Book Review: Songbird – GriffinSong Trilogy | vol 1

Review: Songbird – GriffinSong Trilogy | vol 1

Author: J Victoria Michael

Publisher: Odyssey Books



A twentieth century woman is lost in a fantasy world with nothing but the clothes on her back and her innate humanity. This is the story of her compelling need to redefine herself.


When Irenya O’Neil suffers a panic attack and falls into the realm of Dar Orien, a world with a failed MageGate system, she finds herself unable to return home to her infant son – she is trapped in a nightmare that tests her sanity.


Confronted with evidence that she possesses a Gift of power, Irenya attempts to control her fledgling talent through music. This could be her ticket home. But Irenya becomes mired in the civil unrest that has befallen Dar Orien. Sickened by the bloodshed and fearful for her own safety, Irenya is desperate to find her way home.



The need to redefine oneself occurs during or after periods of significant change or trauma. Take 2020, for instance. How many of us were affected by change through restrictions, illness or loss? How many faced those changes willingly? In Songbird, book one of the exciting new fantasy series, GriffinSong, Irenya O’Neill is thrust into an alternate world, a world that trusts neither her presence nor her explanations. Separated from her young child, all Irenya wants is to return to her own reality. A challenging journey lies ahead and Irenya must face head on distrust, hidden agendas, and her own past.


J Victoria Michaels has delivered an interesting and perhaps more truthful look at "world-shift" fantasy than I’ve read for some time. Her protagonist is far from perfect. Yet, how would we respond to a world that denies our personal truth, while loading expectation upon expectation on our shoulders at the same time? I found Irenya’s responses to her situation genuine as she finds her way through a confusing mire of differing cultural and social rules and unknown history.


I thoroughly enjoyed this read and look forward to the rest of the series. Michaels writing style is fluid. Her world building is intense and vast. I love the detail and depth of each character and location, the different cultures and the intricate social mores created. Irenya’s Gift of Power is reminiscent of The Belgariad series (David Eddings 1980s) where singing described in such a powerful and loving way that it should have been a “power” (missed opportunity there, I guess). Michaels has not missed the opportunity. She’s taken it, connected it with a young woman’s troubled adolescence, and imbued it with layers of yearning and meaning.


Buy Songbird on Friday and you won't want to put it down all weekend.

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Cover of novel titled Keeper of the Way by Patricia Lelie