Storytellers On Tour Spit & Song Blog Tour Stop

Storytellers On Tour Spit & Song Blog Tour Stop

The black market job would see them travel endless dunes on a road made from a massive dead beast’s ribs and out to a mythical city in the sea, scuffling with monsters and thugs in search of a long-lost book that might be the most dangerous object in the world.

Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.

Spit and Song

Series: Ustlian Tales #2
Author: Travis M. Riddle 
Publication Date: November 19, 2019
Publisher: Self-Published
Page Count: 510
Format: eARC
Genre: Fantasy
Cover Artist: Amir Zand
My Rating: ★★★



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Kali is a merchant who yearns to leave the harsh deserts of Herrilock and travel across the sea, trading goods and soaking in the sights and cultures. With a new potion on the market undercutting her profits, though, her seabound dreams are put on hold indefinitely. 

Failed musician Puk hits rock bottom after yet another catastrophic performance. Wandering the city streets in search of any sip of booze or whiff of fire-spit he can get his hands on, he resigns to the fact that hes stuck in the desert with no way back home to Atlua.  

Until one day, their paths cross with an illicit job opportunity. With its hefty payday, Kali and Puk could afford to finally escape the desert heat and set sail across the gulf. 

The black market job would see them travel endless dunes on a road made from a massive dead beasts ribs and out to a mythical city in the sea, scuffling with monsters and thugs in search of a long-lost book that might be the most dangerous object in the world.  

How hard could it really be? 

Spit and Song (Ustlian Tales #2)Spit and Song by Travis M. Riddle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m excited to be a part of SPIT AND SONG blog tour with Storytellers On Tour from June 14th – June 20th, 2020!

I received a copy of this book from the author and Storytellers On Tour in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! In no way does this affect my rating or review.


Content Warning: Profanity, Drug use & abuse, Mention of brothels

Each day they left before the sand could warm
Comfort lost, while the RIbroad pierced the sky
Each night of his far gone with spit and song
And hers a slog onward to the city sunk
Their paths aligned, the flower and the qarm.

A truly imaginative story with incredible world-building and entertaining characters, Spit and Song has been a welcomed surprise. An unlikely duo decides to pair up when an opportunity arises to make a large chunk of cash, but don’t realize exactly what that will entail.

”You’re expendable, and it’s about time we shed your dead weight.”

Main characters Kali and Puk are in need of money for vastly different purposes. Puk, a drug-addicted Qarmish singer has lost all due to “fire-spit.” Recently losing his position in his troupe after an embarrassing display due to his drug use, he finds himself out of money and no way to get back home. Any coin he has goes directly to feed his growing addiction.

Plenty of people throughout the world lived their lives without pursuing any creative avenue. It would be much less stressful to count himself among their number.
He didn’t want to tell Kali that, though.
It was bad enough being a failure, let alone consciously deciding to take a shortcut to failure.

Puk knows his reliance is wrong. His descent into drug abuse parallels his mental state and how he views himself. He frequently makes fun of himself for his current state. The comic relief he provides throughout the narrative sheds some light on what could be an even darker theme to traverse. Luckily for Puk, when he reaches his lowest point of desperation, Kali is there to help him get back on his feet, and begin to leave his addiction behind him.

Kali comes from a very different life. A faif merchant who desires to travel instead of stay in Herrilock finds her earnings heavily reduced. When she happens to meet Puk at a local bar, the ayote (a rat-like creature) rider and Puk become friendly acquaintances. Both in need of funds to achieve their next step in life, they dive into a risky mission to find a lost book that could drastically change their future–for better, or for worse.

The risk was worth the reward.

The lost text happens to be an ancient tome that was stolen over thirty years ago. After “red magic” or blood magic was banned, books like these were eradicated due to their horrendous nature. Those with the power to use red magic have limitless power over others which has led to terrible abuse of power. The tome is said to be in the possession of a wielder of red magic, so the duo must somehow remain one step ahead in order to stay alive, and literally, keep their heads. It just so happens, that what was once a huge weakness for Puk, may become his saving grace. When the two uncover some terrifying truths about the tome but must decide if they should deliver such a powerful asset to someone working the black market, or figure out an alternative plan.

These two characters remain the stars of the story and are entirely enjoyable to read about. If you are one for hilarious dialogue and bantering, Spit and Song will be right up your alley. Puk and Kali have easily become one of my favorite literary duos.

Vulgarity: Markedly.
Sexual content: Minimal.
Violence: Moderate.

My Rating: ★★★★

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Travis M. Riddle

Travis M. Riddle lives with his pooch in Austin, TX, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in English Writing & Rhetoric at St. Edward’s University. His work has been published in award-winning literary journal the Sorin Oak Review.

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I am the author behind Foals, Fiction & Filigree. An all-encompassing blog about horses, books, and my art.

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