For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining. Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.
When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the people she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation.
But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon.
Richelle Mead takes readers on a triumphant journey from the peak of Fei’s jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiguo, where a startling truth and an unlikely romance will change her life forever….
The village Fei grew up in has no sound. Nothing. Every person there is deaf. Their hearing faded away generations ago for reasons no one understood, but they got along well enough. Now, however, they are dying. Food is scarce and strictly rationed. Little comes up the mountain anymore. Some wish for an escape, but there is no way off the mountain. The passages were blocked by avalanches long ago. Many tried to climb their way down, only to be killed by falls or rockslides that they couldn’t hear.
One by one the villagers are beginning to lose their vision. Fei’s sister is one of the affected. She would do near anything to protect her sister, but does she have the courage to risk it all?
Fei lives the pampered existence as one of the apprentice Artists, her duty is to write and draw the daily news and records, but she longs to do so much more. When the worst happens, she must brave the dangers of the mountain with an old flame, Li, to find the mysterious line keeper who sends them their food via zip line. what they find is far beyond anything they bargained for. But Fei has one special gift that may be the weapon to save them all: she can hear.
I don’t often see good clean fantasy using asian culture, Chinese, to be more specific. It was a lovely change from my usual fantasy fare. Richelle has a lovely and descriptive writing voice. I could truly feel Fei’s fear and confusion when sound first entered her life. The perilous decent down the cliff face, the villages, the art and the characters are just beautiful.
It is a bit slow in places, but totally worth the effort. I wasn’t disappointed. Being a mainstream novel, I had not expected it to be very clean. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that this book is about as squeaky clean as it gets. My hat is off to the author for this.
Soundless is a wonderful book that I can wholeheartedly recommend to any readers out there, both old and young.
My Rating: Five Flames
Romance: a couple of sweet kisses.
Drinking / Drugs: one small scene in an inn where an unnamed patron gets a bit drunk and tries to start a fight.
Blood / Violence: very mild. There is a raid and one end battle, several chase scenes and a capture. blood is minimal. The main characters also briefly stumble upon some old skeletons.
Happy reading y’all!