Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.
Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are suspicious and afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?
Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?"
- Publisher: HarperCollins
- Release date: Jan. 31, 2012
- Page count: 384
- Unique elements: World building incorporates mythology, includes dragons
- Would appeal to: Readers interested in reincarnation, a good fantasy, fabulous writing
"Gradually, the cloud-diffused sunlight sank toward the horizon, silhouetting the snowy peaks on my right."
"Snow sparkled in the moonlight, deceptively peaceful with its smothering silence."
"He played my notes again, but instead of stopping after, he played the most amazing thing my ears had ever heard. Like waves on a lakeshore, and wind through the trees. There were lightning strikes, thunder, and pattering rain. Heat and anger, and honey sweetness."
"The market tents were bright bruises against the Councilhouse and temple, cloth mazes that made every turn a wrong one."
"Rarely does romantic love transcend incarnations. Rarely. Some souls, however, were created as matching pairs. Every generation, these souls are drawn together, regardless of their physical forms. Their love is pure and true."
"Murmurs hissed again, rippling like a sheet flaring over a bed."
I will never stop gushing about this novel. I'm still thinking about it. I will buy it when it comes out and read it again. This is a MUST READ for 2012!
Jodi Meadows is a gifted wordsmith. Did you read the quotes above?
This story incorporated so many ideas. The first time I read a reference to a he/she, it stumped me, but soon the reader finds out that souls can be reincarnated in a body of any gender. Also, love can transcend reincarnation for certain souls, which is seen by the rededication ceremony for Tera and Ash, both females, in the town center. I loved that their party was a masquerade, the idea being that true souls in love could find their mate no matter what mask he or she was wearing.
Ana is the first-ever new soul to be born. She is looked upon as an outcast because she prevented another soul that everyone loved from coming back. Her emotionally abusive mother, Li, moved into the country so she wouldn't be embarrassed by Ana. Li's lover, Menehem, left shortly after, which is part of the reason she is so bitter. Ana decides to get away from her mother's torture and journey to the city of Heart to research whether or not there are others of her kind.
Along the way, there is the threat of Sylph, dark shadowy creatures that leave nasty burns on a human body. They have the power to kill. She is chased by several of them straight over a cliff.
Lucky for her, Sam is in the woods, and saves her from drowning.
As a character, Sam is sweet, gentle, intelligent, musically inclined. Qualities Ana is at first hesitant to believe could be shown toward her as a No Soul. He attempts to convince her that her soul is a New Soul instead, and she should think more highly of herself.
The two new traveling companions reach Heart, where Ana is openly discriminated against by its citizens. She is allowed to be watched over by Sam, according to the Council members, as long as he gives them progress reports on her abilities as a student. She must learn a trade to be useful in her next life, if she is even reincarnated.
Everything changes when Li comes to Heart and tries to reclaim custody of Ana. Taken away from the comfortable home she has molded with Sam, Ana must escape a massive dragon attack and the eerily beating white walls of the town temple, where Janan, the possible creator of the world, may or may not live. The dragons always fly straight to its tower, but they can never destroy it.
Some of the descriptions of the temple (primarily inside), confused me and became hard to imagine. But that didn't take anything away from the entire book. There are two great twists at the end. I'm so glad this is only the first in a series.
The slowly blossoming romance between Sam and Ana caused me to continue reading as much as the gorgeous writing and unpredictable plot. I so wanted them to move faster, but Ana's low-self esteem and Sam's confusing signals prevent this from happening. I love that music is such a huge focus in the book and that Ana is quick to pick up the piano. When you discover where the title comes from, you'll sigh with contentment.
Bravo, Jodi Meadows. This story is creative, action-packed, and heartbreakingly beautiful. Without authors like you, I'd never pick up a book.
*This book was provided to me by the publish in exchange for an honest review.