Symphony of the Wind by Steven McKinnon

Symphony of the Wind (The Raincatcher's Ballad #1)Symphony of the Wind by Steven McKinnon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“A bounty hunter with a death wish. A girl with fearsome powers. A kingdom on the brink of destruction.

Symphony of the Wind is the first book in a gritty epic fantasy trilogy. If you like hardened heroes, steampunk airships, and dark magic and monsters, then you’ll love Steven McKinnon’s visceral adventure.”

I was provided a copy of the book Symphony of the Wind by the author in exchange for an honest review. I was interested in this title after seeing it scoring highly in the SPFBO last year, seeing several comments about it being a dark steampunk novel. It was more than that as I was blown away by the book. It has everything you need in this one, tremendous world building, wonderful characters, and enough twists and turns to keep you guessing.

This is Steven McKinnon’s debut fantasy novel and I was captivated from the beginning with steampunk style airships used to collect rainwater to provide water to a kingdom that was decimated by war. Then there is the culture he has created, there is so much lore and backstory included without a huge infodump. The amount of lore and history he has effortlessly pumped in this story really adds a depth that is hard to find.

The story jumps between several POV’s from a third person perspective which I usually don’t care for, but it works with his writing style. The POV’s mainly go between Tyson Gallows, the bounty hunter with a death wish, and Serena, the young girl who is just starting to discover her powers. Some of the side characters get a turn in the POV spotlight and even they are fleshed out very well in a way that makes you care for them as much as the main characters. My favorite being Damien Fieri, the partner of Tyson Gallows, who has his own demons to deal with.

The first quarter of the book I found to be a little slower paced but after that it’s got a very quick pace without feeling rushed. The battle scenes are well done and gritty which is a plus in my book. I didn’t feel that there was an excess of gore or brutality just to have it in there but that it was all done in good taste and relevant to the story. The action is well placed and intense at times I was almost jumping with the events in the book and actually found myself with my mouth hanging open a few times when a plot twist or some other unexpected event showed up.

Overall this is one of the best put together books I have read in a long time. I really was blown away by this debut into fantasy that reads more like a book from a seasoned author. I can’t wait to get into the rest of this series to see how the events unfold. I would give this book a rating of 5 on the grimdark scale.


  1. This book sounds awesome, definitely adding it to my wishlist.


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