New Read: Root


After a glorious bank holiday weekend last week the rain has now returned to the UK. Finding myself inside again I was happy to lose myself in the exotic world of Root by Tara Maya the fourth instalment of The Unfinished Song series. This is a darker fantasy series I started reading last year but until January I seemed to have forgotten all about it. Earlier this year I polished off the second and third instalments and I was ever so lucky to get my hands on more instalments straight away. I am very glad this is a series I have rekindled my interest in.

Root is the fourth instalment of The Unfinished Song series. This post may contain spoilers for the previous instalments.

Root continues to follow the exciting, dangerous, and unpredictable life of the young girl Dindi. After surviving a gruelling test Dindi has had her life spared and is now allowed to dance with her clan’s Tavaedi group even though she doesn’t possess magic. This is small consolation as Dindi is required to return to her home with her clan folk after losing the man she loves. There is one thing Dindi clings onto and that is the secret that in fact she does have magic. Other’s can’t view this magic because long ago a curse was placed upon her bloodline which Dindi must discover how to break if she ever hopes to reach her dreams. However there is someone  who can sense her magic. He is a dark, mysterious, and dangerous man who is to bring death and war down upon Dindi and her clan folk in the pursuit of her.

Dindi’s teacher, friend, and love interest Kavio was sadly missing from this instalment leaving Dindi to narrate the majority of Root. Kavio was mentioned but his story line was never viewed. I really hope we will return to him in later instalments because I thought the relationship between the two protagonists was really good. It was however quite refreshing to focus in on Dindi as she progresses in maturity and strength. Maya also included the voices of Kemla and Tamio two ambitious Tavaedi dancers who have a bit of sexual tension going on, the faerie born White Lady who is on the run, and the dangerous man in black who is hunting both the White Lady and Dindi herself. I really liked the addition of these narrators because I thought they brought different dimensions 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 works perfectly together. Other than a few typos I thought Maya’s style, language, and story flowed really well and I didn’t notice the use of any too modern sounding language to break me out from my magical revelry.

Root was a thoroughly enjoyable dark 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 in this series so not recommended for younger readers. I have the next instalments Wing and Blood waiting for me on my kindle. I can’t wait to read them.

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

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

Previous instalments of The Unfinished Song series:
1. Initiate
2. Taboo
3. Sacrifice

I’m counting Root as Fantasy for Once Upon a Time VII hosted by Carl V @ Stainless Steal Droppings.


4 thoughts on “New Read: Root

  1. Wow, a stone-agey settings sounds so great; the whole book sounds pretty awesome. I guess I’ll have to read the first three in the series soon to get here! Nice review.

  2. Glad it’s continuing to be a good series. Interesting that new narrators are included four books in, you’d think that wouldn’t work, but from what you’ve said it adds a freshness. It does sound a series where there is lots to discover about the world. I like dark fantasy but haven’t read much of it.

    1. Thank you Charlie. This is an interesting series. Maya always keeps Dindi and Kavio as the main narrators, but they are always interspersed with other characters who are particularly relevant to which ever book it is. So you get continuation as well as freshness. I think this technique works really well.

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