11 journalers for this copy...
I LOVED this book!
It is intended to be a children's book for tweens/teens but I believe is also a fantastic read for an adult.
Birdwing, by Rafe Martin
Remember the Grimms' story "The Six Swans"? A wicked queen
turns her stepsons into wild swans; the spell will be broken only if
their little sister stays mute for six years and weaves each of them a
nettle shirt. When the time is up, she has not quite finished a sleeve
on the last shirt. The brothers regain human form, but the youngest is
left with one arm and one wing. The end of that fairy tale is the
starting point for this extraordinary novel. The youngest brother is
now a teenager in the household of his father, the king. Alone among
his brothers, he still feels part of the wild world, even as he works
to overcome what the human world sees as a handicap. In the best
fairy-tale tradition, "Prince Freak" sets out to discover how he must
live. The marvelous thing about Birdwing is that, given its highly
literary origins, it is so tough, colloquial, funny and moving. But
then, having been sent back to the Grimms, you realize Martin has
merely emulated his masters. A book for kids who appreciate the likes
of William Mayne and Ursula K. Le Guin. - Washington Post
Fly away little book, fly!!
Order of participants:
waderwoman- United Kingdom
kittycatss- Portugal - asked to be skipped
conto- Portugal<------ book is on its way here :)
nomorecorsa- Netherlands (asked to be last due school)
Happy journeys little book!
I shall pop it in the post on Tuesday so it can wing its way to Silentmiaow in Switzerland.
Thanks for the read, Minerva, and waderwoman, I forgot to say, but I love the Gauguin postcard!
Waiting for LeishaCamden's addy, will send it quickly on its way.
What a charming and lovely little book! It was a quick read but even so had a lot of ... action, for lack of a better word, in it. I agree with what someone else said here that the book is kind of predictable. But also that that's not entirely unexpected in view of the fact that this is a book intended for young readers, and not mature, sophisticated readers like us, sniff. ;-) I also find it not at all unexpected considering the style of the novel; it's written in the style of a fairy tale, which is quite difficult to get right for any writer, but I think Martin has managed it well here. One of the main characteristics of fairy tales, of course, is precisely this quality of repetitiousness and predictability ... so I found it not at all surprising and in fact think it fits very well with the style of writing.
To sum up my thoughts ... the book is well written, the author has a good grasp of the language, and a good understanding of the two fairy tales the book is based on ('The Six Swans' and, less, 'The Goose Girl'). The characters are appealing and well-rounded, the plot is well crafted and mostly believable as a fairy tale. Some things in the story are a little too ... modern, let's say ;-) but mostly it works very well. If I was 13 years old I would absolutely adore this book. :-)
I've PMed Tarna for her/his address, so hopefully the book will be on its way to Finland soon.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
I sent this book off in the mail to Tarna in Finland on Friday, June 8th. Happy travels, little book - I hope you will find many more happy readers!! :-)
Thanks again for sharing, Minerva101!
I enjoyed the themes of otherness and accepting diversity. My favorite character was Mrs. Bluestone. I wonder if she, too, was based on some fairytale or something like that. And how she learned new way of cooking by learning these foreign, northern, less salty recipes. Exotizing might be a good thing sometimes, I guess ;-)
I somehow expected the story to end when Ardwin and Alene got back home (or at Rose’s, at least). I think Rafe Martin wanted to tie all the loose ends and therefore kept writing a bit more. Perhaps most of the readers like it but I must say I prefer open endings. (And yet I do wonder what ever happened to Conrad after he disappeared...Is there a contradiction or what.)
I guess I’m trying to say here that Rafe Martin could have condensed the text a bit. I firmly believe that no book should usually have more than 300—350 pages. If it’s longer, there probably are needless words, sentences, paragraphs etc.
The Afterwords were great. So informative. I wish they’d put some in Finnish books, too.
Birdwing was easy read and enjoyable. Not the greatest reading experience I’ve had but I really did like it. I’m truly glad I had a chance to read it. Thank you, Minerva101!
This little national bird of Finland (whooper swan, cygnus cygnus, that is) will now be flying to Sweden in order to meet Deepswamp. I mailed the book today and it should get there by Tuesday.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
soleille has in the meantime written to me that she would like to read the book after all. could you Minerva101 please change the list so that soleille comes after conto? Thanks so much!
Anyway, I'm glad I read it or I would be wondering what it is like and I thank you very much for the opportunity, Minerva101!
Will be sending it off to soleille but probably only in a week or so from now (a bit difficult to get to the postoffice these days, sorry for that!)
And I LOVE the bookmarks, what an fantastic idea- who did these? Can you PM me how exactly it's done, I think I'll want to make some of my own! I've picked the one with the Swan boy :o)