Book Reviews: “Soul Music”

Not many books, especially fantasy/science fiction, have used music as the main plot of a story. “Soul Music” does just that. It is perhaps one of the most referenced-filled books I had ever read.

The story begins with a young man named Imp y Celyn which, in his language, translates to “bud of the holly,” an allusion to the musician Buddy Holly. Imp devotes his life to music after moving to the city of Ankh-Morpork, where he finds a ragtag band made up of one human (him), one troll named Lias, and one dwarf named Glod. Together they tour the countryside performing their “Music With Rocks In.”

There is also a woman named Susan Sto Helit, duchess of the country Sto Helit. She is the granddaughter of Death himself, and only finds this out when her parents have perished in a deadly crash over a gorge and Death relapses into grief, forcing Susan to take up the family trade of reaping the dead. At first, she appears reluctant throughout the story. Gaining the knowledge that bad things happen to good people, Susan starts to take it upon herself and fix the system by saving people from certain death.

The book uses wonderful allusions to real-life rock bands and music. Constantly the narrative makes a point of mentioning that Imp sometimes looks very elvish (Elvis). It focuses on the power of music and the influence it has on the majority of the world.