by Rafe Martin | Science Fiction & Fantasy |
ISBN: 0439211689 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Minerva101 of Calgary, Alberta Canada on 2/20/2007
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
11 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Minerva101 from Calgary, Alberta Canada on Tuesday, February 20, 2007

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

Journal Entry 2 by Minerva101 from Calgary, Alberta Canada on Wednesday, February 21, 2007
This copy will be going out as a ray to the UK/Europe/Iran and Malaysia.
Fly away little book, fly!!

Order of participants:
waderwoman- United Kingdom
silentmiaouw- Switzerland
LeishaCamden- Norway
tarna- Finland
deepswamp- Sweden
Geegal- Germany
kittycatss- Portugal - asked to be skipped
conto- Portugal<------ book is on its way here :)
soleille- Germany
katayoun- Iran
nomorecorsa- Netherlands (asked to be last due school)

Journal Entry 3 by Minerva101 from Calgary, Alberta Canada on Sunday, February 25, 2007
Mailed off to waderwoman on Feb 24/07 by airmail.
Happy journeys little book!

Journal Entry 4 by waderwoman on Friday, March 09, 2007
This arrived safe and sound this morning-thankyou Minerva! it loooks great- I shhl read it straightaway then send it on its merry little way!

Journal Entry 5 by waderwoman on Saturday, March 24, 2007
I thoroughly enjoyed this although a bit predictable at times and the ending was a bit too "safe" for me. however as its a teen book not so surorising.
I shall pop it in the post on Tuesday so it can wing its way to Silentmiaow in Switzerland.

Journal Entry 6 by over-the-moon from Lausanne, Vaud Switzerland on Friday, March 30, 2007
thank you waderwoman and minerva, will start on this as soon as I've finished the one I'm reading now.

Journal Entry 7 by over-the-moon from Lausanne, Vaud Switzerland on Monday, April 09, 2007
an enjoyable story drawing on several fairy tales, with some interesting characters who are never what they appear to be. The moral being: grow to accept your difference as a blessing rather than a curse.
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.

Journal Entry 8 by over-the-moon from Lausanne, Vaud Switzerland on Wednesday, April 18, 2007
OK it's flying off to Norway!

Journal Entry 9 by LeishaCamden from Alna bydel, Oslo fylke Norway on Thursday, May 03, 2007
This book was waiting for me in the mailbox when I get home tonight. It looks wonderful, I'm really looking forward to reading it. :-) I'll journal again once it's read. Thanks, everyone!!

Journal Entry 10 by LeishaCamden from Alna bydel, Oslo fylke Norway on Saturday, May 12, 2007
I started reading this book yesterday. Haven't gotten very far yet, I've only read two chapters, but already I like it a lot. The language is quite poetic and beautiful and the concept is absolutely fascinating. Watch this space ... ! ;-)

Journal Entry 11 by LeishaCamden from Alna bydel, Oslo fylke Norway on Sunday, May 27, 2007
I finished reading this book on Friday, May 18th. Sorry it's taken me this long to journal it again. Better late than never, I hope. :-)

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.

Released 12 yrs ago (6/8/2007 UTC) at to the next participant in by mail, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases



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!

Journal Entry 13 by wingTarnawing from Tampere, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Birdwing arrived today safe and sound. Thank you, LeishaCamden! And thanks for the birdy postcard, too. It's great.
I've got one and a half bookring books to read before this one but I'll be fast enough, I hope.

Journal Entry 14 by wingTarnawing from Tampere, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Thursday, July 05, 2007
What a nice story this is! I like intertextual allusions in fictional texts, and this whole book is based on one—or even two, actually. Since I’m not too familiar with The Six Swans and The Goose Girl, I read them both. And that was fun. I also read The Wild Swans by H. C. Andersen and found out that it resembles The Six Swans quite a lot. So Birdwing made me do some extra reading and that’s a good sign. Not every book does that.
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.

Journal Entry 15 by wingDeepswampwing from Oskarshamn, Småland Sweden on Monday, July 09, 2007
Arrived safe! I couldn´t resist start reading!

Journal Entry 16 by wingDeepswampwing from Oskarshamn, Småland Sweden on Sunday, July 15, 2007
A wounderful story,thanks for a relaxing read! This is a story for reading loud! Thanks!
Going to Germany tomorrow!

Journal Entry 17 by Geegal on Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Thanks for mailing this book. I got it from my post box yesterday!

Journal Entry 18 by Geegal at by mail in To the next participant, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Monday, October 08, 2007

Released 12 yrs ago (10/8/2007 UTC) at by mail in To the next participant, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases



Journal Entry 19 by Geegal on Sunday, October 14, 2007
I sent this book to conto last week. kittycatss wanted to be skipped.
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!

Journal Entry 20 by conto from Lisboa (city), Lisboa (distrito) Portugal on Monday, October 15, 2007
Arrived with today's mail. Thanks a lot. Will get to it as soon as I finnish the one I'm with now.

Journal Entry 21 by conto from Lisboa (city), Lisboa (distrito) Portugal on Monday, October 29, 2007
I must say I didn't like this book as much as the readers before me; I just couldn't find the wonder of fairy tales I was expecting, but I guess that is my problem and not of the book! Nevertheless, I don't think it's a very well written book and I feel that it lacks something...

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!)

Journal Entry 22 by soleille from Leipzig, Sachsen Germany on Wednesday, November 14, 2007
First off, thanks for getting me back in the list so fast! I'm sick (again!) at the moment and found the book when I went out yesterday just to get to the pharmacy- sounds like a great in-bed read and will be just that after I finish the last 100 or so pages of Eldest. The Six Swans (tho I'd swear in Germany they were 7!) was and is one of my all-time favourite fairy tales.
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)

Journal Entry 23 by wingOBCZ-Mokkaflipwing from Leipzig, Sachsen Germany on Friday, December 14, 2007
Thanks for this lovely book, that looks like something I will have to get for my permanent collection! Sooooooo lovely! Have PMed katayoun so hopefully the winged boy can travel on soon :O)

Journal Entry 24 by soleille from Leipzig, Sachsen Germany on Friday, December 14, 2007
sorry, OBCZ-Mokkaflip was me :o)

Journal Entry 25 by soleille from Leipzig, Sachsen Germany on Friday, January 25, 2008
I can't get hold of katayoun, so I'll be PMing Malaysia now :O)

Journal Entry 26 by soleille from Leipzig, Sachsen Germany on Friday, February 01, 2008
no luck with Izzati either, next PM to nomorecorsa just fired off - LOL I wouldn't mind staying the last person in this beautiful ray :o)

Journal Entry 27 by nomorecorsa from Gouda, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on Wednesday, February 13, 2008
thanks so much for mailing! I'm looking forward to reading the book, and what a nice book birdwing gadgets :-D

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