Lyres, Legends & Lullabies [book review]

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

4 & a half out of 5, this was marvellous!

Key Aspects…

  • Wondrous Music
  • Fantasy
  • Haunting Imagery
  • Dragons
  • Kick-ass Characters

[Disclaimer: I received an ARC copy of LLL]

Lyres, Legends & Lullabies is a one-of-a-kind collection of 30 score compositions combined with extracts of fiction. But what to say about R. L. Davennor‘s debut book? I think I took more notes for this book review than I have ever done before. There was just so much to comment on that felt necessary for this review – every single composition evoked strong feelings in my chest & every extract of fiction stirred stunning visions in my brain. The entire collection transports you to a world of magic & mystery that you could easily lose yourself in. I spent a number of hours listening to the soundtrack with my eyes closed letting my brain show me images of a parallel universe where knights save princesses, mermaids lure sailors to their death & dragons roam the skies. You can listen along to the pieces as you read the shorts introductions to each piece & the extracts they are paired with. There were a number of compositions & extracts that really stole my heart which I’ll focus on in this review.

The Arrival was one of the first pieces I listened to & originally I had thought I’d find it easiest to read the piece before listening to the music or vice versa but R. L. Davennor paired them so magnificently. The drums began to beat just as I read the line: ‘Parted gates & a horde of Sages awaited them. Dozens of carefully places torches illuminated the latice work of vines’. The song built right alongside the tension in the text that helped send me on a vision quest to watch the scene unfold before my eyes. Alexandria’s Awakening was paired with an excerpt from Davennor’s upcoming novel Bloodlust & is a short, whirlwind of emotions that left me in awe & absolutely devastated. I am desperate to read the full manuscript of Bloodlust as I HAVE to know what happens next. I am still in mourning from that short excerpt of fiction even three days after reading it, it captured my heart indefinitely. With each tune I think I’d heard my new favourite piece when along came the next tune. The Beast Within is a firm favourite of mine as I love a good dance piece, especially ones that beat faster & faster with each imagined step. Combined with the excerpt of Rebecca’s wedding in Bloodlust it’s passionate & thrilling, it transports me to a place where I can almost feel my pulse beating fast in time with the music as I spin around & around instead of Rebecca. It could be likened to the dance that Jack & Rose perform below deck of the Titanic, & I have a specific image in my head of a woman draped in green spinning again & again her bare feet pounding the earth as dust flies up around her, fire lit torches forming a circle around her throwing eerie shadows across cave walls. Every summer I drive to an educational centre near me where they have a Viking longhouse, Neolithic houses, & an earth house… within the earth house they host spectacular evenings where oral storytellers come to tell you tales of folklore & legend around a huge fire that throws shadows around the wooden seating. As you listen & stare into the flames you can see the story come to life in the embers… The Beast Within transports me back to that earth house as flames light up my eyes & I’m filled with a sense of magic & wonder.

Chasing Destiny is a beautiful piece in a heartbreakingly emotional way that swells into a feeling of hope. I adore the excerpt paired with The Execution – I’m urgently wanting to know more! Hyacinth is chilling & gut wrenchingly beautiful. King’s March takes me somewhere historical in the recesses of my brain, as if a memory passed through generations awakening inside me. The bagpipes in the piece are stunning (I love bagpipes! I know I’m odd). I can picture a battle about the unfold as the drums beat, armies of warriors marching towards one another knowing in their heart that they might not live to see the morning. Storm Dance is wonderful & immediately transports me to a ship’s deck in the hammering rain as sailors dance together merry & inebriated. It’s one of my favourites not just because of the tune but also because it makes me immediately picture my own pirate crew of The Bloody Maiden, so it automatically became one of my favourites, & finally The Wailing Caverns – WOW – This piece is as close as we mortals shall ever come to hearing a siren’s call without being drowned. It’s mystical, magical, yearning. It’s as if R. L. Davennor has managed to record the song of an actual mermaid, I can feel the pull to the ocean in my chest as I listen to it even now.

Overall I am completely in love with Lyres, Legends & Lullabies & am in awe of R. L. Davennor’s talent, I truly do not know if there is anything this woman cannot do! Her writing is incredible, her music is beautiful & her singing is magnificent. It may seem that this review is biased because R. L. Davennor is my friend but I can honestly say I looked for negatives in every aspect of this book, just one thing that wasn’t glowing praise… I couldn’t find it. I’m a diehard fan for life & I know that you will be too once you’ve had a listen & read. You can order yourself a copy of Lyres, Legends & Lullabies right now, & it will be launching to the public on 14th August!

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