Black Wings Beating by Alex London
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
"No one was only the sum of broken things inside themselves. Anyway, what were breaks if not openings?"
Brysen dreams of being a falconer but lacks the focus. Kylee, his twin sister, dreams of leaving falconry and the Six Villages behind forever but harbors a secret skill. War is on the horizon and the only way out for the twins is to accomplish what their brutal father died doing -- capturing a ghost eagle.
London's Black Wings Beating is a remarkable story of contrasts. It's a heart-pounding tale of love vs. power, romantic gestures vs. calculating strategic advantage, sky vs. earth, and family vs. all. The world-building is compelling and no detail is missed. The war that threatens from the east, which is only introduced in this book, will upend it all.
While the birds are a great hook, the aspect that soars in this story is the relationship between Brysen and Kylee. Brysen fixes his sight upward at the boy he loves and his birds, and Kylee focuses on the earth's next hand-hold as she climbs the challenge in front of her. I look forward to following these two as they face the next mountain.
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