cover image Rain Music

Rain Music

Patrick Swenson. Fairwood, $28 (348p) ISBN 978-1-933846-14-9

Swenson (Slightly Ruby) unites the magic of music and the power of emotion in this unique, slow-building fantasy thriller. Composer Truman Starkey is starting over after a messy divorce by visiting his friend’s resort in a beautiful Washington State rain forest to focus solely on writing the new symphony that has been eluding him. Within minutes of his arrival, he hears a voice in the rain that becomes his muse—and calls him to a magical destiny. An evil mage with ties to the forest has become hooked on a synthetic magical drug called moss, and he’ll do anything to get more. As Truman develops a connection with bar singer Kat Gregory, the pair discover that her singing, his symphony, and their attraction hold the key to stopping the mage and saving lives. The story’s slow to start, and readers unfamiliar with music composition will struggle with some of Swenson’s worldbuilding, but the many tangled threads of the plot come together in a satisfying conclusion. It’s a rewarding tale for those who stick with it. (Nov.)