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Initiate (The Unfinished Song #1)

3.59  ·  Rating Details ·  1,362 Ratings  ·  154 Reviews
The initiation ceremony is the gateway to ultimate power...or death. A DETERMINED GIRL Dindi can't do anything right, maybe because she spends more time dancing with pixies than doing her chores. Her clan hopes to marry her off and settle her down, but she dreams of becoming a Tavaedi, one of the powerful warrior-dancers whose secret magics are revealed only to those who p ...more
Kindle Edition, 188 pages
Published (first published December 25th 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Nov 22, 2012 Toni rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Based on an obscure Polynesian myth, this is a fairy tale, but a fairytale like no other. A little reminiscent of Tolkien, with some of the slightly archaic and elaborate language of a legend’s narration, it also has the primeval quality of Clan of the Cave Bear. The characters are well-fleshed out with so many facets that there appear to be no truly good or bad ones. Everyone has his secret ( including the titular hero and heroine) and his goals and none tell anyone everything.

My only complaint
Anthony Pacheco
Mar 17, 2013 Anthony Pacheco rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Before we dive headfirst into the fantasy pool of epic goodness that is Tara Mara’s The Unfinished Song: Initiate, we need to take a step back and formally define what epic fantasy is in the novel landscape of 2012. The classic definition of epic or high fantasy is it’s a sub-genre of fantasy set in invented worlds.

I hate that definition.

To me, epic fantasy needs to be, well, epic. Epic. This is fun, but not epic, fantasy:

A mysterious, sexy pale-skinned sword dancer hires an infamous mercenary t
Oct 30, 2013 Angela rated it really liked it
10/30/2013 Update: Free on Kindle now!

When I was first offered this book to review, I thought it sounded absolutely fascinating – not quite like anything I’d ever read before. I was definitely right.

The book starts out rather slow. There’s a lot of description of the place, the people, the setting. It was a little hard to get into at first, because I was having trouble following the story among all the descriptions.

But it wasn’t too far into it that the story really picked up. When Dindi is take
*I received a free copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Dindi dreams of becoming a Tavaedi, a warrior-dancer with magic powers. Only those who pass an Initiation test can join this group and now her turn has come.

For me, this was the worst book I've read this year. The plot, the characters, the writing, EVERYTHING was wrong with this book. I really hated this one.

Dindi is the most useless excuse for a girl that I've ever seen. She is supposed to be 14 but doesn't
Jan 06, 2014 Jessie rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
I won't recap the premise of the story since it's available at the top, so I'll jump right into my review.

The things I liked about this novel were the length, the character development, the writing, and the sequence of events and how they're pulled off. The world building was done alright, but there were a few areas that needed improvement. Some things got confusing at times when I forgot who a character was or wondered who it might be when they hadn't been introduced properly. That was a flaw o

My initial impressions of the novel are a bit underwhelming. I found it a bit laborious to read, which was unexpected with a quite short 180 or so page book. There were too many changed in POV for my tastes. This chopping and changing increased the confusion I felt during most of the story. I couldn’t really connect with the characters, once you start being familiar with one, it changes to another, and yet another after that. If it was limited to two or three, it would have been much better over
Ginger *Protégée extraordinaire and Kool-Aid mixer*
Initiate (The Unfinished Song, #1) by Tara Maya
2.5 Dancing Stars

One of those I liked it, didn't love it.

Dindi is a young girl with the simple dream of dancing. The problem is, if she does not pass the test she must stop dancing forever.

Kavio has an interesting past that we only get little tiny glimpses of. His dad is driven by politics, his mom has a big secret and someone wanted him out of the picture so he could take over his dad's position (heir). Now he is an exile, no name, no home and a war to stop.

Oh and they meet each other for a
♥ Sarah
Feb 19, 2013 ♥ Sarah rated it liked it
Shelves: pnr
3.0-3.3 stars

**Free on amazon:

This is definitely not the kind of book I usually read – even for a PNR, it’s different.I felt like I was watching some kind of mystical TV show or something, because the world building was spot-on. I can’t even begin to express how impressed I was with the details of this Faeworld. So, if I had to purely base my rating on the world-building aspect, I’d rate it a 5/5. It was flawless, and unique.

However, it got a bit confusi
Chel (The Procrastinator's Corner)
May 22, 2011 Chel (The Procrastinator's Corner) rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-review
Rating: 4.5/5

The start of the book was a little confusing for me. So many unfamiliar terminologies were mentioned at the first few pages. It took me about fifteen minutes of reading before getting a grip on the story. But once I got a better grasp, the reading became more fluid, although there were still a lot more unknown characters and tribes that were mentioned after that.

Anyway, I was really surprised by this book. This is told in third person, but there are some parts that are told in seco
Apr 18, 2012 Goblin rated it really liked it
I was able to get a Kindle copy of this book for free through Amazon. I'm so happy that I picked it up!

The world the author spins is an old and harsh one filled with magic, faeries, struggle, and war. I really loved the idea of weaving magic with a dance. And though people live and die, Maya mentions these things the descriptions are not horribly graphic or off putting. Some times the implied is just enough to make one squirm and feel for a character. I appreciated the changed track from over-de
Nov 06, 2011 Isis rated it really liked it
When I finished this book, I was mad and disappointed. I was going to give it three stars and not move on to book two. But after reading the authors note at the end, I have changed my mind. I bumped it up a star and will move onto book two when my anger stops simmering.

The Initiate was a kindle freebie that a grabbed because I needed a book to read and the cover looked cool. I think I was going to an appointment or something and needed a book ASAP. I'm glad I grabbed it, though, because the wri
Riana Elizabeth
Dec 22, 2012 Riana Elizabeth rated it really liked it
I seem to be one of the only reviewers who isn't a fan of the cover art. However, I am a fan of the story, even though it didn't start out that way.
There were quite a few "main" characters, and it seems (upon reading other reviews) that I wasn't the only reader having problems distinguishing between them. If there are that many similar complaints about a story, it's a problem that needs to be addressed.
The world building was fantastic. You can taste the heat and sweat and dust when people travel
Kirsty (Amethyst Bookwyrm)
This and my other reviews can be found at

Thanks to Netgalley and Indie Inked for giving me this book and the rest of Faery Worlds to review.

Dindi is a young woman who dreams of becoming a Tavaedi, but cannot do anything right and prefers spending her time dancing with fairies. Kavio is a power Warrior-dancer who is exiled from his home for a crime he did not commit. I just could not get on with Initiate as I did not care much about what happened to the cha
Jan 14, 2012 Mervi rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, epic-fantasy
The author kindly sent me a review copy.

Dindi is on the verge of womanhood but has not yet taken the Initiation to adulthood. All she wants to do is dance, but in this world dancing is the way to do magic and only those who are good enough to be accepted to the mysterious Tavaedi clan are allowed to dance. As long as anyone can remember, nobody in Dindi’s small tribe, the Lost Swan, has become a Tavaedi so her mother, aunts, and cousins are all urging her to become a wife and a mother. But Dindi
Gina (My Precious Blog)
Feb 25, 2011 Gina (My Precious Blog) rated it really liked it

Dindi is a 14 year old tribe girl who dreams of someday becoming a magical Tavaedi dancer. The odds are stacked against her. No one from her clan has ever achieved this great honor. Her grandmother died trying. In order to be chosen to train as a Tavaedi dancer an initiate must be able to perform a "tama" or special ancient dance, involving both light and magic, correctly.

Kavio is a young Tavaedi dancer who has been exiled from his tribe for a crime he didn't commit. He is a very powerf
Feb 13, 2012 Heather rated it really liked it
I had no idea what to expect going into reading this novel, except I knew it wasn't finished, I mean I knew there were other stories. Four so far. But the name -The Unfinished Song kind of gives it away for anyone that takes a look at the title. You should be able to deduce that the story will not be ending with this novel. I'm glad! I was incredibly and pleasantly surprised by how sucked into this novel I got. It's got fairies in it, but they're kind of on the periphery for now. I think they'll ...more
Jun 18, 2014 Callie rated it did not like it
I feel my rating needs an explanation, so bear with me while I give a brief synopsis before I go on to give my reasons for only giving this book one star.

The story follows a number of characters, and eventually all of the various stories bring the characters into Dindi's life. She is a youth from a very rudimentary village--as in, the people live in huts made of dirt and their lives are focused on survival. Dindi dreams of becoming a Tavaedi (a magic-user whose powers are invokes through dance),
Sep 20, 2013 Amanda rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, fantasy, series, fairies, indie
When I found out the first book in the series is free on the Kindle, I had to try it out, and I’m glad I did! I really enjoyed the book, and its presence highlights many of the strengths of indie publishing.

The world is richly imagined and well described. The tribes and clans have clearly defined and described cultures that vary from stable farming to warrior to cannibal. The structure of the societies make sense and are rich without being overly detailed. I particularly appreciated that this is
Donna Zink
Dec 06, 2013 Donna Zink rated it really liked it
Shelves: paranormal, ya, own
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

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 mindse
Mar 17, 2011 Emi rated it really liked it
Wow. Holy smoking wow. This is one of the few books I've read that I can honestly say was totally, 100% original. I've never, and I mean have NEVER come across anything like it. Initiate, the first installment in Tara Maya's The Unfinished Song series, is set in the neolithic-like fantasy world of Faearth. Maya has done a fantastic job seamlessly blending tribal cultures, traditions, and fairy tales from across the world to bring the reader a completely unique experience. However, as unique as i ...more
Jul 12, 2011 Aimeekay rated it it was amazing

***Big time spoiler alert!*** If you are going to buy the first book, just save yourself a little time and buy the second one at the same time! The first book pretty much ends directly in the middle of the story!!!!***End spoiler alert***(kinda)
K, now that I've got that out of my system...on with the review.
In the first book Unfinished Song: Initiate, Tara Maya deftly introduces her characters. Dindi-the troubled misfit, Kavio-the exiled son of a great leader, Rthan-A war leader bent on revenge
Feb 01, 2011 Kim rated it really liked it
The Unfinished Song: Initate is the first installment of a new series by Tara Maya set in the fantasy world Faearth. There are only seven tribes of people in existence, and faeries, pixies, brownies, and the like still roam the earth. It is set in a stone age era, more civilized than cave dwellers. This novel is primarily the story of Dindi, a young girl living in the Lost Swan tribe, anxious to pass Initiation and become a Taevaedi, a member of a secret society of revered magical dancers. It dr ...more
Feb 13, 2012 Starr rated it really liked it
Initiate by Tara Maya
Unfinished Song book 1
Misque Press – December 22, 2010
Facebook: yes
Source: The author

From Goodreads: The initiation ceremony is the gateway to ultimate power...or death. A DETERMINED GIRL Dindi can't do anything right, maybe because she spends more time dancing with pixies than doing her chores. Her clan hopes to marry her off and settle her down, but she dreams of becoming a Tavaedi, one of the powerful warrior-dancers whose secret magics
Mar 06, 2011 Jackie rated it really liked it
As the beginning of a series set in the fantasy world of Faearth this book is complex and full of the initial world building that comes at the beginning of every new series... There is a major difference in that the tales interwoven together mesh fairly seamlessly and without being awkward or confusing... Dindi is the main character, a young girl of 14 who wishes and hopes and dreams of becoming a Tavaedi Dancer which is a high honor and one very few achieve.... She is thought to be odd and no o ...more
Melissa Hayden
Mar 16, 2011 Melissa Hayden rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, fey, ebook
Dindi is of The Lost Swan clan, one of three human clans who defeated the high fae ~ the Aelfae. Dindi is considered a little strange by her clan members. Her chores are always mixed up, if they are completed, as she rather dance with the pixies than work and then they help her finish her chores which are done wrong. Dindi loves to dance and when the Tavaedi Dancers are in town performing she is on her way to sneak in and watch. Dindi has a plan, not only to enjoy the dances she sees but to memo ...more
Amanda-Lee (StoryWings)
Initiate had a slow start, but after the first couple of chapters, I couldn’t put it down.

All of Dindi’s dreams are surrounded by her love to dance. She wants to become a Tavedi, one of a group of highly respected dancers in her tribe. There is only one problem, Dindi is very clumsy if she knows people are watching her, so the only people who know how well she can dance are the faeries. Which brings her to the second problem, Dindi should not be anywhere near the faeries, because dancing with fa
Oct 30, 2011 Jessica rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011-reads, kindle
This was a pretty decent book I have to admit it got confusing at parts because we would start reading the story from someone elses POV that we have never even met yet so I was thinking who the hell are you and what is your purpose? But it eventually all ties into eachother and turns into a good story. It was also really hard to get into because of the surroundings and Tara Maya would throw terms and you that I had no idea what they meant and it took me awhile to understand how the tribes worked ...more
Richard Abbott
Jun 15, 2014 Richard Abbott rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Initiate, by Tara Maya, is a young adult fantasy book with a difference. It is the first in a series with overall title The Unfinished Song. Unlike some of the standard fantasy settings – such as medieval era swordsmen or contemporary vampires – Tara has placed her story in a Stone Age context. So life is at a tribal subsistence level, and there is no writing, and virtually nothing one would describe as technology. Coming from my own preferred Late Bronze Age setting, this had a refreshing simpl ...more
Jul 25, 2011 Nichelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This Young Adult Romance was filled with many twists some expected and some not so expected, but no less pleasant.

In a fantasy realm so vivid that you can see the world Tara Maya has made right along with the characters coming to screaming life before you. It took a bit for me to warm to it, the beginning did drag a bit, but once I held on and dug in my heels a bit deeper, I was pleasantly surprised.

The world was intricately woven of what reminded me of Native folklore with Fae Lore. I absolute
May 05, 2011 Soleil rated it really liked it
Initiate is the first book of a new series, The Unfinished Song, by Tara Maya, as such, there are a few things I feel you should know up front. First, if cliffhangers piss you off, be sure you have the second book, Taboo (which was just recently released), ready to dive into once you’re finished Initiate. I wasn’t bothered because I pretty much knew what I was getting into right off the bat but the Amazon description doesn’t much give the cliffhanger impression to potential readers so I’m just g ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Nov 17, 2015 05:59AM  
Book Haven: Giveaway: The Unfinished Song 1 13 Oct 25, 2013 12:12PM  
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Tara Maya has lived in Africa, Europe and Asia. She's pounded sorghum with mortar and pestle in a little clay village where the jungle meets the desert, meditated in a Buddhist monastery in the Himalayas and sailed the Volga river to a secret city that was once the heart of the Soviet space program. This first-hand experience, as well as research into the strange and piquant histories of lost civi ...more
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Other Books in the Series

The Unfinished Song (5 books)
  • Taboo (The Unfinished Song, #2)
  • Sacrifice (The Unfinished Song, #3)
  • Root (The Unfinished Song Book 4)
  • Wing (The Unfinished Song, #5)

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“beer, chatting amiably. They hid their thighs with waist blankets and caped themselves in shoulder blankets that reached the ground. Dindi slithered by them. Unfortunately, the first person Dindi locked eyes with was Great Aunt Sullana. Though the whole plaza separated them, Great Aunt Sullana tore across the market like a tornado on the Purple Plains. She would demand to examine Dindi’s basket, and finding nothing in it except a kitten, pinch her cheek until Dindi stuttered some explanation. The natural” 0 likes
“That’s my cat,” Dindi said. “Don’t chase him off, he might get lost.” “He terrified my chipmunk!” “I’m sure he meant no harm,” Dindi said. “He just wanted to eat an arm or two. Maybe a leg.” 0 likes
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