Elected as the Songstress, Aria takes her place on the sacred platform to sing before every dawn. As long as she does so, peace and abundant life belong to her people. One morning, amidst a strange wind that brings with it a curse in its eerie howl, Aria loses her ability to make music. But the encroaching death that transpires isn’t her biggest tragedy. It’s that she adores the cause of her blunder, for he’s a magnificent winged creature who’s stolen more than her voice.
What a pleasurable find this novella was! Tessa Stockton’s craft is both musical and fantastical. Wind’s Aria contains a rich mythology and, again, I felt swept away by her world building and lyrical prose (Three things that always earn high marks in my reviews). I believed the world she created. The beauty of the words drew me in, and I love descriptions that are as a much a pleasure to read as to recite out loud. This story MUST be released on audio.
I especially liked Aria and Chimna’s relationship, their banter, and the way Chimna expressed a fatherly affection for her. This is a heroine caught in a dilemma. She is attracted to a demon-like creature who acts in opposition to her life’s purpose. She makes mistakes because of this attraction, and she suffers believable consequences for her actions. Aria drew me in. I rooted for her and was invested in her story, how she grappled with her challenges as her relationship with the winged creature developed.
I like the titles Stockton gave to each chapter, which gave the novella, as a whole, a cohesion sort of similar to what we find in the Hero’s Journey (studied and documented by Joseph Campbell and Jean Houston). I am always compelled by that adventure: what does the hero/ine learn, how does s/he change or transcend the world, and what (if anything) does s/he bring back to the people? Stockton’s story contains some morals, but I didn’t feel like I was hit over the head with them.
The essence of Wind’s Aria is a romantic folktale balanced by sections of intimate deep point of view. Stockton skillfully mixes the two. A real treat. Look forward to reading more of her work. I give this four and a half stars.