Today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘No Song, But Silence’ by Jonathan Nevair organised by Storytellers on Tour. This is the third book in the Wind Tide series, and you can find my reviews of the previous books ‘Goodbye to the Sun’ and ‘Jati’s Wager’ here. It has been an absolute delight to follow this series from start to finish.
I hope that you will check out the book and the author, and enjoy the rest of the tour with the schedule in the banner below or (HERE).
Disclaimer – I received a copy in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are my own.
The tide of justice ebbs. A mysterious and reclusive superpower threatens to extend its reach, colonizing new star systems for Wind energy and spreading a corrupt political empire. The People’s Army, once the hope for a new federation of allies in the Arm, has dwindled to a mere spectator in the fight for political control. Ailo’s role in its revolutionary fervor is over. The esoteric philosophy of the legendary Cin Quinti is her only concern now. But when an unimaginable threat sends a political shock wave through the Arm she must weigh the cost of self-preservation, hiding in the shadows as civilization falls to despotism and tyranny.
Light years away on Kol 2, a young librarian grows inspired by a mentor’s clandestine teachings. What he discovers with the newfound knowledge reveals a moral avalanche. The dubious and cruel political power corrupting his society must be exposed, but it will take a leap of faith to challenge an empire.
‘Sing of the dune eagle who fell to save a world. Whisper its glory in the glowing firelight underneath a desert night.’
– Mote eulogy
Reaching the end of a favourite series is always a little bittersweet, but Nevair has softened that feeling by bringing the Wind Tide series to an absolutely wonderful – emotionally, gut-punching – ending. I’m not quite sure I was fully prepared for how much this third and final instalment hit me, and all the credit has to go to Nevair’s writing, he has crafted a story with all the scale and grandeur of an epic, space opera and yet kept it so intimate and powerful through the characters, through the world and all the little details that are woven throughout. The truths, emotions and lessons that are woven throughout the story, just make it so very human and personal that you have to feel every part of it, and I love it.
“To hide something, young Lazro,” he’d say, “is to make it more alluring and fearful. To face it, to see it is often less frightful than what the mind conjures in absence.”
No Song, But Silence had a lot to accomplish. Between the complicated timeline, and the different POVs and the many characters we have come to love through the first two books, there were a lot of threads to bring together here, and Nevair doesn’t let a single arc, character or important moment slip through the cracks. The care that has been taken is breathtaking, as is the skill with which he not brings those aspects together in this conclusion, but also weaves in new characters.
While I’ve always been a fan of Nevair’s writing in these books, and how he’s brought the world to life, it felt like it had hit a new high in this one – particularly when he is writing about the desert and Kol-2 in general. There was a genuine love shining through the descriptions, and this planet and the desert which have always been a character in their own right felt even more vivid here. The first few pages in particular hooked me back into the world of this story so quickly that it was as though I had never been away, and I just loved how Nevaircaptured the power and the essence of the setting.
“A person who was one of your people once, a Legion soldier who ended up dead on the other side of a political and cultural battlefield. An ugly site filled with vengeance, anger, and a lust for power.”
In No Song, But Silence we get to see more of one of my favourite aspects of Nevair’s writing – his characterisation, with the return of familiar faces, and the introduction of new ones. He has such a way of creating living, believable characters on all sides and the dynamics and dialogue between the various characters not only brought them to life, but develops so much about the world, and inevitable rolling on of change and possibility and the lessons that were there to be learned. I will readily admit that Lazlo stole the show a little bit for me in this one, and yes I will admit I was sold the moment he was complaining about having to take time out of reading for basic functions such as eating – but he continued to steal the show throughout. Ferra was another standout for me, and of course, Ailo who was such an amazing character in Jati’s Wager is back again and had some of my favourite moments in this book.
“The cycle will continue until we break it,” she said. “It is a dialectic. The tide ebbs and flows and will continue until we fight it. I believe it has risen to this point from past actions in a way that causes us to confront something so blatant and obvious an obstacle to humanity’s future that it must be addressed now.”
What I really loved about No Song, But Silence was that we could see how the story, the world and the characters had reached this point. There’s something really satisfying as a reader to see it all coming together like that and rolling towards its conclusion, and even more than that, it’s being able to see the impact it’s having, both politically, physically – in terms of the planet – and for the characters, and the future it’s shaping and then how that unfolds. And I ABSOLUTELY adored the ending of No Song, But Silence. Not only was it such a fulfilling ending in terms of bringing those disparate threads and character arcs to a satisfying end, but the emotion in the ending was fantastic, and there was a wonderful note of optimism and possibility in the ending, that made the journey, the ups and downs, and emotional gut punches all worth it and left me with a smile on my face at the end.
No Song, But Silence was the perfect conclusion to a grand tale, grounded in personal stories and following a cast of characters that I will truly miss following and will need to revisit in the future. Nevair has created something magnificent with the Wind Tide series, and it is without a doubt one of my top reads for 2021 and I’ve been blessed to follow this series from start to finish. I can’t wait to see what Nevair will do in the future, and all I can do is say that Wind Tide is a fantastic series that I can’t recommend highly enough.
From the moment he saw Star Wars: Episode IV in the theater as a child, Jonathan’s eyes turned to the night sky and the capability of FTL drives to whisk him off to distant star systems. After two decades of academic publishing, he finally got up the nerve to write fiction and bring those worlds to life.
Jonathan lives in southeastern PA with his wife and rambunctious mountain feist, Cricket. When not writing and teaching, he spends his time chasing his dog through the woods and hoping he’ll be able to walk in space before he croaks.
Jonathan Nevair (he/him/his) is the pen name for Dr. Jonathan Wallis, Professor of Art History at Moore College of Art & Design, Philadelphia
Prize: A paperback copy of No Song, But Silence + Ebook copies of Wind Tide 1-3 (US/UK Only) –OR– Ebook copies of Wind Tide 1–3 (International)
Starts: December 1st, 2021 at 12:00am EST
Ends: December 8th, 2021 at 11:59pm EST
You can enter HERE
If you’ve read it, or read it in the future, please feel free to shout at me about this fantastic book.