Review: Sofi and the Bone Song by Adrienne Tooley

Review: Sofi and the Bone Song by Adrienne TooleySofi and the Bone Song by Adrienne Tooley

Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on April 19th 2022
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 416

In this gorgeous standalone fantasy with a “sweet sapphic romance” (Booklist), a young musician sets out to expose her rival for illegal use of magic only to discover the deception goes deeper than she could have imagined—perfect for fans of An Enchantment of Ravens!

Music runs in Sofi’s blood.

Her father is a Musik, one of only five musicians in the country licensed to compose and perform original songs. In the kingdom of Aell, where winter is endless and magic is accessible to all, there are strict anti-magic laws ensuring music remains the last untouched art.

Sofi has spent her entire life training to inherit her father’s title. But on the day of the auditions, she is presented with unexpected competition in the form of Lara, a girl who has never before played the lute. Yet somehow, to Sofi’s horror, Lara puts on a performance that thoroughly enchants the judges.

Almost like magic.

The same day Lara wins the title of Musik, Sofi’s father dies, and a grieving Sofi sets out to prove Lara is using illegal magic in her performances. But the more time she spends with Lara, the more Sofi begins to doubt everything she knows about her family, her music, and the girl she thought was her enemy.

As Sofi works to reclaim her rightful place as a Musik, she is forced to face the dark secrets of her past and the magic she was trained to avoid—all while trying not to fall for the girl who stole her future.

Sofi and the Bone Song by Adrienne Tooley is a YA sapphic fantasy released earlier this year. I listened to the audiobook via Scribd for the Ready Player Read(athon) in July.

What interested me most about this book was the topic of music. It’s rare to find a fantasy book centered around it as much as this book did. One thing that disappointed me was that the audiobook wasn’t enhanced with music and the songs sung by the characters weren’t great. It would’ve been a nice addition to the audiobook but didn’t take much away from the experience.

The book starts out strong with a clear setting, intriguing characters, and hook: the naming of the next Musik. Sofi thinks the role is hers as the Musik’s daughter, when a random girl shows up and ‘steals’ the title from her. This jealousy and resentment in Sofi lasts a long time, even after she finds out her father’s secret. It makes her a bit unlikeable, while Lara is a girl everyone immediately loves. This distinction between the two girls can be seen on many levels throughout the book.

The setting and the magic system were really interesting and I loved the subtlety of the magic. The worldbuilding is nicely integrated into the story and what Sofi experiences, you barely notice it’s there, while at the same time the picture of the vivid (and cold) world is painted in your mind’s eye. It’s a good combination of presenting all the right information at the right time with a neat writing style.

I give Sofi and the Bone Song four stars. It’s an entertaining book that kept me reading. I haven’t heard much about this and I think that’s a shame because I know there are many among my peers would love one or more aspects of this book.

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