Songbird by J. Victoria Michael is about a young woman named Irenya who is suddenly transported to another world. Unable to return the same way she came, she has to try to find another way home.
For a book less than 300 hundred pages, I was expecting this to be faster paced. It started out well enough when Irenya suddenly goes through a portal and finds herself in another world. She is naturally confused and afraid, especially when met with hostility. The people of this new world are wary of her, thinking her some type of invader. She has to endure a few nasty things that make her fear and hate the archprince, who rules the castle she has ended up in.
When she fails to leave this new world by way of the mirror she came through, she immediately falls into depression. I can understand her initial fear and confusion and even her depression at not being able to leave like she wants but her crying and whining about her situation goes on for literally months.
Irenya finds some solace in music and singing but also refuses to play for her hosts for a significant amount of time. What bothers me the most about her is how she just takes for granted that these people are feeding and clothing her for basically nothing. She isn’t expected to do any type of chores (though she does occasionally help in the kitchen) or manual labor to earn her keep. All she really does is learn how to ride a horse and play music. She constantly jumps to conclusions about people, especially the archprince, and doesn’t take the time to really learn anything about the world she’s in.
After being there for a few months, she does start going to the library to learn a little, but honestly, her efforts are weak at best. I found the pov’s of other characters (brief as they were) far more interesting than Irenya’s.
It wasn’t until about halfway through or maybe three quarters that the plot starts to pick up. The ending felt rather abrupt but made sure I’d be interested in the next book. I really hope to see Irenya grow as a character, to see from the point of view of the people around her and realize that she could be more grateful to them. I am curious where this story is going and will read the next installment.
My rating for this book is 3 out of 5 stars. I’d recommend it to people who enjoy portal fantasy, slow pace and an unreliable narrator.
Have you read this book? Let me know what you thought in the comments.
Thanks for reading!