I will start off with a disclaimer…I actually know this author personally and we work together at my day job. He told me that he wrote a book and I offered to review it for him, hoping to give his book some exposure. I also told him it was going to be an honest review. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s start the review.
Humans can be cruel, and that is a lesson that the young crow Kolie finds out very quickly. After having lost his parents in the bird massacre, he finds refuge with some other birds. However, even they look down on the little crow. When their refuge is threatened by a witch looking to use their blood to dethrone the current King, they have no other choice than to leave their home and find somewhere else to live. They here stories of the great bird Simurgh and the paradise where he lives. They decide to make the dangerous journey to try and find a safe place to live in peace.
Let’s start with the good points, the base of the story was really fun. It was a nice fantasy book where we got to see the characters grow and learn from their mistakes. The main character, Kolie, was truly the underdog in this book. He was put down by not only the humans and the other birds but also himself. He really grows through this book and learns to trust himself. All of the other birds grow and learn about themselves through the story as well. It was interesting to see the most shallow birds become more compassionate throughout the book.
This book also does an excellent job of touching on racism and bullying even within a refugee population. We also see how propaganda lies not only persist through the human but also the birds when it comes to the belief that crows were the reason for the diseases of man. This is also very true in the real world if you hear something enough you will start to believe it, no matter how ridiculous it is.
Now for the parts I didn’t like, the beginning and the end felt a little disjointed from the rest of the story. I understand the book is supposed to be a fairytale or a fable that the queen is telling this boy, however, it was just jarring. Had those parts been removed it would have worked better. Also, there are areas in this book that were a little wordy. Thet felt like they dragged on and didn’t add to the story. You can tell that this is his first book.
Overall, this book has an interesting concept and storyline. The writing style could be cleaned up, however, I believe that will come with time and practice. An author must write to get better at writing.