Spit and Song
Travis M. Riddle
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure
Publication: November 19, 2019
Age Group: Adult
Kali is a merchant who yearns to leave the harsh deserts of Herrilock and travel across the sea, trading goods and soaking in the sights and cultures. With a new potion on the market undercutting her profits, though, her seabound dreams are put on hold indefinitely.
Failed musician Puk hits rock bottom after yet another catastrophic performance. Wandering the city streets in search of any sip of booze or whiff of fire-spit he can get his hands on, he resigns to the fact that he’s stuck in the desert with no way back home to Atlua.
Until one day, their paths cross with an illicit job opportunity. With its hefty payday, Kali and Puk could afford to finally escape the desert heat and set sail across the gulf.
The black market job would see them travel endless dunes on a road made from a massive dead beast’s ribs and out to a mythical city in the sea, scuffling with monsters and thugs in search of a long-lost book that might be the most dangerous object in the world.
How hard could it really be?
Spit and Song is a wonderful follow up to Travis M. Riddle’s Balam, Spring! Fear not, this can be read as a standalone! I had no trouble understanding the story and the world, even though I hadn’t read the first book. Though the book is hefty, weighing in at about 500 pages, I found the story to be easy to understand and it went by rather quickly once I’d gotten a hold on the characters and the other beings in the world.
Kali is a merchant with a dream, and the first character you meet in the story. Next is Puk, a dealer with big aspirations as well. They conduct their business, always looking for a way out, a way to make something of themselves. One day, a chance for a big payday is offered to them, a harrowing journey to find a book that has been lost long ago. Through their adventure, they encounter a wide array of monsters, ruffians, and travel by almost every mode of transportation available in the world!
The book had a slightly slow start, but it picked right up about 1/8 of the way into the book. The names of creatures and other descriptive details got a bit confusing, but quickly were resolved and I knew exactly what was going on. In fact, I appreciated the descriptive details because they gave me a much more clear picture of the world I was reading about and the characters who live there!
The story structure was solid and I’m glad the narrative wasn’t overly complicated or trope heavy. Given the books I’ve been reading lately, this was a refreshing science fiction/fantasy novel cleanse my pallet! Not only does this book have a fantastic cover, the book itself is also very worth reading! I would recommend this to fans of sci-fi/fantasy who enjoy classic adventure RPG tales with a new twist!
This book was a fun and interesting journey! I am so glad that I was able to participate in this tour! Thank you to the author and Storytellers On Tour for a copy of the book! I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Travis M. Riddle lives with his pooch in Austin, TX, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in English Writing & Rhetoric at St. Edward’s University. His work has been published in award-winning literary journal the Sorin Oak Review.