Song of Simon

Song of SimonSong of Simon by C.A. Sanders
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Song of Simon began as a slow read for me. I could relate to Simon as an outcast sort of character with a terrible home life but I found it hard to like him much. It wasn’t until Simon is “drawn into the land of Algavar” that my attention was truly engaged.

The world Simon is delivered unto is one of impressive depth and breadth. Sanders has spent considerable time in his world building, giving us a world populated by at least four religions, human and non-human populations, as well as mythical beings known as the Old Ones. Algavar’s history is vivid in Sanders’ writing, his intimate familiarity with back story and events leading up to Simon’s introduction into the story more than apparent. He gives us a fully articulated world through which he puts Simon, a musically inclined young man reluctant to embrace what sets him apart, through his developmental paces.

Sanders’ attention to detail is exquisite, his imaginative take on the genre most appreciated. Song of Simon is a story worth reading and thanking Sanders’ for sharing it.

Some positive notable mentions:

• The cover art for the book is excellent and sets the scene and tone of expectation perfectly.

• I was enchanted by the Old Gods and what other stories Sanders may have to offer, if any, revolving around this aspect of his wonderfully imagined, designed and executed world. The Ghillie Dhu, Dash, the Voden, the Grugach, the Stag, Salmon, Wolf and others were the highlight of the book for me. The Ratlings are probably the most gruesome foe I’ve ever encountered in a story – one I never hope to encounter again. The Wolfbrothers come in a close second. *primal shudder* Simon’s story, his musicality and use of it was wonderful but I’d love to plunge deeper into Algavar itself.

Some negative notables:
The text frequently changes tense. For instance:
• Page 6: Iris returned to her bottle, leaving Simon on the bed, tears welling in his eyes. She has not spoken to him since. (Should be “She had not spoken to him since.”)
This happens in quite a few more places so Sanders is encouraged to have an editor take a another look for tense consistency.

There are also a few places where the scene changes but there are no indicators.
Page 37 into 38:
Murosa twitched her whiskers. “We will tell the Orens.”
Balensis frowned, but Murosa continued. “Then we raid the farm.
They are ours to take.”
Balensis and Murosa disappeared into the darkness. (scene cut should be here)
A bruised Simon found his way to Gibron’s chambers. They were larger than Simon figured. Dusty books and empty pots of ink thickly lined the walls (missing period) He had a crudely-built desk stacked with more books and a simple bed in the corner. For the most part, everything was up against a wall. There was a large amount of room in the center, carpeted with wooden lattice.

Page 159:
Slen returned to his quarters. He hoped that the Queen of Love and Beauty contacted him soon. He finally had some good news. (scene cut indicator should be here)
With Ilyana awake again, the travelers were once again ready to travel.

Page 159:
Murosa was ready for more blood. (scene cut should be here)
Jaym opened his eyes and stared at the darkened ceiling. It was the dead of night, and the only light came from the fire barely burning in the hearth.

General editing misses:
Page 94:
The trio continued to follow the River Tadish to the west. They were about four days east of the frontier town of Solitude, where they could rest, resupply, and find some Most considered Solitude the border where the civilized lands of Gil ended and the wild lands began. (Incomplete sentence: what do they find?)

Page 144:
He landed nimbly onto the flat campsite and drew a dagger. He was all shadows and breeze, creepy closer to the furred bodies lying around the flyer. (creeping closer)

Page 296:
“I’ve killed so many people, Dash,” he said one day. “I’ve cut them and stabbed them and I blew up a freakin’ god on them. Everywhere I go I bring destruction. I just want to be left along.” (alone)

Page 301:
Lara, the girl he gave his innocence too. (to)

Song of Simon earns a rating of 4 stars out of 5. I enjoyed the book a great deal but the editing misses were enough to detract from the story.

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