"Many people, myself among them, feel better at the mere sight of a book.”
Syphon’s Song is the first book of the Mayflower Mages series by Anise Rae. I first heard of this series when I received an ARC of Echanter’s Echo. It is the second book of this series and even though each book can be read as a standalone, I wanted to read Syphon’s Song first. I really liked this book. It did not blow me away but it was an enjoyable read.
This book is about “Bronte Casteel [who] hasn’t spoken to her family in thirteen years, not since they exiled her from society for her lack of mage power. But she’s a syphon mage, able drain another mage’s power. Syphons’ destinies are always the same: death by fiery stake. She hides her secret by living among the Nons--powerless humans and the lowest class in the Republic. When her family orders her to go plead for the [Casteel patriarch’s dead] body’s return, she comes face to face with the one man who knows her secret.” (Goodreads)
The story starts out strong. The reader gets thrown into the story right away but Rae manages to explain the whole mage system and to continue the story without losing the reader to confusion. Even though you can tell that Rae put much thought into the history and culture of this America, everything is explained so easily that it just makes sense. Rae did a great job with that.
The story itself is kind of a mix between a crime book (dead body leaves the question who was the murderer), a political book (terrorist attacks and fights for staying the strongest political family) and a romance book (of course…). I have to say, while I loved the first two things, I could have done with less of the last thing. I do not mind a good romance in a story but, unfortunately, it went a little overboard in this one. The beginning and the end of book were the best parts. That was when the story centered on solving the murder and who was behind the terrorist attacks. In the middle, Bronte and Vincent’s love story takes over with all their problems. While I liked that they already had a common history and the feelings were not new, I got a little bit bored with Bronte’s “I want to but I can’t”. I started to skip over some parts and that is always a bad sign for me.
The main characters of Syphon’s Song are alright. I liked Bronte at the beginning a lot better than at the end. She starts out so fierce and head-strong but ends up being a little whiny, helpless chicken. I do not know who the real Bronte is because those two sides do not really fit together. Vincent, on the other hand, does not change much but he seems a little lifeless to me. I could not really connect to him. I know he is supposed to be this charming prince, who does everything to save Bronte but at times I could not understand his motivations. I found Edmund, Vincent’s brother, a lot more interesting. I am looking forward to finding out more about him in Enchanter’s Echo.
In the end, Syphon’s Song is a well-written book that I enjoyed but did not love. I am curious what the second book will be like and I will continue this series. I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a light read with a magical touch in it.