Book review: The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson

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Fatima seeks freedom; air that is her own and a world that she can be a master of. A concubine in the last emirate of Muslim Spain, Fatima finds an opportunity to run before her that she must immediately seize or forever live in regret. It is a dangerous journey, but will result in pure freedom, a fulfilled destiny, and most important, it will save her best friend’s life.

As Fatima flees in the night with not a moment to spare, the reader too escapes reality and is transported to a world filled with endless unknowns and possibilities. Fatima and Hassan discover new creatures and magic around every corner and as they learn more about the world outside of what they once knew. But with new discoveries comes the constant danger of the Holy Office, which seeks to capture Fatima and Hassan and make them mindless followers of their religion.

A coming-of-age journey that is young adult meets fantasy and makes for an all-around wonderfully unique story. The moment Fatima realizes that she’s never owned her own pair of shoes or seen outside the court’s walls was the moment I became emotionally invested in this story and couldn’t stop reading.

I’ll be keeping an eye out for more books from this author, as she has the ability to conjure up magical creatures and landscapes that transported me to everywhere I wanted to go: from the forest and mountains to the beaches and sea and all of the magical places I could never see. Overall, four out of five stars — I never gasped, laughed, or cried outwardly, but was still provided plenty of entertainment, girl power, and life takeaways… and a leviathan, which is almost as important as everything else, in my opinion.

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