Title: Song of the Mountain
Author: Michelle Isenhoff
Series: Mountain Trilogy #1
Song aches to know about his family. His parents have died, and he lives with his grandfather, who refuses to speak of them. But without knowing his past, how can Song know his future? Then a dragon shows up, and Song realizes there is more to both his past and his future than he ever expected . . .
I really liked this. The story is set in an alternate historical China (with bits of fantasy, such as a fire-breathing dragon). The setting builds in a natural way, and the description never stalls describing things that would be unfamiliar to a Western audience. Instead it’s all presented as Song experiences it.
Song himself is interesting in a couple of ways. His focus on wanting to know his own history is understandable, but it’s also unique because he feels he doesn’t have a future without knowing his family history. It’s less a personal grief and more of a cultural expectation. That said, he’s also the only one making a big deal of it. The villagers may or may not care about their own ancestors, but Song isn’t close enough to any of them for a direct comparison.
I’m not sure what to make of Nori’s ending. I don’t quite believe what Song believes actually happened, and I don’t have much sympathy for her in any case. At least Song comes to his senses about her sooner rather than later.
Overall this is a somewhat short read but a good one. I rate this book Recommended.