Falcons are the new dragons in this engrossing fantasy series opener.
In the Six Villages, the Uztari use birds of prey for hunting, fighting, and companionship. But “war is on the wing” as they say: The Kartami, nomadic religious extremists, are set on purging the Six Villages of their sins. Twins Kylee and Brysen, who have “the same elk-brown skin as their mother, the same ice-blue eyes as their father,” soon find themselves at the conflict’s center. Kylee has a “once-in-a-generation gift” for falconry, yet all she wants is to be free of it forever. All Brysen wants is to be with his boyfriend and trainer, Dymian. By selling birds at market, the twins almost earn enough to pay off their late, abusive father’s gambling debts and fulfill both their hearts’ desires. But lovelorn Brysen gets swept up in Dymian’s debts and agrees to capture the dangerous, elusive ghost eagle in order to save Dymian’s life. Kylee secretly follows. The story, told through multiple third-person perspectives, soon reveals that more than just Dymian’s life rests on the twins’ shoulders. With political intrigue, epic battle sequences, jolts of romance, and strong female and queer characters, there’s a lot to pique readers’ interests here. But it’s the unique worldbuilding and beautifully complex sibling relationship that make this a must-read.
Readers will be swept away in this book’s talons. (Fantasy. 13-adult)