Did The Dawn Chorus novella change the way characters deal with trauma?

Three years have passed since the last Bone Season book published and with a new instalment on track to release in 2021, fans are eager to learn more about the menacing futuristic world of Scion. Samantha Shannon has thus announced a brand new novella, The Dawn Chorus, to pave the way between The Song Rising and the highly anticipated The Mask Falling, which is to be the fourth book in the bestselling series. 

The series initially began as a tale following Paige Mahoney who worked for the criminal underworld as an informant and broke into people's minds to gather information for Jaxon Hall. It expanded into an ominous story about politics and power struggles between an otherworldly race and the clairvoyants. This dystopian fantasy has such incredible and rich worldbuilding that I revelled at the chance to read an additional story that allows you to understand the characters and their motives further.

The Dawn Chorus book cover by Samantha Shannon in the Bone season series

The Dawn Chorus expands Paige's character and almost acts as a refresher course as you are reintroduced to the goings-on of the present plot. Shannon's writing is reflective and lyrical, with spirited and intense dialogue that she has become such a master in crafting, which gives you the sense that you're reading a full length novel.

"Trying to get a handle on your sanity, once it starts to slide, is a balancing act.
Give a little to the broken parts of you, to keep them quiet and satisfied.
Give a little more to the repairs"

Rarely does a reader have the chance to spend time with characters in such a casual setting without the underlying pressure to move on quickly on account of pacing in a regular sized book. Paige has gone through hell for the past few months and the scenes in the new book provide a much needed breather and recovery time. 

The rest of this article contains spoilers for The Song Rising

Throughout The Song Rising, Paige is nowhere near the same subservient mollisher we meet in the Bone Season; she learns from her mistakes and becomes assertive to those that question her as the new Underqueen, which was so empowering and satisfying to read about. Warden and Paige arrive in Paris after the devastating events of the book, which rendered Paige incapacitated and the novella picks up immediately thereafter. We experience her crumbling mentality and I cannot even begin to explain the power those scenes hold as the reader is usually very used to a headstrong and resilient Paige. Seeing the vulnerability and having to accept help from others was such a turning point in her character development. 

There appears to be a perception that it is 'not cool' anymore for a protagonist to be saved by another yet it is so unrealistic for someone to carry everything on their shoulders and so I still indulge in reading about characters that do accept help (however reluctantly) in their fight.

"Listen, to the storm. It has the potential to destroy. 
It is neither quiet, nor gentle, nor soft."

Warden's involvement in Paige's road to recovery was also a landmark step in their relationship as the highlight of the series are their very sarcastic and impassioned conversations that envoke heart-clenching feelings with the simplest of exchanges. I will never tire of Warden's perceptive prose, whenever he speaks you truly get the sense that he's an immortal who has lived through it all. 

This novella is absolutely worth the read. It opens up the world even further and provides information I didn't even know I needed. The Dawn Chorus came out exclusively as an ebook and is available now from all major digital retailers.

ThatFictionLife Rating 5/5

The Dawn Chorus by Samantha Shannon Book Cover
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