The Song Rising is the third book in Samantha Shannon’s The Bone Season series. When the first book came out Shannon was compared to JK Rowling and many press releases said that her books would be more popular and influential than The Hunger Games. She was 21. I don’t know about you but at 21 I was hardly mature enough to be allowed into public, no less sign a six figure book deal. When I discovered this series in 2015 I was hooked and have waited for two years for the third installment to be released. Folks, I was not disappointed.
The Song Rising picks up precisely where The Mime Order, the second installment, left off. Paige Mahoney is the newly appointed head of an underground faction of clairvoyants in Scion London. Many among them feel that she unfairly took the title from her previous mentor, Jaxon Hall, and that she doesn’t deserve the crown. Despite the unrest among them, Paige is determined to unite all the clairvoyants of London against Scion and bring the corrupt government to it’s knees. This would free Paige and those like her from their years of being viewed as lesser beings, not worthy of respect, and help lead them to the path to freedom instead of suffocating oppression.
Scion is introducing a new level of that oppression in the form of a portable scanning device that easily allows their foot soldiers to reliably identify four types of clairvoyants. This device could bring Paige and her followers to it’s knees if it is not somehow stopped. Despite the unrest within her Mime Order, Paige and a group of trusted voyants set off out of London in an attempt to stop the scanners from being put into use. No leader within their order has ever left London before and more voyants seem to be losing their trust and patience with Paige’s reign. She has urged them underground, literally into the sewers, in an effort to keep them shielded from the scanners that would quickly end their lives. Despite the fact that she is trying to help them she has become immensely unpopular.
She and her small group depart London with a seemingly impossible task. Their dangerous quest will lead them from London and into Manchester then on to what was formerly Scotland. In true Paige form, nothing goes quite as planned but she never gives up despite the immense weight of what she has to do. As a female lead she is everything I look for. Strong but not without fault. She thinks forward to what the future could be instead of just accepting her circumstances. Paige has a defined goal and set of principles that she isn’t willing to give up. She truly is one of the best leading female characters I have ever read.
Alright, in a nutshell I adored this book. I think it is easily the best of the series out so far. Yes, it is the shortest of the three but there is so much going on, so much action that it is impossible to care about the length. I have never rooted so hard for a group of fictional characters in my life. The end was both painful and optimistic. While the story is obviously ongoing most of the story lines within the book were wrapped up nicely before moving on. I appreciate that. I hate when I get to the end of a book that I know will have a sequel and there are too many plot lines in the wind. Some sense of closure is needed even though the story itself is nowhere at an end. I can’t wait to see what Shannon comes up with next for these characters.