booksofafeather: A book and candlestick, with a feather lying across the pages. (Default)
Short review: A girl named Zahrah is born with mysterious vined hair that tells of a dada (shaman)'s nature in her, but the society around her is fearful of the unknown. The village is surrounded by a forest that everyone fears, but Zahrah is forced to enter it one day, at the same time as struggling with her power as a dada... the power to fly.

Writing: I think I expected this to be less light-hearted and silly feeling... I read in another review that it's trying to be an "African Alice in Wonderland" and it has that feeling. The unusual ideas are really interesting but they're not explored much so often they just seem put there to sound strange... There's a lot of feeling that Zahrah is putting herself through a ritual test but it's made less powerful by the fact that the story feels light-hearted, and the story structure it is based on is a very old one meaning you get a good sense of what will happen.

From a winged person's perspective...: There really aren't any wings, just floating. At the very end, there's a description of her flying, but it may as well have not been in the story at all... the flying is very secondary to the story.

Trigger warnings: Some use of "freak" and name-calling towards the girl for being a shaman, and a general sense of prejudice towards the unknown. But this book is light and unfrightening... even if some bad things happen, the way the story is told makes it feel as if they will easily pass, which is one of its weaknesses.

More thoughts... )
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