Soul Song Paperback – Large Print, Mar 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
In her newest Dirk & Steele novel, Liu introduces fiddle player Kitala Bell, cursed with the ability to foresee people's deaths, and merman M'Cal, slave to a soul-stealing witch. When M'Cal's cruel master orders M'Cal to steal Kitala's soul, he's loathe to carry through with it but can't stop himself—or the witch. Unsuspecting Kit, meanwhile, has gotten herself in dutch with some local criminals while trying to help a girl she's sure will be murdered. By the time M'Cal catches up with Kit, he's forced into the role of rescuer—and, before long, red-hot lover. Though it starts slow—as clueless Kit must become acquainted with the author's paranormal underworld—Liu's latest is a clever, finely constructed take on the Little Mermaid story and delivers great paranormal suspense. Though the love story lacks complexity, and the Dirk & Steele detectives play only a peripheral part, all the other elements Liu fans expect—a strong heroine, a damaged hero, sharp dialogue and funny, fanciful details—are well-represented, making this a satisfying return to her universe. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
*Starred Review* World-renowned-violinist Kitala Bell is blessed with the gift to produce otherworldly music and cursed to foresee the violent deaths of others. She shuns her visions, protecting her sanity against the pain, until one woman's fate compels her to intervene. Kit now faces an all-too-imminent death until M'Cal steps out of the darkness and unleashes a song of destruction on her attackers, a song that calls to the melodies in her mind. Even in her mystical world, he is unlike anything she has known. A man imprisoned by past mistakes, forced to hunt her for his own captor, yet equally compelled to keep her safe. The boundlessness of Liu's imagination never ceases to amaze; her ability to translate that imagination into a lyrical work of art never ceases to impress. This tale is a symphony of lush imagery, harmonizing subplots, and the wounded souls of her characters. M'Cal especially sets the tone as the reader sees him at his worst at the beginning, and falls instantly in love with him. Davis, Nina C. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Kitala's father was a white man and her mother was a black woman from Lousianna. Kit's grandma, Jazz, was and is a powerful voodoo priestess. Death has only strengthened her powers to protect her beloved granddaughter. Kit has her own unique powers she can see the murders that will take place and how they are committed on the faces of the living. She is a concert violinist and travels not only to play but escape the knowledge she has of the deaths that are to come.
M'cal's father is a Merman and his mother was human. His father is one of the few who possess the ability to soul sing, either to help or to destroy. Even tho he is of mixed heritage M'cal has inherited this ability. He is also enslaved by a witch, one that he thought he was in love with. She has stolen his powers and forces him to steal souls and bring them to her in order for her to retain her youth. Now she wants Kit and sends him to procure her soul.
Kit sees a woman at her concert who is to be murdered and even knowing that she will not be able to save the woman, she tries to warn her. Suddenly she and the woman and her uncle are attacked and kiddnapped. M'cal sees the attack and ultimately saves Kit. She touchs him in a soul deep way with her music and her face. He manages to free her and send her away with the warning that if he sees her again the witch will force him to take her soul.
The rest of the book is a wonderful ride and of course Dirk and Steele, the agency come to the rescue. Kit is a friend of Del who married Hari, the shapechanger from TIGER EYE. I enjoyed this book very much and as with all her books you never know where they will lead. Do not miss it.
Kitala has more talent than her music, but it's not something she welcomes - she can see how people are going to die. Her grandmother, a powerful voodoo priestess, tried to teach her how to handle her powers, but Kitala wanted to live in denial, and when her grandmother died, she lost her chance to learn. Despite the fact that she does know she can't do anything to save the people she sees, when she sees a young woman with a knife in her eye in the audience of her Vancouver concert, she tries to warn her. For her pains she gets tangled up in a web of human trafficking with two corrupt cops on her tail. The only thing standing between her and them is the man who saved her, the man who fascinates her...the man who is under compulsion to kill her.
There's something absolutely heady about this love story - on the run together, knowing that at any moment, the compulsion on M'Cal might kick in and he'll end up killing the woman he's falling in love with, but Kitala trusting him all the same, a testament to the core of his honor that the witch could never touch. It's love on a knife edge, as you see often in romantic suspense, but M'Cal and Kitala connect so deeply through the music in their souls that you know once the knife edge is gone, they'll still be together. M'Cal's situation helps Kitala connect with the full source of her powers, and Kitala's trust in M'Cal enables him to wake up to his situation, to the fact that his resistance to the witch was almost gone, and gives him the courage to fight anew. Together they're stronger than they ever were alone. They trust each other, they redeem each other, and it's simply beautiful.
This series just gets better and better with each book. Though M'Cal and Kitala are not core Dirk & Steele players, I would still advise new readers to start with TIGER EYE and read the series in order -- even with having read the prior books, I had to remind myself of some of the backstory. That way you can keep up with the tightly complex world Ms. Liu is building, plus you get to read several more wonderful books - it's a win-win.
Ms. Liu has created a convincing world that in turn hides and reveals mysteries of myth and magic. Shape-shifters, mermen, voodoo priestesses all hide in plain sight to find, guide and and sustain others of their kind. In this particular offering M'Cal and Kit are determined to rescue another caught up in a titanic struggle against a seething, rapacious evil waiting for a chance to invade our world. Like her other couples, Ms. Liu has created a hero tortured and tormented, trying to hold on to what honor he can. Her heroine, while stunned to find herself in the middle of a fairy tale, is not afraid to wade in and kick butt. I love the fact that Ms. Liu's characters are not conflicted about using violence to counter violence. Dialogue exchanges between characters is by turns hilarious and revealing. And it is always a pleasure to check in with former characters to see how they are doing.
Although not necessary, it is helpful to have read the previous novels in this series. I highly recommend this book to all of Ms. Liu's fans and to anyone wanting to check out her universe.
The novel itself follows M'cal a merman, with the power to destroy, or give life with his voice, who is enslaved by a witch, and Kitala Bell, a world renown fiddler, who has also inherited many of her Grandmother Jazz Marie's powers (namely seeing people who are going to die violently). Together Kitala and M'cal work to free a young woman who has been kidnapped from her evil captors, and to free M'cal from his enslavement to the witch who holds his soul.
The book is well written. The first couple of chapters are a bit slow, but the pace picks up quickly after that. And while I would have liked to have reconnected with more of the Dirk & Steele crew, I was pleased to see Koni had a larger part that usual. A definite must have for anyone who likes Marjorie's books. This one will be going on my keeper shelf.Soul Song (Dirk & Steele, Book 6)