The Stray Spirit (The Lutesong Series Book 1) Author R. K. Ashwick

ARC Review

3.8 out of 5 stars!

"Just a man, standing in a forest, playing for a tree." - Emry

Emry Karic's been struggling for a while with the bard career. Or not really one at all since he isn't a part of a guild yet. But his luck may just change! Only the gods have other plans for poor Emry. His only shot of impressing a certain guild may just go up in flames when his lute becomes possessed!

Still aiming for his shot, Emry makes a deal with the spirit within his lute. Only little did Emry know this agreement would have him trekking across the land. Not to mention encountering things that should only exist in stories! Did I mention his ex girlfriend will be accompanying him as well?

This is a fun adventure with a touch of romance. I enjoyed watching Emry's plans for his life change in the course of a night! How reuniting with his ex for this journey was difficult but the banter between the two was wonderful. I loved the author's interpretation on things and their imagination for this story.

There are mysterious "surges" occurring in the land and everyone's writing them off as "normal". Yet something is off about them and the trio are trying to get to the bottom of things. I loved the mystery and how random, little things helped to connect the dots.

I enjoyed Aspen, and their new soul aspect. Being inquisitive about everything that we take for granted. Sticking up for their friends when someone is being rude, even if a main character's brushing it off. We also get to see more insight into spirits! There was a scene with another spirit and a woman that had me cracking up.

For me, I felt like a few scenes lingered a little bit. I did enjoy some of the long descriptions of things to really help set the stage and scenery. The author included illustrations in this book! We also get a map at the beginning of the book. Loved both of these features. I always get excited when I am reading a book and find there are random illustrations within!

Overall, a very clean read. There's romance but nothing over the line of passionate kisses. Hardly any violence or real detailed out violence. There were a couple of minor curse words in the book. Again, ultimately a clean read. This is book one so there's a cliffhanger but it is a gentle one. I am interested in continuing the journey with the cast. Seeing where everyone ends up!

Enjoy the fun, lighthearted adventure with a dash of romance and give the author some stars!



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