Noble Romance Publishing, $5.00, ISBN 978-1-60592-078-8
GR Bretz’s Trill Song is a fantasy story with romantic elements, set in a place called Utep. Our heroine, Liwa, is a very special young lady because she’s a Trill. Yes, a Trill. She’s the first Trill to be born in 300 years, so she’s really that special. I’ve read the story twice, however, and I’m still not sure what a Trill really do other than she can sing very well. When Liwa was seven, the Healer who was supposed to mentor her in the way of the arts vanished, leaving behind her six-year old son Temo in Liwa’s care. Liwa and Temo grow up to make goo-goo eyes at each other, but such is the ways of this land that Temo will have to go fight in a war from which he is certain to never return. Liwa and Temo must now embark on a road trip to find a solution that can change the ways of their people.
The biggest problem with this story is that the publisher synopsis makes more sense than the entire book read twice. The author’s writing style can be on the opaque and confusing side. In Chapter 1, Liwa is born. The next chapter jumps to her being seven years old without any warning. Since Liwa is never identified by name in Chapter 1, and there is no Seven years later or some similar phrase to start off Chapter 2, things can get momentarily confusing. Likewise, in Chapter 3, Liwa starts making out with some guy named Rail or Rall (he’s called both, heh) and I can only hope years have passed between the two chapters or else I am reading something that can get me arrested.
The world building is vague. I never get a good idea of what is going on in this story. I mean, I’m not sure what makes a Trill so special, and that seems to be a crucial element to this story. Also, the characters never really come to life. They seem like caricatures from an Earth’s Children fanfiction. The most vivid thing I remember is about them is that as kids, Temo likes to watch when Liwa has sex with Chloe but he gets jealous and angry when Liwa gets it on with Rail/Rall, heh.
Trill Song feels like an underwritten and poorly developed take on those “primitive girl in a tribe makes good and shags hot guy” stories that were so popular when Jean M Auel was all the rage. If it had been longer and more effort had been made to make the world and the characters more well developed, it would have been readable. In its current form, it feels like a very rough first draft.