The Hush by Skye Melki-Wegner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“There were creatures in the Hush, creatures of twisted magic, formed from the remnants of real-world sorcery. The Hush was a dumping ground for the leftovers. The residual, dregs of Music and broken tunes …”
A musician traveling with his fiddle, and searching for his father, enters the town of Hamlin. Pegasi patrol the skies. He hopes the locals will like his music enough, he’ll be able to eat that night, and he sets up in the local saloon. Never expecting what would happen when he plays the fiddle, that his music would touch the Song, and he’d be arrested. He didn’t mean to, but he was a natural, raised in the slums by his father. Only Songshapers were supposed to sense the tune of things in a physical way.
Chester is doomed, sentenced to death. The resident Songshaper explains his sentence, while locked behind bars, preparing to be hung. Chester feels music in the stone walls, in the slivers of wood, but there’s no way out. He doesn’t understand how his music connected to Music so quickly. It’s a crime for the untrained in the Song to use it.
Chester stands ready with the executioner, confused about how he got to this point, and the blade comes down, but he’s suddenly someplace else, and not in front of a horde of townspeople ready to watch him die. It’s dark, and he’s with the older teen who requested that difficult song, back at the saloon, the song that got him arrested, and now he’s helping Chester escape. They travel through the Hush, and it’s rife with Echos, and other twisted sorts of magic. Chester meets the others teens in the Nightfall Gang. The legendary gang, who steals from the rich and gives to the poor, he hopes they can help find his father, but they need Chester, and the trials begin.
An absorbing and beautifully imaginative world, a musical fantasy like none I’ve read before. The characters deal with tough knocks and adventure at every turn, inventing and utilizing fascinating magic devices and inventions.
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