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Sing Me Home: Susan Jane Bigelow’s The Demon Girl’s Song
I love a good travel adventure story, especially one where the author manages to do a lot of world building but doesn’t spend entire chapters describing the genus of trees in one particular region. I don’t need that much detail.
Thankfully, there are authors like Susan Jane Bigelow, who knows how to keep the story flowing and create a wide, varied world for her fully-realized characters to inhabit. Such is the case with The Demon Girl’s Song.
Now, I don’t know about you, but there are enough random voices bouncing around inside my head at any given moment that I wouldn’t at all be surprised to find out I’ve been sharing headspace with a demon for years. But, y’know, maybe that’s just me. All I know is Andín, our protagonist who has a desire to learn and see the world, was not at all prepared for the arrival of a foreign (and demonic) entity all up in her brain, sharing its memories and knowledge and magic and demanding to be taken to the palace so it can be the emperor again (oh, right, this demon had been the emperor of her country for the past 1,000 years, head-hopping his way from one ruler to the next). Things go terribly wrong from there, Andín and her unwelcome guest are exiled, and they begin a journey that takes them on a virtual tour of the surrounding countries in search of a way out of their predicament and maybe, if the ghost of a thousand-year-old warrior woman is right, a way to save the world.
Along the way, Andín meets a vast host of allies and enemies, falls in love with the young wife of a foreign diplomat, and gets caught up in a race against time and the collapse of the world as she knows it. I don’t want to spoil too much, because this book is definitely worth reading for yourself. I will say it’s nice to see a lesbian relationship treated as something of value in and of itself, not just something used for titillation or shock value. It seems very genuine and sweet, and the sex is implied more than described (there are a couple of references talented fingers, but that’s about as racy and risqué as it gets).
Overall, I cannot recommend this book enough. The ending made me cry, in a good way, and I would love to see more of Andín’s adventures. Maybe if we all ask really nicely, Ms. Bigelow will write some more of them for us.
Five Pulse Points, ‘cause this book was my jam.