The Jaguar Path | Anna Stephens
First book of the week!
And, goodness me is it good!
Today it's The Jaguar Path by Anna Stephens, and let me tell you I have been waiting for this book. There are three books throughout 2023 that are my most anticipated. The first was Downfall by Louise Carey, which I have already read, the second was this book and the third is Catriona Ward's new one.
However, let's get on with
The Empire of Songs reigns supreme.
the lands of Ixachipan, its hypnotic, magical music sounds. Those who
battled against the Empire have been enslaved and dispersed, taken far
from their friends and their homes.
In the Singing City, Xessa must fight for the entertainment of her captors. Lilla and thousands of warriors are trained to serve as weapons for their enemies. And Tayan is trapped at the heart of the Empire’s power and magic, where the ruthless Enet’s ambition is ever growing.
Each of them harbours a secret hope, waiting for a chance to strike at the Empire from within.
But first they must overcome their own desires. Power can seduce as well as crush. And, in exchange for their loyalty, the Empire promises much.
That was the sound of Anna Stephens entering the room, dropping the mike and promptly smashing it to pieces as we get the long awaited sequel to The Stone Knife.
The Jaguar Path picks up two years after the events of The Stone Knife, and now the evil song empire of the Pechacueh reigns supreme,.dominating, eradicating and engulfing the land of Ixachipan.
Meanwhile, the heroes of the last book, Lilla, Tayan and Xessa find themselves broken and scattered. Each of them given new roles within the Empire of Song.
Lilla is forced to fight for the people that destroyed the Tokoban Empire and finds himself enslaved to the Melody.
Tayan is a house slave in a cruel twist of fate.
Xessa is now a trained fighter, despised for her god killing ways and yet in equal measures the ultimate entertainment for the crowds of The Singing City, indentured to Pilos, the disgraced High Feather that led the assault on Sky City.
There are no two ways about it, The Jaguar Path is amazing and I think the only way that another book would knock this book from its lofty position of best book of the year, it is going to have to be utterly and completely mind-blowing.
In The Jaguar Path we follow our heroes following the devastating ending of The Stone Knife and it continues the sweepingly epic tale of The Songs of The Drowned. Anna Stephens intricately plots this story and blind sides you at every turn.
Each of the characters has their own individual arcs in the story, and I loved following each of the different strands of each character. I was utterly gripped by the separate elements of the story, There were some that I liked more than others, and I must say that I was getting a little exasperated at times with Lilla's arc, but that goes to show how invested I was in the book. However, much like the rest of the book I had no idea where each of different points of view was going or what was going to happen and there were many twists and turns that bring a differing perspectives to each of the characters.
As usual, the world building is second to none and we get to see more of Singing City, as it gets fleshed out to be a living, breathing entity.
What I like about The Jaguar Path is that Anna Stephens manages to make the book an individual story but continues the overall ark of the main story.
Ok! I have tried to do a measured review where I get all the points across that you are supposed to put in a review, but let's just get right down to it - this book is friggin awesome! I loved The Stone Knife and didn't know how it could be topped, but The Jaguar Path actually bleedin beats it. It's like Anna Stephens just went 'hmm, how can I top The Stone Knife?' and then she went 'I know, let's just rip everyone's heart out and this time it's gunna hurt!'
If you haven't read this series then you need to get on it and start reading it coz it is simply amazing