Redwing by Holly Bennett
In the middle ages, 16-year-old Rowan lives and travels in his family’s canvas-topped wagon caravan after his parents and sister have died of the plague. Previously house musicians for a noble family in the country of Prosper, half of an island shared with the country of Tarzine, he makes a living playing music town to town. Rowan acquires a partner named Samik, using the alias Aydin, a young Tarzine man on the run after saving his younger brother from murder by powerful warlord Jago. Rowan teaches Aydin, already a musician, to play Prosperian music as they work their way toward the town of Clifton for a music festival. Gifted with Sight, Aydin tells Rowan his younger sister Ettie’s spirit hovers over them; she periodically gives them warnings or directions. The boys separate after Aydin takes a job working for a wine merchant and Rowan joins a troupe of musicians, but they don’t know Jago’s henchman are still tracking Aydin, looking for revenge.
The author mixes adventure, suspense and a little fantasy in this book; it held my interest completely. She also leaves room at the end for a possible sequel.
Review by Ms. Goldstein-Erickson
Holly Bennet is also the author of the Bonemender series.