Soundless by Richelle Mead
Expected publication: November 10, 2015
From Richelle Mead, the #1 internationally bestselling author of Vampire Academy and Bloodlines, comes a breathtaking new fantasy steeped in Chinese folklore.
For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining. Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.
When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the people she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation.
But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon.
Richelle Mead takes readers on a triumphant journey from the peak of Fei’s jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiugo, where a startling truth and an unlikely romance will change her life forever...
Beautiful and enchanting!
Richelle Mead has proven once again that she can captivate her audience with powerful characters and an enchanting tale of love, hope and bit a magic!
Fei comes from a village that’s tucked away high up in the mountains where her people have been surrounded by silence for generations. Not only have they lost the ability to hear, but have also become dependent on the provisions provided by the township at the bottom of the mountain via a flimsy zip line after an avalanche blocked their path to climb down the dangerous terrain.
Fei and her sister Zhang Jing both hold prestigious positions as artists where they capture the daily occurrences of their village on canvas. There are others in her village that don’t have such coveted opportunities, including the miners that excavate metals used to barter for goods.
A shift begins to happen in her village, where people begin to lose their sight, including Fei’s sister Zhang Jing. Fei knows she must do something to help her people and save her sister from losing her position as an artist. Her opportunity arises when she mysteriously regains her hearing, and she along with her distanced friend Li Wei take a chance to climb down the mountain for help.
Mead did a masterful job of weaving an intricate tale that blended fantasy and folklore to create a story I won’t soon forget. I loved the main character Fei because she reminded me of Mead’s other heroines that possess strength, quiet determination and courage. Fei will definitely rank at the top of my list of favorite female characters!
I also enjoyed the narrative that allowed me to clearly depict the setting and steady events of the story. I could clearly picture the landscape, artwork and mythical creatures that were vital elements to this novel. Mead also did a stand-up job weaving a story where the characters didn’t rely on sound to communicate or survive. To communicate what a soundless society would look and feel like is a complicated task, and Mead achieved her goal beautifully.
The romance aspect of Soundless was perfectly crafted! It was never a primary focus of the novel, but Fei and Li Wei still captured my heart with their backstory and ultimate connection. I loved these two characters as individuals and a pair!
As a standalone, Soundless covers a lot of ground that leaves the reader feeling like they traveled back to an undetermined time and journeyed with worthy characters as they struggled and fought to save their people. Amazing story that should not be missed!
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