I am often reminded of one of my favorite books by a song that I am listening to that is particularly evocative, or vice versa. It happens quite often and I thought I would share a few of them and why.
The song “The Fruits” is particularly powerful. It starts out as a folksy ballad about love, and devolves into something darker. It mentions original sin and going down and taking them with you. It you haven’t read The Handmaid’s Tale or seen the TV show, it reminds me of June’s power.
“The Women Song” is an ode to woman, mothers, daughters, sisters, wives and The Wolf of Orren Yarro is all about a mother’s strength to endure what needs to be endured to save her son and the empire. Both the song and the novel are pure strength.
Ring Shout is a young woman battling racist supernatural forces. Leonard Cohen’s “You Want it Darker” has the lines, “You want it darker. We Kill the flame.” Maryse is violent, she will face these supernatural forces that are a canker open the soul of America.
The Gray Bastards is a grimdark wild story of half orcs, riding giant boars into the fray. They are wild, violent and unrelenting. Much like the tone of this song.
“Immigrant Song” is a no brainer when paired with The Shadows of the Gods. The Shadow of the Gods is a norse inspired fantasy with a dark grimdark heart. ‘Immigrant Song” is a group of viking shouting into the wild sky.
This is five of the many songs that remind me of novels I have the joy of reading and are completely open to interpretation.
What is a song that reminds you of a book?
The Handmaid's Tale
by Margaret Atwood
Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now . . .
Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid’s Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force.
The Wolf of Oren-Yaro
by K.S. Villoso
A queen of a divided land must unite her people, even if they hate her, even if it means stopping a ruin that she helped create. A debut epic fantasy from an exciting new voice.
“I murdered a man and made my husband leave the night before they crowned me.”
Born under the crumbling towers of Oren-yaro, Queen Talyien was the shining jewel and legacy of the bloody War of the Wolves that nearly tore her nation apart. Her upcoming marriage to the son of her father’s rival heralds peaceful days to come.
But his sudden departure before their reign begins fractures the kingdom beyond repair.
Years later, Talyien receives a message, urging her to attend a meeting across the sea. It’s meant to be an effort at reconciliation, but an assassination attempt leaves the queen stranded and desperate to survive in a dangerous land. With no idea who she can trust, she’s on her own as she struggles to fight her way home
by P. Djèlí Clark
In America, demons wear white hoods.
In 1915, The Birth of a Nation cast a spell across America, swelling the Klan’s ranks and drinking deep from the darkest thoughts of white folk. All across the nation they ride, spreading fear and violence among the vulnerable. They plan to bring Hell to Earth. But even Ku Kluxes can die.
Standing in their way is Maryse Boudreaux and her fellow resistance fighters, a foul-mouthed sharpshooter and a Harlem Hellfighter. Armed with blade, bullet, and bomb, they hunt their hunters and send the Klan’s demons straight to Hell. But something awful’s brewing in Macon, and the war on Hell is about to heat up.
Can Maryse stop the Klan before it ends the world?
The Gray Bastards
by Jonathan French
Jackal and his fellow half-orcs patrol the barren wastes of the Lot Lands, spilling their own damned blood to keep civilized folk safe. A rabble of hard-talking, hog-riding, whore-mongering brawlers they may be, but the Grey Bastards are Jackal’s sworn brothers, fighting at his side in a land where there’s no room for softness.
And once Jackal’s in charge–as soon as he can unseat the Bastards’ tyrannical, seemingly unkillable founder–there’s a few things they’ll do different. Better.
Or at least, that’s the plan. Until the fallout from a deadly showdown makes Jackal start investigating the Lot Lands for himself. Soon, he’s wondering if his feelings have blinded him to ugly truths about this world, and the Bastards’ place in it.
In a quest for answers that takes him from decaying dungeons to the frontlines of an ancient feud, Jackal finds himself battling invading orcs, rampaging centaurs, and grubby human conspiracies alike–along with a host of dark magics so terrifying they’d give even the heartiest Bastard pause.
Finally, Jackal must ride to confront a threat that’s lain in wait for generations, even as he wonders whether the Bastards can–or should–survive
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The Shadow of the Gods
by John Gwynne
Set in a brand-new, Norse-inspired world, and packed with myth, magic and bloody vengeance, The Shadow of the Gods begins an epic new fantasy saga from bestselling author John Gwynne.
After the gods warred and drove themselves to extinction, the cataclysm of their fall shattered the land of Vigrið.
Now a new world is rising, where power-hungry jarls feud and monsters stalk the woods and mountains. A world where the bones of the dead gods still hold great power for those brave – or desperate – enough to seek them out.
Now, as whispers of war echo across the mountains and fjords, fate follows in the footsteps of three people: a huntress on a dangerous quest, a noblewoman who has rejected privilege in pursuit of battle fame, and a thrall who seeks vengeance among the famed mercenaries known as the Bloodsworn.
All three will shape the fate of the world as it once more falls under the shadow of the gods . . .