New Read: Taboo

Taboo

On Sunday my father and I fought our way through the snow to my grandfather’s house. After a large delicious roast dinner I settled myself down in front of the fire with my kindle in the mood to lose myself in a fantasy tale. With that in mind I took a mooch through my to-be-read folder for a relatively short fantasy book, and I came across Taboo by Tara Maya the second instalment of The Unfinished Song series. This is a darker fantasy series I started reading last year but seem to have forgotten about since.

Taboo is the second instalment of The Unfinished Song series. This post may contain spoilers for the previous instalment.

Taboo continues to follow the lives of the young Dindi and Kavio. Dindi has survived her initiation test but has failed to show she has magic. This means no more dancing for Dindi she is now expected to train as a maiden in the art of cookery, collecting, and cleaning all the skills she will need for the role of wife and mother. Meanwhile Kavio is no longer seen as an outcast, after saving the lives of Dindi and her fellow initiates Kavio has now been promoted to leader of the Yellow Bear warriors. This new home and position could be lost though if Kavio cannot find a way to bring peace between the Yellow Bear and the Blue Water clans. Even though Dindi and Kavio come from completely different spectrums within the clan their lives seem inexplicable entwined for good or bad.

Dindi and Kavio both continued to take turns in narrating the story in Taboo which I enjoyed because I feel they are both like-able characters, and it means we get to hear from a male and female perspective. Unlike Initiate though Taboo had more than two narrators. Maya added the voices of Brenna a female Tavaedi dancer from the Yellow Bear clan and Rthan her slave husband from the Blue Water clan. I really liked the addition of these narrators because I thought they brought a whole new dimension to the story.

I love the setting of The Unfinished Song. Unlike a lot of fantasy this series is not set in a medieval setting instead Maya based her writing on a Polynesian myth and choose a stone age style setting for it all. I think the concept of faeries, magic, warriors, clans, hut villages, tradition, canoes and stone monuments all worked perfectly together. The only thing that broke me out of my magical revelry during Taboo was the use of language. I never noticed in Initiate but in Taboo there were a few times the language used sounded too modern for the setting in my opinion. This was a minor problem though which didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story.

Taboo was a thoroughly enjoyable fantasy adventure which I couldn’t put down. I recommend The Unfinished Song series to those interested in darker fantasy. There is violent and sexual content so not recommended for younger readers. I am looking forward to reading the next instalment Sacrifice which is already waiting on my kindle.

I received a free copy of Taboo from the author in return for my honest opinion.

Are you reading The Unfinished Song series? Are you a fan of darker fantasy?

Previous instalments of The Unfinished Song series:
1. Initiate

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4 thoughts on “New Read: Taboo

  1. I think it’s so difficult for an author to achieve multiple voices without them all starting to blend in so I really appreciate that style when it’s well done – which it sounds like it was here.
    This sounds really good. I must make a note of it.
    Thanks
    Lynn 😀

    1. Yes I agree Lynn multiple voices can be hard to get right. I think Maya got it right by starting with the two main characters, then added extra voices later when the world and story was well established.
      Lynn if you manage to give this series a go I hope you enjoy it too 🙂

  2. Glad you’re continuing to enjoy the series. The setting is an interesting element here, because whilst the medieval concept is popular (it wouldn’t be used otherwise) it can make fantasy stories seem very similar, and there are so many more eras to choose from. It sounds as though Maya did her research and added the information, too, which is great. I’ve read quite a few books recently where the language hasn’t been quite right. Authors do need to get it right, but I have wondered if there’s a wish on their part to make the story more relevant to modern times and it’s just the wrong decision – because so many do it you’d think it would’ve been “caught” by now.

    1. Oh yes Charlie I love a medieval setting as much as anyone but it is really refreshing when a writer chooses a little used time period.
      As for the language I could understand sometimes slightly modernised language in the descriptions as it helps a modern audience relate to the story. The issue for me is when the characters use the modern language which breaks the mood. It was only a few slip ups in this book though.

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