Naidin and his twin brother are supposed to be on a supervised journey, making ready for their adulthood. However, a flooded river put paid to that plan, and they found themselves in a human enclave, unescorted and with members of their own people trying to have them exiled – the permanent way. When Naidin’s brother is assassinated, and a pure-blood elf comes into town who he finds entirely too drawn to, Naidin decides to make a break for his people’s settlement, regardless of the risks.
J’nae Rae Spano’s Naidin’s Song: Blood Bound is a fast-paced young adult fantasy novella, offering elements of a rich background story and a well-developed main character. This was one of the few novellas I’ve read recently that felt as if it was constrained by the length; some aspects of the plot were introduced a little abruptly, and I felt that the background merited more development in context to support the characters’ interactions, but the basic story was strong and compelling. Some of Ariena’s reactions seemed a little odd for a being out of her own time by a substantial amount, but Naidin’s mourning for his brother was particularly well-written, and the adventure segment, overall, held together nicely and kept my interest throughout. Definitely a story worth the read; short, suspenseful, and with hints of more to come.
(reviewed 70 days after purchase)