booksofafeather: A book and candlestick, with a feather lying across the pages. (Default)
Short review: A far too complex book to really say what it's "about"... it starts out seeming to be about war, but there are so many other plots, and character goals, and reasons for people to be doing things that mostly you don't see much war at all. It's not very much about war until close to the end. There are a lot of twists and turns in this story... and it has a very sympathetic approach to the winged nonhumans. It wasn't my "usual type" of story, but I can't find any reason to fault it except that some of the villains are a bit stereotyped. I can't wait to read the sequel!

Writing: It's well-written and you get lots and lots of nice description. Everyone's preference is different of course, but there's no way I can say this is "bad writing". Twists and turns keep you reading and the overall plot ends up not being quite what you expect a lot. Don't stop until the very last page, because just when you think something is over, more things occur! As I said before, it could use not having a "stereotyped evil", or having most of the evil be in ugly creatures... but that's most of the problem I see.

From a winged person's perspective...: This is a book that really feels like it interacts with its winged people as winged. They're not my winged people (being gryphons) but I could see a lot of similarities in the needs for their care, and they are treated as having a full culture that centres about what they are. It's very natural feeling. May spoil the story ) It has some "species-queer" elements also, to do with what if you aren't quite one species or another, but a new thing. The book is even aware of human-centric thinking and mentions it by that name! It's very good about this. In all of that, there aren't actually many "traditional" flying descriptions, but a lot of detailed battle flying and tactics.

Trigger warnings: Cruel methods of punishment: cutting off wings, removal of skin, other tortures. Mentions of neglect of a deformed child. People feeling they are freaks (though not just for being winged). Clipping of wings. Various war horrors. Not a gentle book in general.

More thoughts... )
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