. I’m not a musician so I have no idea how accurate it is, but it seems pretty impressive to me! In particular, the scene of Adeena’s audition stands out, both in terms of passion for music and musical detail.
My biggest issue with this book is that some of the portrayals of women are a bit unrealistic, and I would say just look past that and enjoy the story, but that’s a bit tricky when most of the main characters are women! But if you can look past that, there’s a pretty intriguing plot to follow.
This book wasn’t 100% my cup of tea, but I’m sure for some readers it will be a new favourite! Song for a Lost Kingdom is a fun time-slip adventure with some pretty badass moments, perfect if you’re looking for a good plot-driven romp.
To find out more about this book, check out the following blogs on their respective tour dates: