*I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*
**Review by Donna Zink**
Prepare yourself to be immersed into a new world that is both vaguely familiar and wildly different at the same time. Tara Maya has managed to create an entire new earth, Faearth, populated with humans, of a sort, and the largest variety of fae and supernatural beings that I’ve encountered in any YA book. The development of the society and culture in which the humans live is masterful and helps in giving a clue as to the mindset of the characters throughout the tale. Only complaint I could muster is that I wish Tara had included a Glossary to help with all the strange new words in this imaginary world.
While the hero, Kavio, and the heroine, Dindi, are the main focus of the story, they are joined by so many sub-characters, felt like I needed a playbook with a line-up so I could keep up with them. Tara has my utmost admiration to have created such a diverse cast of players. What is even more amazing is that none of them seem superfluous. Each sub-character has a specific purpose, even if it’s not apparent at the time you are first introduced to them in the book. Since there is a total of 12 books in the series I’m going to go out on limb here and guess that some of them are going to play a much larger role in future novels.
I’m torn in my feelings about Dindi. She appears to be a typical young girl, playing with kittens, dancing with the faeries (OK, dancing with the faeries, not so typical on our earth), and hiding from her aunt because she hasn’t completed her chores. Dindi has a burning desire to become a Tavaedi (a Tavaedi is a powerful warrior-dancer). Dindi is so fixated on becoming a Tavaedi she constantly loses focus on everything but practicing her dancing, which causes one bumbling mistake after another. Basically, Dindi makes herself look like the village idiot and the brunt of constant teasing. Here is the part that bothers me; early on we catch glimpses of the potential Dindi has. She can see and interact with the fae, which isn’t all that common, she has visions, and she has dance moves none of the other soon to be Initiates can begin to emulate. Why doesn’t she tell anyone in her family these things and why doesn’t anyone else notice there is something special about her? All right, it’s probably the culture she was raised in, but I’m alternately mad at everyone for their treatment of Dindi and frustrated with Dindi for not having a more forceful personality. The point is, I HAVE FEELINGS. Not all books suck us in to the point where we are emotionally invested with the characters of the book.
Kavio is a favorite of mine. He’s the only son of the leader of the Rainbow Labyrinth. Kavio is also “the most powerful warrior-dancer in Faearth”. Knowing that, it’s easy to understand why he is targeted by a deceitful, power-hungry aunt and her son. A son she hopes to maneuver into becoming the next leader of the tribe. Aunt Nasty (Kavio’s name for her), manages to have Kavio exiled from the tribe. When Kavio leaves he doesn’t slink away in shame. Hey, he doesn’t have anything to be ashamed of, so it’s nice to see he has a strong personality. Kavio has the personal determination to face his exile with courage and honor. It’s because of his exile that he is able to accomplish some very heroic deeds and learn some deeper truths.
Kavio and Dindi do have an encounter but it’s apparent that the true story of the two of them as a team will be more fully developed in the later books. There is a delicious niggling of foreboding that an old curse will have consequences that will affect all of Faearth. Truly did enjoy THE UNFINISHED SONG – BOOK 1: INITIATE. Be aware it does end on a major cliffhanger. Definitely looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
Definitely would recommend to anyone 16+.