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BIRDWING by Rafe Martin


by Rafe Martin

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-439-21167-0
Publisher: Levine/Scholastic

An emotive fairytale extension thoughtfully explores the life of Ardwin, a prince with a swan’s wing instead of a left arm. As in Grimm, Ardwin’s the youngest of six brothers who spent years living as a swan. Is his remaining wing a blessing or a curse? It gives him emotional stirrings of wildness, but he’s called a freak. His father, the king, receives an offer from another king: a truce between realms and a princess for Ardwin to marry—if Ardwin cuts off his wing in favor of a magical prosthetic arm. Troubled, unwilling to be forced, Ardwin sneaks away on a quest to find the wild swans he used to know. The journey holds some surprises. The story’s ending is disquietingly random and out-of-the-blue, but that doesn’t overshadow the memorable images created along the way as Martin touchingly weaves together fairy tale, the wildness of animals and lyrical characterization. (Fantasy. YA)