I received this book at no cost from the publisherBallad & Dagger (Outlaw Saints, #1) by Daniel José Older
Published by Rick Riordan Presents on May 3, 2022
I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the BALLAD & DAGGER by Daniel José Older Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!
About The Book:
Title: BALLAD & DAGGER (Outlaw Saints #1)
Author: Daniel José Older
Pub. Date: May 3, 2022
Publisher: Rick Riordan Presents
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle, Audible, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD, Bookshop.org
Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents Daniel José Older’s music-and-magic-filled YA urban fantasy about two teens who discover each other and their powers during a political battle within a unique diaspora community.
Almost sixteen years ago, Mateo Matisse’s island homeland disappeared into the sea. Weary and hopeless, the survivors of San Madrigal’s sinking escaped to New York.
While the rest of his tight-knit Brooklyn diaspora community dreams of someday finding a way back home, Mateo–now a high school junior and piano prodigy living with his two aunts (one who’s alive, the other not so much)–is focused on one thing: getting the attention of locally-grown musical legend Gerval. Mateo finally gets his chance on the night of the Grand Fete, an annual party celebrating the blended culture of pirates, Cuban Santeros, and Sephardic Jews that created San Madrigal all those centuries ago.
But the evil that sank their island has finally caught up with them, and on the night of the celebration, Mateo’s life is forever changed when he witnesses a brutal murder by a person he thought he knew.
Suddenly Mateo is thrust into an ancient battle that spans years and oceans. Deadly secrets are unraveled and Mateo awakens a power within himself–a power that not only links him to the killer but could also hold the key to unlocking the dark mystery behind his lost homeland.
From the author of the award-winning Shadowshaper Cypher series comes the first novel in the Outlaw Saints duology–a brilliant story that will transport readers to a world where magic, myth, and gods reign over the streets of Brooklyn.
I have never been disappointed with an Older book – this one had a slow start for me, but it ended up being a page-turner – a sort of murder mystery steeped in magic and music. Once you get through the world-building that is free-flowing and full of gorgeous descriptions of the long-gone island of San Madrigal, Mateo is now in a neighborhood of New York called Little Madrigal where he works on his music and tries to stay out of any drama in his small enclave. When he sees his crush, Chela, murder someone, he is sent spiraling. He then discovers that he is the new incarnation of destroyer god Okanla, and is to set a course to revive the island of San Madrigal.
OK, even though I hate it when authors don’t end a story properly, I knew this was coming – this is the first half of a duology and then the world-building and slow build makes more sense. This is really a fun read that took me into a new world so I could lose myself. The dialogue is spot on and lovely to read. I sort of wish that this wasn’t just a duology since it turned out so well.
Daniel José Older is a New York Times best-selling author and story architect. He has published fourteen novels and numerous short stories and essays, and he is a regular comics writer for Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures and Marvel. He won the International Latino Book Award and has been a finalist for the Kirkus Prize, the Mythopoeic Award, the Locus Award, the Andre Norton Award, and the World Fantasy Award. You can find his thoughts on writing, read dispatches from his decade-long career as an NYC paramedic, and hear his music at http://danieljoseolder.net, as well as on YouTube, @djolder on Twitter, @danieljose1 on Instagram, and @danieljoseolder on TikTok. He and his family live in New Orleans.
1 winner will receive a finished copy of BALLAD & DAGGER, US Only.
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