Mar. 7th, 2011

booksofafeather: A book and candlestick, with a feather lying across the pages. (Default)
Short review: A girl discovers that she is born into a lineage of winged people... but also into a lineage that secretly disagrees on what should be done about their wings. She's taken to a remote sanctuary and given time to find herself, and think about her place in the world. A good story, with a sombre feeling, that focuses realistically on life with wings without making it sound too ideal or too horrible.

Writing: The writing style is good... it doesn't stand out as truly good or truly bad. The plot is realistic and the story has a slight melancholy feel, but not as much as Night Flying. It's rather a feel that makes you take it seriously.

From a winged person's perspective...: This book is all about the winged person's perspective and has a lot of little details that make the book feel very real! There is no specific question of whether the people feel they have a "winged person identity" or a "non-winged person identity", but there are many clues that the thought of losing their wings would horrify them. They feel restless indoors and the need to stretch their wings and the urge to fly, and small details are noticed and described that are unusual in most books, like the feeling of rain on bare wings (I really loved that one!). The description of the backs of their clothing to fit the wings seemed very realistic too. The flight abilities are also treated as realistic. I think it's very well done.

Trigger warnings: Cruelty to wings: binding wings to deform them and cutting them off is mentioned often and graphically. Characters with this done are called "cutwings" in a casual manner. This book is not easy on the stomach. Also some describing of the characters as "freaks" and "mutants" by themselves, sometimes in a joking way.

More thoughts... )
booksofafeather: A book and candlestick, with a feather lying across the pages. (Default)
I have been thinking for a while about whether it's better to keep this list while saying, "I am a winged person", or to keep it saying "I am someone who dreams of wings and flight". Both are true, as even being a winged person, I too have these dreams. Even if your dreams are real they can be dreams too. Think of the person who has warm daydreams of her homeland, even though she can travel there too. But the words I use changes how people see this list. Of course, I won't change it now again, but sometimes I think, what was the best way forward?

This list was begun to be from the perspective of a winged person. So I thought, I will put my authority behind it as a winged person. It seems silly to say, "this or that is not realistic" if I don't know myself. Plus, to simply say "I am a person dreaming of wings", those who experience themselves as winged people may say, "who are you to arbiter what is right or wrong about this??" So I felt, it's best to use my position of knowing, after all.

Of course this brings up some issues. One of these is belief... as a person in a multiple group I experience wings... I am winged. But in this world that (most of?) you read my words in, people don't have wings on their bodies. Phantom wings or ethereal wings or the wings are there in the soul, but not flesh and bone. Perhaps in the end my "authority" is nothing at all. So of course I'm up against the thought that people might say "you're not really this, but just pretending". Of course, that hurts me very much. But in the end I have my own body and I know what's true. Plus, it would be the same if I was telling any strange experience. Some people might laugh... but if no one tells of strange experiences... no one will believe them... and so no one can ever tell... a problematic cycle begins. I have the good luck to be in a place to speak. So I should speak without fear from my heart, unless, I want to encourage a world where nobody will.

But really, that is just a small issue that I set aside. It's just my personal comfort. What is more serious, is whether people who have never seen a winged person will take it seriously. Of course, "the dream of flight" is well known. I want it to be taken seriously... for people to not laugh at those who dream of flight but realise that throughout time we have had this calling. It means something. And people can relate to a person who says "I dream of flight", more than they can relate to a complex situation like mine. So for that reason, it would have been better to hide. About that one... I still don't know what to do, I'm honest.

My other big issue is that I wonder if I set myself apart from you. I think that those of us who have wings and those of us who don't in this life, but also have a feeling of flight important to them, or know in their heart what soaring is about... I think we are of the same kinship. I don't want to draw a bright line between us. To me, you are kin... not "otherkin" but "kin to me"... you have the heart that was meant to fly, and that is the most important thing, to me, I believe. I could say "I am someone who dreams of wings and flight" and maybe you would feel that I stand with you more closely.

But the truth is, doing that, I would deny something in me too. I don't just dream but also I am. I don't want to hide the whole of myself. So, with respect... I'll continue saying it this way. It might be in some ways a good idea and in some ways a bad one. In the end, it comes down to my selfish heart, doesn't it? Or, perhaps, "identity". Identity is important for me, just as it is important for you who are otherkin.

Even so, to those of you who dream of flight, I want you to know that this is not me, looking down on you from a high perch (hehe) or trying to be better. But wanting to say "we are all kin". We are bound by our dreams of flight... there is a feeling in our hearts that is hard to share but somehow, it can make it out in words very rarely. This is why I review these books.

Well... too much talking... the next review is coming soon!
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