Title: The Sorceress of Song and Flame
Author: Siobhan Muir
Matsuko Ishikawa, Audiologist and Newbie Sorceress
Being autistic, I’ve learned the patterns and rules of my world to make life easier. Everything I know is thrown into disarray when I find myself wearing long robes and setting fire to a wagon with blue flames… From my hands. I don’t know where I am… or how to control my new pyrotechnic talent. Throw in a guy who can turn into a dragon and a goddess-given quest, and I’m totally out of my depth. But if I complete the goddess’s task of finding a magical artifact, I can go home, which is the goal, right?
Arach Uzekamanzi, Third Born Prince of the Dragonkin
Being a 126-year-old dragon, there isn’t much that surprises me anymore, but Matsuko is completely new. And it’s pretty clear she’s not local. Accompanying her on a quest to find magical artifact seems like the best way learn more about her and stave off boredom. Now I just have to help Matsuko acquire the Song Stone, return it to the goddess’s temple, and get her home. But the more I learn about her, it becomes clear I’ll do just about anything to convince her to stay.
This was my first time reading one of Siobhan’s books, and it was definitely long overdue!
The Sorceress of Song and Flame follows Matsuko, an autistic audiologist as she’s transported to a fantasy world after a spell goes wrong. She rolls with the punches, though, and adjusts to both her new environment and her powers like a badass. This is a heroine I could get behind, and I really enjoyed reading her adventure and watching her come into her own. Matsuko is strong, resourceful, and quick-witted – all things I love in leading ladies! Her partner in crime is Arach, a dragonkin denizen of the fantasy world as fascinated by Matsuko as she is by her new surroundings. He’s definitely a hero worthy of going toe to toe with Matsuko, and as dashing a rogue as they come.
Siobhan expertly splits the story into their points of view, giving us all the world building we need woven seamlessly into Arach’s inner monologue (without seeming like exposition) while retaining the wonder of being somewhere new and unfamiliar with Matsuko. My only complaint (and the reason it doesn’t get a full 5 stars) is that the ending was told from Arach’s point of view, when I really would have liked to see more of Matsuko’s thoughts at the end, rather than watching her through him. That, and I wish the story was a bit longer. Overall, this was a really good, fun, sexy read that I’ll find myself coming back to.