The people of Uztar have long looked to the sky with hope and wonder. Nothing in their world is more revered than the birds of prey and no one more honored than the falconers who call them to their fists. Brysen strives to be a great falconer--while his twin sister, Kylee, rejects her ancient gifts for the sport and wishes to be free of falconry. She's nearly made it out, too, but a war is rolling toward their home in the Six Villages, and no bird or falconer will be safe.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review through Netgalley. I was drawn to this book by its provocative cover. I loved the unique and intriguing impressionist-esque design. The title Black Wings Beating brought a dark and strange image to my mind that made me more interested in what the book was actually about. I was excited to see if the content of the book matched the interesting cover and title.
In the first chapter, I fell completely in love with the world Alex London created. The bird-centric culture and religions of Uztar was so completely different than any other fantasy book I’ve read. At first, it was difficult to understand how birds alone could permeate an entire history and influence everything in the story, but the language completely drew me in. London makes it clear that everything, from the conflicts of the book to the turn of phrases that characters regularly use, is uniquely part of this world, which is amazing to find in a book.
The story of Black Wings Beating introduces exciting conflict between characters and within characters. While I thought that I knew for sure where the story was going to go when I started the book, each turn that the book made took me in a completely different direction than I expected. Certain twists even made me physically gasp, which if a reaction that I rarely get while reading. I absolutely loved being surprised by the plot of this book.
My favorite character in the book was Kylee. She seemed to be one of the few characters who actually thought with her brain. Most people made decisions based on money or their emotions, all with the exception of Kylee. I enjoyed getting to know her better as the story progressed. However, by the end of the book, I really wondered how anyone had really changed during the course of the novel. A lot happens in the book, but by the end of it I couldn’t put my finger on what was different about the characters now compared to when we started.
Black Wings Beating is the first book in Alex London’s Young Adult Fantasy series. The book leaves off on some serious cliff hangers, so I’m definitely excited to see where the next book goes! If you love world-building and exciting plot-twists, you’ll want to make sure you pick up a copy of Black Wings Beating, when it comes out on September 25th.