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Magpie's Song

(The IronHeart Chronicles #1)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  80 ratings  ·  42 reviews
In the slums of BrightStone, Moon Children are worth less than the scrap they must collect to survive. It doesn’t matter that these abandoned half-breeds are part-Meridian with their ancestors hailing from the technologically advanced city that floats above the once-thriving, now plague-ridden BrightStone. Instead they are rejected by both their ancestral societies and ...more
Kindle Edition, 325 pages
Published August 8th 2017 (first published August 7th 2017)
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Average rating 4.20  · 
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 ·  80 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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Aug 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, fantasy, young-adult
This was a solid, fun read, with a brilliant premise and world building I enjoyed a lot. While there were some flaws, I am still intrigued enough to want to read the next book in the series, whenever that will be published. As I am chronically bad at reading second books in series, this says something about how much I adored parts of this.

Set in an unspecified world, that is kind of steam punky, kind of dystopian, there is a (tropey) society with the rich (maybe alien?) upper class living on a
What a great surprise! I came into reading this blind and came out seeing wonders. The world-building is a true delight, having a feel of Sanderson's old Mistborn, a touch of hardcore steampunk, but most of all: pure and distilled fantasy dystopia.

There's a lot of story going on and what's more, Pang's writing at the plain-beauty level is something to behold. I'm not just talking about the repurposed nursery rhymes, either. I'm talking about the perfectly placed and minimal placement of pure
Marta Cox
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-reviews, netgalley
I'm still not quite sure how I'd personally categorise this book. Fantasy was my initial feeling but then it's quickly apparent that it's set in a dystopian type world after a cataclysmic event that has changed so many lives. Now add in the steampunk elements that become much more apparent as the story progresses and you begin to see why it held my attention.
From the first page Mags is a large character that demands to be noticed. A young woman with no memory of who she was before her twelfth
Aug 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Full spoiler-free review now on my blog

Mags lives with her best friend Sparrow in the slums of BrightStone. The city is lies in the shadows of the floating city of Meridion, which is anchored to the ground with heavy chains. They both are white haired Moon Children, the offspring of a BrightStone mother and a Meridian father. The normal citizens of BrightStone look down upon Moon Children due to their immunity to the Rot, a plaque that infests the normal population. When Mags finds a clockwork
Melissa Souza
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
**Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for sending me an ARC in return for an honest review.

4.5 stars!!!

Finally, a book that has left me speechless. Although, this hasn't been one of my most anticipated reads for this year, this novel just took me by surprise. Firstly, I absolutely adored the prose. Allison Pang has an exquisite way with words. The world building was so intricate and complex. From the history of the place to the descriptions of the clothes, buildings - everything was
Aug 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Magpie’s Song defies easy categorization. It mixes elements of steampunk, dystopia, coming-of-age, and dark fantasy into a singular blend.

BrightStone, ruled from above by the technologically advanced Meridians, is a dangerous city rife with crime and poverty. Its citizens struggle with everyday life, lack of perspectives, and a rampaging and lethal plague known as Rot. Only Moon Children, Meridian half-breeds, seem immune to the devastating effects of the disease, and that makes them useful,
L.P. Logan
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
True rating 3.5

The thing about this book is, it takes reading 90% of it before you even have any sort of idea of what's going on. That's a lot of building and character moulding for a whole lotta nothing. Which puts me in a weird place. Because I like the concept of what this story is. What its potential story arc could be. I just wish MOST of what happened in this book happened in a few chapters, because it could have, and the actual problem, and what the series is going to be about, was what
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Every once in a great while I come across a story that knocks my socks off. This is one of them. When it happens, it's always something "a genre," that I've never read before. Brian Lumleys-Wamphyri, or Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time. I'd never read Steampunk before, and except for this series, I probably won't ever. This world that Allison has created is stunning. The characters are people that I want to know and go "rooftop dancing" with. Clockwork hearts, a mechanical Dragon that can sit on my ...more
Aug 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-s
"Moon Children hiding in the shadows with hollow faces and hollow futures"

* * *
3 / 5

My first thought when reading Magpie’s Song was that it was an unnecessarily complicated book. I did get that impression from the synopsis, but thought it would become slightly clearer in the book; Magpie’s Song is a short book and could really have benefited from some more exposition. However, in all other respects, Pang’s writing is simply gorgeous. There’s this great sense of character in Maggy and a really
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wishlist, best-of
Man, this one was AMAZING and if it's not on your list it needs to be. Like, go NOW! Why are you still here? Get to Amazon or wherever and order this book! It's out on the 8th. This self-published title is one of the best I have read in some time. If I hadn't known it was self-published I wouldn't have been able to tell from the story. The author did an outstanding job with this massive tale.

I still can't believe that this was only a mere 241 pages long as it seemed like it was more of a 300+
Sep 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: readtoreview
3.5 stars
Thanks to NetGalley and to the editor. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I loved the world building, that is really well done and I loved the concept of this novel. I think the author could do really good with the next books.
And I am thinking about going on with this series, even if I am not a huge fan of this first book. The characters were not bad, and I think that they’re developed enough, even if in this one the secondary ones aren’t so intriguing.
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

'Ware IronHeart's breath and IronHeart's claws, for when IronHeart roars, Meridion falls'

I ended up really enjoying this. The story opens with the discovery of a dead body in the slums underneath a floating city, by the orphans Raggy Maggy and Sparrow. The body gives off an ethereal glow and is accompanied by a strange mechanical dragon. Mags and Sparrow soon find themselves embroiled in the mysteries of the slums and the search for
Kaite ~ my way by Starlight
This can also be read at my blog: my way by Starlight

Okay team the problem with reading amazing ARCs? The fact that it means sequels are that much further away. Thanks to my friend Katie at Book Ink Reviews for the amazing recommendation!

Magpie's Song, oh my goodness, what can I say except for the fact that this book checked off all the things I want a book to be. Well developed characters with an interesting backstory and several layers? Check. World building enough to stand up to scrutiny and
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, urban-fantasy
Giveaway on my blog:

Magpie's Song is book 1 in The IronHeart Chronicles. It's been a long while since I've read an Allison Pang book and I got really excited when I saw she had a new one coming out. This is a bit different from her other series, it's a Dystopian Fantasy with a Steampunk twist. The world building and characters were weaved expertly, and I found this book hard to put down.

We start off meeting Raggy Maggy, a 19 year old Moonchild that has a
“Magpie? What kind of name is that?”

“I like pretty things. Jingle. Jewels. And eyes.”


“Aye. Shiny. Fun to pluck out.”

This could be a fantasy book…

buuuuut it also be dystopian…

Oh! Look! A clockwork dragon!

While my attempt to categorize the genre of Magpie’s Song is clumsy, the story telling is anything but! I cannot tell you enough how well Allison Pang blends these elements together perfectly.

The world building of Brightstone is intricate and well detailed; we come to know about them
A.C. Cole
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
David Stewart
Aug 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: a-upcoming-reads
Read for the SPFBO 2019. Rating and review to come.
Kathryn at Book Ink Reivews
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
A copy of this review can also be found at Book Ink Reviews

Oh. Oh. Oh.Right now, this book is moving over to my reread pile before the next one in the series comes out. It is really that bloody fantastic. It is partStar Wars, partHunger Games, partAssassin's Creed. And it is fantastic, even with some shortcomings.

Mags is a lovable character. She's strong, determined, down to earth, and feels deeply. I loved being in her head and reading everything from her POV--point of view--because she's
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Guys, this book was going to be two stars. I swear it was. It started and my eyes rolled so hard. But something magical happened, and I was drawn in, and now I'm left feeling upset that I finished it before the obvious sequel is ready. That's a good problem to have!

Mags is a Moon Child, member of a downtrodden caste in a steampunk world. Moon Children are exceptional because they are unable to catch The Rot, a disease that infects the other 2/3 of the book's population.

Hijinks ensue, one thing
Susana Zemlyakova
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
Magpie's Song is a gritty, young adult novel similar to Bardugo's Six of Crows, and pulls elements from Mistborn and Red Rising. Set in the mythical town of BrightStone (or at least I think it's mythical...there no mention if this is earth, NY, Old London, etc.) the citizens are divided into Moon Children, the upper class and the working class. The inhabitants are literally overshadowed by the supreme denizens of a floating island called the Meridian.

This town is governed by the villainous
M.H. Thaung
When I came across this book, I rubbed my hands in anticipation. A steampunk setting with an infectious agent is right up my street.

We're taken into a well fleshed out dystopian world with the usual elements of social stratification into rich overlords, a middle tier, and those who live on the street. Main character Maggy is at the bottom of the heap, being one of the Moon Children who are so despised, even as lip service is given to the... mystic/symbolic way in which they aid society. When she
Visionary Druid
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Raggy Maggy, aka Magpie, is a Moon-Child, a supposed unwanted child of a BrightStone woman and a Meridian male. She collects scrap in the desolate wastelands of the Warrens for her clan. Maggy stumbles upon a strange clock-work dragon and a dead Meridian male. The dragon’s presence heralds all kinds of changes for poor Mags. When her clan exiles her, she has no alternative but to agree to her saviors’ mad plans of sneaking down into the Pits, a dark place where the Rot-infected people are ...more
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is an author who also wrote the Abby Sinclair series (oh if you haven't read it... go do it now! Seriously, we will wait...) so I was very happy when I won my copy. This is quite different than her other series. This one is is YA (older) and a bit steampunk-ish (not too heavy on it) with a mystery to by solved. It also is dark with a dystopian feel. It isn't dystopian since it happens in a much different world than ours, but you know something happened to separate the rich from the rest of ...more
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I generously received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Going into this book, I didn't know a lot about it which is a good thing because then I didn't have a mind set as to how I thought the story would be and I was able to enjoy it a lot more without expectations.

Magpie is a nineteen year old Moon Child which is a person who has light blonde hair, very fair skin and judged harshly as apparently much of society sees these people as the oddballs living in the Warrens. Her kind is harshly
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great books linger in your thoughts long after the last page is turned. Magpie’s Song is such a book, and I am eager to read the next book in the series. The world of Magpie’s Song is divided in three. Meridian, the city of luxury and technology flies above. It rules Brightstone, the city below with an iron fist. Brightstone fears the Rot, a flesh eating plague that randomly attacks members of the population, and turns others inexplicably into Moon Children, silver haired, capable of great ...more
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Magpie’s Song is a fun, steampunk-esque novel about a girl with a clockwork heart who finds a dragon. In this novel, Allison Pang creates a world plagued by a mysterious rot to which only the even more mysterious moon children are immune. The girl with a clockwork heart is one such moon child. Raggy Maggy, orphaned and defined by her distinctive white hair, is a member of the Banshee clan, forced to
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, steam-punk
This is an engrossing fantasy novel intertwining elements of dystopia and steam punk. In the conquered city of Brightstone, all the residents are ruled over by the residents of the floating city above, but it still has its own class system, except for the moon children. The moon children are outcasts from society. Maggie is a moon child. Abandoned or orphaned, she is sold to the dubious care of a clan. Maggie has very little in her life, the clothes on her back, her talent for thievery and ...more
Nicki Markus
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Magpie's Song has everything you'd expect from a book of this ilk: plucky heroine, potential love interest, danger and adventure. I liked the steampunk elements built into the dystopian fantasy world and, on the whole, the description of that world came across well. I did scratch my head over a few things, but this is the first story in a series, so it may well be that Pang will answer those questions in a future book. I am awarding this four stars, though I prevaricated all last night over ...more
Nikki Starbird
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC from Netgalley for an honest review.

Magpie's Song is a wonderful story that brings you to a whole different, and exciting, world. Raggy Maggy is a ballsy heroine and during the course of the book, we find out that she is much more than she seems. Secrets abound in the Brightstone and Mags is drawn in to the mystery a bit against her will, but becomes the key that they can't do without.
This story is mostly steam punk with a hefty dose of mystery, some Sci-Fi and a little dash
Jul 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
As a first try at a steampunk novel, I have to say I really enjoyed it. I've been a fan of the idea for a long time, so it didn't take long to adjust to it all. The world building was fantastic, if slightly confusing. There's a lot of terms in this novel that I think needed to be explained a bit more, or at least earlier on. Things like the Tithe, which is a huge part of this book, weren't explained for a quite a while, which left me very confused for a lot of it, though it cleared up nicely ...more
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The IronHeart Chronicles (2 books)
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