The Unfinished Song: Initiate by Tara Maya
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A DETERMINED GIRL...
Dindi can't do anything right, maybe because she spends more time dancing with pixies than doing her chores. Her clan hopes to marry her off and settle her down, but she dreams of becoming a Tavaedi, one of the powerful warrior-dancers whose secret magics are revealed only to those who pass a mysterious Test during the Initiation ceremony. The problem? No-one in Dindi's clan has ever passed the Test. Her grandmother died trying. But Dindi has a plan.
AN EXILED WARRIOR...
Kavio is the most powerful warrior-dancer in Faearth, but when he is exiled from the tribehold for a crime he didn't commit, he decides to shed his old life. If roving cannibals and hexers don't kill him first, this is his chance to escape the shadow of his father's wars and his mother's curse. But when he rescues a young Initiate girl, he finds himself drawn into as deadly a plot as any he left behind. He must decide whether to walk away or fight for her... assuming she would even accept the help of an exile. Description from GoodReads
Dindi is a young girl/woman who sees and dances with fairies. Not everyone sees them, but those touched with magic. She wants to become a dancer after her initiation, pretty much the ceremony/initiation determines your path as an adult. Only chosen people can be dancers or Travaedi, if you are not chosen to become a travaedi, you can no longer dance.
Kavio has been exiled from his tribe, for a crime that he didn't commit. He is forced to wear mud and ashes and roam outside of a tribal protection. He is a powerful Travaedi and warrior. He has a strong sense of self and right and wrong. He comes across Dindi and is intrigued. He sees the magic that surrounds her.
I admit that it took me a little while to get into the tribal society created by Maya. In my head I kept trying to classify it into a box: Native American, African, etc. It didn't fit with any one society. She has enveloped qualities of different tribal communities and created her own.
I love the expression of dance, and the magic associated with dance. Dindi is different from the other initiates, and it is refreshing to read a young girl not being ashamed for her differences. (Maybe at times a little embarrassed, but not ashamed.) She accepts that she is different.
My biggest complaint is the ending. It just means that I will have to read the next installment. Merci Beaucoup to Tara Maya for sending me a kindle copy of this book to review. I just purchased the kindle edition of Conmergence: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction. I am excited to read more of her work.
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