In the slums of BrightStone, Moon Children are worth less than the scrap they must collect to survive. It doesn’t matter that these abandoned half-breeds are part-Meridian with their ancestors hailing from the technologically advanced city that floats above the once-thriving, now plague-ridden BrightStone. Instead they are rejected by both their ancestral societies and forced to live on the outskirts of civilization, joining clans simply to survive. Not to mention their role as Tithe, leading the city’s infected citizens deep into the Pits where their disease can be controlled.
Nineteen-year-old Raggy Maggy is no different, despite the mysterious heart-shaped panel that covers her chest. Or at least she wasn’t… Not until her chance discovery of a Meridian-built clockwork dragon—and its murdered owner. When the Inquestors policing the city find Maggy at the scene of the crime, she quickly turns into their prime suspect. Now she’s all anyone can talk about. Even her clan leader turns his back on her, leading her to rely on an exiled doctor and a clanless Moon Child named Ghost to keep her hidden. In return, all she has to do is help them find a cure for the plague they believe was not exactly accidental. Yet doing so might mean risking more than just her life. It also might be the only key to uncovering the truth about the parents—and the past—she knows nothing about.
Worldbuilding: I really enjoyed the blend of dystopian fantasy world – the floating Meridion over BrightStone, the Warrens slums pretty much with poor Moon Children clans – with steampunk elements (dragonlet, clockwork heart, anyone? xD). It’s a great setting and a very promising society structure, ripe with tension.
Characters: Maggy was fun and bubbly, in a way, despite the horrible conditions she so adeptly navigated. The very idea of her tender, loyal clockwork heart is beyond awesome.
I really enjoyed her together with Sparrow (sniffle), and Lucian and Ghost aren’t bad either. There’s a lot of promise there, which I know I’m saying a lot, but I am SO not spoiling your read by giving details, lol!
I also have a feeling the clockwork dragon Maggy found will become a more significant part of the story, based on my experience of Allison Pang’s flair for adorable and a bit naughty sidekicks (I will always fondly remember Phin, the pervy little snarky thing xDDD).
Plot: The story is full of tension and emotion, as Maggie struggles to survive in a pretty hostile world. I like the mystery of the rot and where it might lead (again, potential, I know 😛 ). There’s heartbreak and resilience at the core of it all, and they make for engaging reading for sure.
Writing: First person, present tense narrative, Mag’s POV. Kind of Irish(ish) accent to her voice, or so it seemed to me, and I really enjoyed her sense of humor.
Curb Appeal: Awesome cover, hooking blurb – impulsive buy material for my NA fantasy moods, with bonus points for author name since I loved her Abby Sinclair series xD
I recommend Magpie’s Song to fans of dystopian slum survivor fantastic stories with interesting twists, of steampunk elements, and spunky heroines.