Last Song Before Night by Ilana C. Myer is a masterful fantasy story. The plot revolves around bringing lost magic back into the world to counter a supernatural threat — but even more around the fates of the characters, who are so achingly real that the reader has every reason to care about them.
Even before the main conflict is introduced, the story weaves a situation rich in conflict and potential just by introducing the setting and characters. The story starts in the city of Tamryllin in the days before the Midsummer Fair, in which Poets — musicians — compete for the Silver Branch in front of the king and everyone else. The Poets once held political power and wielded magic with their music, but that time has long since passed, and they are now subservient to the king, though his Court Poet still has great personal power. Still, the contest for the Silver Branch is a unique opportunity for a Poet’s career. Continue reading