Friday, July 06, 2007

Soul Song by Marjorie M. Liu

If you have not picked this one up yet, go do it now. Like Liu’s previous titles, this one defies genre preferences or biases. Liu’s lyrical prose and mystical view easily transcend any preconceived reader expectation.

Against her will, Kitala Bell foresees the future. Now her own future is in peril. From the ocean’s depths rises an impossible blend of fantasy and danger, a creature whose voice is seduction incarnate, whose song can manipulate lives the way that Kitala herself manipulates the strings of her violin -- even to the point of breaking.
He is a prince of the sea, an enigma -- a captive stretched to the limit of his endurance by a woman intent on using him for the purest evil. And when survival requires he and Kitala form a closer partnership than either has ever known, the price of their bond will threaten not just their lives, but the essence of their very souls.

Although Soul Song is an installment in Liu’s Dirk and Steele series, its characters—their story and history—journey well beyond the agency’s bounds. Their only link a preexisting friendship between heroines past and present and a new addition to the ranks of known shapeshifters. Liu uses the friendship as a means to involve the agency, but limits that involvement primarily to search and rescue. Soul Song’s mysticism stands alone and Liu binds the reader to M’Cal and Kit almost exclusively. For new readers, Soul Song offers a timeless love story, rife with emotion, portrayed through Liu’s unique vision. For established Liu fans, Soul Song is another stunning free fall into the power of belief and love.

An established Liu fan myself, I found Soul Song a more sensory, far richer experience than her earlier titles. Her reliance upon music as the primary vehicle for emotion and power both lulled and disturbed, the water imagery adding to the otherworldness. And, in Liu tradition, good and evil are twined—not simply balanced—cloaked and dancing along a razor thin edge without footing. There are no stereotypes here. And no neat answers in the end. A Liu HEA thrilling in its power, wrung out of sacrifice and founded almost purely on faith.

Liu’s voice and vision are so powerful; it is hard to find words adequate enough to share the experience with other readers. The romance holds all of the tension and promise we love. The mysticism enthralls without crushing the human element. Humor and fear ground both primary and secondary characters. But it is the delivery that defies the typical words of a reviewer. Liu is simply a must read. Then you’ll know.


  1. I finished this yesterday and loved it. I think it is her strongest book in the D&S series so far. And yes, it does pretty much stand alone.z

  2. I just finished this too and knew you'd do a great review. This is a wonderful book.

  3. I just finished this too and loved it. I'm a big fan of Liu's writing and storytelling and look forward to lots more to come from her.

  4. I completely agree. I also won the opportunity to read this ARC and it turned Marjorie M Liu back into a Must Read ASAP author. She was an auto buy (eventually but maybe not as soon as the book was released) author, but she wasn't an author whose books I had to read as soon as I got home. When I finished this ARC I dug through my TBR mountain to find the books of hers that I hadn't yet read.

  5. didn't read the review, because I just bought the book :P but you seemed to have enjoyed it so I'm happy :D

  6. Hi Ladies! I'm happy to hear that everyone, save Nath, loved this book. Let us know what you think when you've finished it Nath. *g*

    Erin - It was your comment on Sarah's group that compelled me to put down the book I was reading and get right to Soul Song. That difference between an autobuy author you buy and read with a sense of urgency and one you buy and read at your leisure. I agree, Liu is one you buy and read that night. I had a similar experience with Ward's last book.

  7. I have this one and am excited to get to it.

  8. Great book!This reminds me of a book I just read checkout the new Ford book -Ford and the American Dream by Clifton Lambreth at This author throws political risk out the window! he risk it all to save Ford and the American automobile industry!


Have you read it? What do you think?

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