The Noble House of Silveria sits isolated from the rest of Rogrovia on top of Mount Saddle. Presided over by a dowager duchess, the House celebrates the changing seasons with festivals and rituals deeply-imbued with meaning and tradition. Visitors are rare, so everyone is excited to meet them when they do arrive, be they royalty from the mother-world of the Argentene, foreign dignitaries, desert nomads on secret missions, or knights searching for lost loved ones.
In a world teeming with myth and magic, where a mermaid is rumoured to reside in the lake, and where shifters are shunned, where people come together not by chance but because it's meant to be, can true love find its way through the murkiness of man-made conventions?
Can love transcend time, space, and even worlds?
Spring Song - Summer Lights - Fall Lanterns - Winter Wain
Raised as a noble scion, Heinregard comes to the House of Silveria for their famous Spring Song festival, but when he hears the voice of stable lad Clayten, he's overthrown in more ways than one. As they spend time together overseeing Heinregard’s troublesome younger cousins, the two grow close.
Is Heinregard prepared to risk everything for someone of a different station?
As the Dowager Duchess’ daughter, Viraya is safely past marriageable age and responsible for Spring Song celebrations. This year, their guests include a formidable Capitán who has the gall to set his cap at her.
Will Viraya be able to resist the attentions of this strangely familiar Capitán, keep the children away from her precious blossoms, and ensure a good showing for Spring Song?
Spring Song may be over, but Midsummer celebrations at the House of Silveria come with unexpected challenges. A pair of sand kittens arrive with their handler, Fang, a desert nomad whose people are hounded and oppressed. Set on a secret mission, Fang must accomplish it by any means. At least, that was her plan until she meets Mara, the Stable Master whose scent has long haunted her dreams. Can Desert Warrior Fang accomplish her mission and still win the heart of the woman she desires?
The annual lake outing on Night of Lights is imminent and everyone is excited, until the Reclining Dragon arrives with his liegeman. With these two unwelcome visitors prowling all over the House and the children running wild, Heinregard and Clayten must somehow keep them apart.
Will the truth about the wildlings’ parentage be revealed or will they be able to keep the Reclining Dragon in the dark?
After an absence of two years, Heinregard and the wildlings return to the House of Silveria. Clay is delighted at Heinregard’s return, but soon gets into trouble when he catches the eye of a notorious ambassador. Even if Clay manages to evade this unwanted attention, will Heinregard be allowed to take him on as liegeman?
Viraya is feeling more than a little flustered - the Capitán is back, but he’s brought along a young girl who refuses to let him out of her sight. Will they get to spend any time together before he has to leave again?
Crossing a line that should not be crossed, the wildlings manage to turn a staid ceremony - Lighting of the Fall Lanterns - into a dangerous one, bringing everyone to their knees in the most spectacular manner.
A M/M book is not something I would choose as this was a choice for a group read. To my surprise I enjoyed the book and pleased to have given the chance to read it. The author drew me in immediately with the disappearance of the valuable horses, which I could easily relate to being the owner of an Arabian horse. Being someone who abides with her inner spirit, I especially liked the connection between multiple previous lives. The braiding of the hair seemed to respresent the many strands of life where we experience romance, fear, peace, joy and dislike of people in our lives. I loved the poetry too. Read the book.
The further into this book I read, the more certain I was that I needed ALL of the sequels. It presents love and soul ties in a way that is unlike any other I've read, and I can't get enough. Hall keeps you guessing and provides a plot full of wonder, love, and drama.
I ended up pleasantly surprised by this! I had never read anything by the author before, and while I read a LOT of indie fantasy-romance (the perils of being a voracious reader with a KU subscription), when I find that rare book that, from page 1, is obviously well-written in a very literary style, it’s like finding a little piece of bookish heaven.
The dreaded world-building info-dump was completely avoided. Instead, the author drops the reader feet first into a lush, fully fleshed-out fantasy world with layers of history and magic—and more than one mystery that may or may not be completely solved—and you figure it out as you go along, full-immersion style. I LOVE books like that. They’re the ones that beg for a reread, because once you get to the end and you have all the pieces, you want to go back to the beginning so you can have that ah-ha, “I see what you did there!” moment.
Another detail that sold me on this book: the dialogue. Different classes and cultures have distinct, unique ways of talking, accents are fully acknowledged (but not in a stereotypical way; it’s handled really well), and not once did a character speak like they just tumbled out of the real world 21st century. (Sorry, but that’s a pet peeve of mine: I hate modern slang in a novel that’s supposed to be set in a completely different world with completely different cultures.)
The world-building is fantastic. The magic system is good. All those important fantasy boxes are checked. But let’s talk about the romance, friends and neighbors, because … wow.
There are literally no words for how much I love this character. He’s pretty much exactly the sort of noble MMC I love: elegant, chivalric, VERY easy on the eyes, he has interesting magic, yet he’s flawed in an oddly endearing way. And while I generally don’t seek out M/M romance (just not my thing), the romance in this novel is so well done, I ended up a fan. I’m such a sucker for slowburn romance, all those hints and glances, the subtext of things innocently said… There’s a very fine line between the perfect slowburn of UST and the sort of slow that just draaaaags on. It takes a skilled writer to navigate it, but the author pulled it off like a champ.
The novel’s second, M/F romance, between Viraya and the Capitan, is similarly gorgeous. And while I’m going to try avoiding spoilers, it’s a little heartbreaking. Thank goodness I had Heinregard’s romance to soothe my poor little wibbling heart.
There are other books set in the Lake Traveler world, so I have plans to read them, too. And SPRING SONG is apparently the beginning of a new series. Looking forward to it!
I enjoyed the slow burn romances forming between very likable characters. The author did an exceptional job with the world-building to accommodate cultures, language, and all the pieces that come together to create a vivid world the reader can actually “see”, scent, and feel in the mind. Add in a touch of the fairy tale and you have a perfect balance in which to enjoy this story. Grab your copy and experience a story that comes alive for you and pulls you into its mystical world.
I loved this beautifully written story. It's rare for me to see an author detail both an m/f and mm relationship in the same book, and do them both justice, but Cassie Hall did an exceptional job. The world-building is so intricate and lyrical that I really felt like I was there. The characters were wonderful and so sweet. Overall a fantastic tale in a medieval, fairytale setting.
This is such a pleasant and sweet tale of romance. The atmosphere the author creates is very much like a classic fairy tale! I enjoyed it thoroughly. The characters are likable and relatable. It’s a great standalone novella, but it can be read as a prequel to Silvermist, the first book in The Lake Traveler series. I highly recommend!!
Spring Song gives the reader a rich sensory story of love set in an intriguing world. The author weaves a tender romance between two shy young men and sets the stage for grander, wider stories with the supporting characters. It is a lyrical, satisfying read perfect for a rainy afternoon or a cozy night with a cup of tea.
A M/M book is not something I would choose as this wass a choice for a group read. To my surprise I enjoyed the book and pleased to have given the chance to read it. The author drew me in immediately with the disappearance of the valuable horses, which I could easily relate to being the owner of an Arabian horse. Being someone who abides with her inner spirit, I especially liked the connection between multiple previous lives. The braiding of the hair seemed to respresent the many strands of life where we experience romance, fear, peace, joy and dislike of people in our lives. I loved the poetry too. Read the book.
Alora Pendrak rated it it was amazing
Spring Song is a fantasy tale with a feel that is very similar to reading a story with a vibe similar to that of King Arthur and other medieval Fantasy Romances. Yet it very much does its own thing with fleshed out yet flawed characters trying to navigate both the difficulties of preparing for the upcoming Spring Song Festival, while navigating their own budding romances.
The relationships are very well written and there is a very slow burn feel to the love stories. If you like stories that take their time and are in no rush to get to the end. Then this is a very relaxing, yet gripping read that will not disappoint.
The world-building is fantastic from the language, the flowers, traditions. Cassia Hall’s prose creates a beautiful and intricate world full of vibrant cultures that come together and even clash due to various traditions.
Even the non-romantic relationships are very interesting. The main heroine has a very complicated relationship with her own rather stern mother and her family members known as the Wildlings which the story explores in great detail.
Though, I will warn you there is some subject matter that may be triggering to some as there are implications of power abuse by a certain character of a sexually abusive nature.
Though the topic is only spoken of and handled very sensitively and is especially relevant in the wake of the Me Too Movement.
Other than that this is mostly a fun and quite a romantic fairy tale about love and the bonds that bring people together.
It’s something I'd recommend for both teens and adults of both genders but particularly fans of Arthurian Legends, female-driven stories, fairy tales, and many classic epic fantasy-type stories.
(Alora, Pendragon Publications)
Sep 18, 2021 Natalie Holden
When I see fantasy romance, I think young, feisty heroine in a rushed and poorly-plotted novel where everything that happens is just an excuse for her to get with her fated man. Spring Song is as far from this as possible. The characters are realistic, the world feels alive and the writing is simply beautiful.
We follow two couples: two young men, and a mature man and woman. Each of them has a distinct personality, but they are all sympathetic. There’s a hint of soulmates/fated romance, which I normally find creepy, but here it’s done so tastefully and elegantly, I was genuinely hoping for them all to get their HEA. There’s not much happening in terms of the plot, the climax was literally a spring celebration, but it was enough to paint an absolutely beautiful world and give each character a story. There's even a villain, though not in a traditional sense. That could be boring, but I found it was a nice respite from the constant action of typical fantasy, a moment to sit in the garden and admire flowers. Which brings me to the last bit, which is worldbuilding, which was superb. I didn’t expect much, but I ended up loving it, feeling there was much more to this world and we barely scratched the surface. In just 150 pages, Cassia managed to portray three distinctive countries and their complicated history, their customs, not to mention multiple made-up species of flowers and berries. (Yes, my favorite part of this novella was silva berries. Bite me.) My least favorite part? The wildings. Though it’s not the author’s fault, I’m just not a children person. Or rather, I’m the kind of person who is like witches of yore: only likes children in a stew. And the wildings were insufferable at the start, they got better as time went on (and the focus shifted to other characters). I still wanted to get a big cauldron that would fit them both, just in case.
Overall it's a pleasant and unusual read. I would recommend it to everyone who appreciates slower, more lyrical, and original writing.
Oct 05, 2021 Isla Ryder rated it it was amazing
What a sweet story. I really enjoyed Spring Song, I'm not always a huge fantasy fan as I get bogged down by world-building sometimes but the author plunges you in to her world and I felt right at home, scurrying alongside these characters in the days coming up to the Spring Song Festival. I loved having the two couples to follow and always am up for a slow-burn in any form so twice as nice for me! I was a little sad at the end, but having the two couples made a nice balance, and I look forward to more in the series and from this author!
Aug 23, 2021 Alicia Chapin rated it it was amazing
This is such a pleasant and sweet tale of romance. The atmosphere the author creates is very much like a classic fairy tale! I enjoyed it thoroughly. The characters are likable and relatable. It’s a great standalone novella, but it can be read as a prequel to Silvermist, the first book in The Lake Traveler series. I highly recommend!
Spring Song by Cassia Hall Review by Ian Conner Five Stars
SLOW ROMANCES AMAZING WRITING
Almost immediately Cassia Hall begins building an intriguing world that envelopes the reader. It did not take long to become immersed in both the world and the characters within it. She brings the readers into the story but does not give you all the answers all at once.
Her writing allows the reader to figure things out on their own. I truly admire her ability to write dialogue in detail depending on which character is speaking and who is being addressed. Amazingly Cassia is also a composer and incorporated music she wrote for characters into the book. A quick scan takes you to yet another facet of her writing. The depth of her penmanship is certainly more two dimensional. Hall uses all the readers senses as she tells her tale.
A terrific line from the book, “He clutched his memories to him, greedy as a dragon with his hoard of gems and jewels.” Demonstrates her depth of prose.
Romances are not my usual genre but Cassia Hall has certainly mastered the category. Without offering any spoilers, she offers multiple relationships throughout the book. Expressive, sentimental, and tender passions between the characters while at the same time offering plotting to keep the readers enthralled with the medieval like story. House of Silveria and House of Karenys reminded me of the Montagues and the Capulets.
Romance fans will NOT be disappointed and will be looking for the just released sequel “Summer Lights” I recommend getting BOTH books.
Summer Lights is a sequel to Spring Song, but it stands well on its own. Cassia Hall expands her cast of intriguing and endearing characters throughout the book and gives us more of the characters we grew to love in Spring Song. She has created a wonderous fantasy world full of stories, songs, and lore. While the love stories are poignant, my favorite part of her books has been the children. She writes them with as much depth and complexity as her adults, giving them character arcs and growth that feel age-appropriate and natural for their stories. The wildlings touch our hearts, but as children, they can also be thoughtless and impulsive--and they have their reasons. Careful, earnest Lowell has his reasons too, and the interactions of these little ones against the backdrop of love and secrets is wonderful.
The best romance book I have read this year. Or should I call it a romantasy?
I'm glad to be the first one to read this amazing story by Cassia Hall. I loved the main couple in Spring Song (Heinregard and Clay) and wanted to see how their relationship would develop when the weather become hotter. And the whole book appeared to be much hotter...and poignant.
I loved how much detail Cassia added into the story to show us the stables and horses...and (omg!) sand kittens. I loved the dynamics of the new main couple (Mara and Fang) which led the parallel plot line to Heinregard and Clay's relationships (which was the secondary couple in the book). I loved how Cassia brought midsummer celebrations and showed her fantasy world. But the most I liked antagonist of the story - Reclining Dragon with his liegemen.
It's really wonderful to read the story with the antagonist liegemen's POV. OMG, I thought Cassia was going to make me cry.
It's the second book in the Seasons Cycle, but it's also the perfect story to read as a stand-alone. I was deeply moved by the plot. It resonated with me and I have managed to read it in one day. I didn't want to put it down. Please, excuse me, I'm going to read it one more time.
Just in time for Summer! This story was sweet and surprising and everything I want for the upcoming season. I will be the first to say I’m not generally a fantasy fan, however I am a fan of this series and the way it is developing. In another review I saw the word ‘romantasy’ and that fits perfectly. Yes, the romance plays out in a high-fantasy world with magic and (no spoilers here!) special kinds of folk, but that is all drip-fed to readers almost as an aside.
You love the characters first, and all the rest is dressing. And boy, do I love the characters. I was glad to see Heinregard and Clay back from book 1 to see their connection continue to develop, but—as a horse lover—seeing stable master Mara become a lead character was most wonderful. To my fellow horse lovers, fear not! Cassia Hall has her horse facts down. Even the fantasy aspect of the animals seems plausible for her world, and I would love to get a ride in on Arazar.
The whole cast is great, even beyond our two couples, and I cannot wait to see how the seasons progress and who will be featured in the future! So settle in for another ride up Mount Saddle just in time for Summer Lights.
Cassia Hall truly shines in this book. It showcases her strengths in creating endearing, deeply drawn characters facing challenges in an elaborate, magical world. She creates characters you can't help but cheer for. She's particularly good at writing children in their messy, pushy, intense glory, from the Wildlings (who are wild indeed) to earnest Lowell. Summer Lights throws together disparate characters with conflicting interests and needs, and the sorting out is poignant and satisfying.
Cassia Hall is a wordsmith who can string words together in a way that allow her readers to visualise things she wants to portray, to feel the feelings, passion, agony, frustration, fear, yearning, sorrow….of her characters. The episode on the lake in the Chapter - Night of Lights was so vividly described it took my breath away.
Summer Lights is a beautifully written story that touches the heart and makes me ache for the main characters, reminding us that often, listening to our heart means that we have to be willing and ready to go against all odds.
Apart from being a fantasy love story, I find some poignant messages in Summer Lights, one of which is how the real world has much to learn to accept people like Fang who are ”two-spirited”. Another message surfaced when Fang was asked whether she was a purebred nomad, giving her the chance to unsettle Heinregard by speaking of the atrocities committed by the overlords. To Fang, though Heinregard may be ignorant of the sins of his forefathers, he's not entirely innocent. Similarly, in the real world, many of us are fed lies despite having, like Heinregard, a hunch that something is amiss, but we still feign ignorance.
I felt very much for young Lowell, heavily burdened at such a young age. He tried so hard to be the reliable, responsible and capable person for his family. My heart clenched for him and I even felt proud of him when, despite being so practically and intellectually minded, he took heed of his maman’s teaching “to look into his heart and not depend solely on his head”, which led him to do the right thing, something even the adults might not have done.
Summer Lights is unputdownable. Looking forward to the next novel in this series.
A really sweet romantacy, with just enough fantasy to retain my interest. The two couples are FF and MM romances, and while the two guys are sweet and cuddly, the girl's pairing is more feisty. The children inject humour, especially the crazy wildlings, and I have a special affection for Lowell, who seems so much wiser than everybody else. I loved the sand kittens, too.
But to me the most interesting characters were the bringer of storms, the Reclining Dragon, and his liegeman Tyrel. There are hints of a deeper, multi-layered plot behind these pair which is only hinted at in this book. I greatly look forward to reading the next book to see where their stories lead.
Heinregard and Clayten are still around, but Summer Lights is really Mara and Fang's story. Also the children's, and two new characters who come out of the blue and literally rock a boat. The appearance of dragon lord and his liegeman is like catalyst and show glimpse of a complex world. The story is good, the characters deep, kids are so real. The ending is understated but beautiful. It's like you're taken full circle back to beginning. Nicely done.