ARC provided by the publisher—Tor Books—in exchange for an honest review.
A Chorus of Fire by Brian D. Anderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: The Sorcerer’s Song (Book #2 of 3)
Genre: Fantasy, High fantasy
Pages: 448 pages
Published: 4th August 2020 by Tor Books
A great page-turning sequel that’s incredibly easy and comfortable to read.
“The scales of mortal hearts are tilted in favor of love. It is in this their virtue is made manifest.”
Similar to my review for The Bard’s Blade, I’m going to start this review by giving appreciation to the cover artist first. Felix Ortiz has truly done a spectacular job illustrating the cover arts of this series, and I can’t wait to see what he’ll come up with for the cover art of the next book. Content-wise, The Bard’s Blade was one of my favorite books of 2019; I’ll even go as far as saying that it’s one of my favorites first installment to a trilogy. A Chorus of Fire, the second book in The Sorcerer’s Song trilogy by Brian D. Anderson, lived up to its predecessor nicely; if you enjoyed reading The Bard’s Blade, I’m sure you’re going to enjoy reading this one.
“Forgiveness is the sustenance that feeds the soul. Even the darkest heart is not irredeemable in the eyes of Kylor.”
Honestly, I could practically repeat everything positive I elaborated in my review of The Bard’s Blade and it would still be applicable here. Please pardon me if this review sounded repetitive. The story in A Chorus of Fire takes place soon after what happened at the end of the previous book, and it’s an installment that mainly revolves around the most vital aspect of this series: the characterizations and the genuine character’s developments. Lem and Mariyah are characters that felt so real, and I loved reading about them so much. Struggles and hardships have completely robbed them of their innocence, and witnessing them trying their best to retain every sense of goodness while having to do relatively bad things to survive was utterly captivating. A longing for peace, a longing for a different life, trying to love and stay loyal to each other despite myriad temptations; the characterizations for these two, above everything else in the series, are what made The Sorcerer’s Song so far worked so well for me.
“To slay so many for the benefit of one, even one you love dearly, exacts a heavy price.”
It’s also worth noting that this series is very easy to breeze through due to Anderson’s writing style. I personally think that Anderson’s prose is commendable. Yes, it is very simplistic and accessible, some have argued that the writing felt YA, but I think this is a very subjective interpretation. I think there’s the tendency to immediately classify an author’s prose as being YA writing style—like it immediately means it’s a bad thing when it’s not—when the author uses simplistic vocabulary that’s accessible by both teenagers and adult audience. I loved reading Anderson’s writing; it was so easy and engaging to read; I was in the right mood for a high fantasy that’s easier to devour, and Anderson delivers once again. Plus, the epigraphs in A Chorus of Fire was so imminently quotable. I’m not kidding; I actually highlighted almost every epigraph in this book. Here are a few of my favorite epigraphs:
“A painful truth is far better than a soothing lie. A seed cannot grow buried in the soil of deception.”
“Do not allow your pride to make you a fool. It is the humble soul who reaches the loftiest peaks—where true bliss resides.”
“Heed the call from a friend in peril, for salvation is earned through deeds of fidelity and courage.”
“Through music, a bard extends their soul to heal the woes of Lamoria. They are a salve to soothe the burn, a blanket to combat the cold.”
Speaking of music, I’ve mentioned several times that I wish more fantasy books would include bards and music in their stories. The rarity is frankly insane, ever since I finished The Bard’s Blade last year, all the fantasy books I read since then didn’t have any bard or music playing a prominent role. The inclusion of music in the first book of this trilogy was one of the reasons why I loved the first book so much; it’s also where, in my opinion, Anderson’s writing excels the most. It is unfortunate—and understandable due to story purposes—that the focus on music is mostly missing in this installment. This and the end sections of the book that flew too quickly to my liking is why I slightly loved the first book more. On the bright side, though, it’s enlightening to know the revelations behind Kylor, Belkar, and the role of the Bards in the series.
“Occasionally he feared he would lose the ability to experience the joy music gave him. To lose his love for music would be like having an arm or a leg hacked off.”
A Chorus of Fire is a wonderfully compelling sequel overflowing with excellent characterizations. There’s nothing revolutionary about this series, but if you want to read an easy-to-read high fantasy with characters that spark every sense of your empathy, you can’t go wrong with reading this series. I also love the contrast usage of music versus weapon/magic used in the respective titles of this series. First, we have The Bard’s Blade, then A Chorus of Fire, and lastly, The Sword’s Elegy, in a series called The Sorcerer’s Song; this is a lovely touch because music, assassinations, and magic are integral parts of the series. I can’t wait to find out how the series concludes in The Sword’s Elegy. I know I have spammed this review with so many quotes from the book; I can’t help it, there’s so many gems here. Here’s one more to close this review:
“A good meal can make you feel safe, happy, excited. Or it can remind you of people you’ve lost, or good times long past. A fine meal is more than something to fill your belly. It fills your soul.”
Official release date: 4th August 2020
The quotes in this review were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.
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