June 6, 2023

Novel Lives

Book Publicity, Reviews, Author Interviews, and Discussion Posts by Susan Crosby

Review: Black Wings Beating

NetGalley and Macmillian Children’s Publishing provided ARC for honest review

The difficulty in starting a new series is in balancing world building, introducing characters and the multiple plot points that leave many unresolved questions. When incorrectly done this can frustrate readers rather than leaving them wanting more.

Fortunately in Black Wings Beating, Alex London has artfully managed to accomplish these necessary components for the first book of the Skybound Series while leaving readers solicitous for the second book.

London’s builds Uztar with lush and 3D imagery, allowing for readers to immerse themselves in it and its life-blood, Falconry. All Uztar’s citizens are served by falcons, a very unique and, in London’s hands, ingenious ideas. London insures reader buy-in with intricate description and well-pointed action. It would be easy for readers to feel befuddled by such a concept. London never leaves this to chance by writing Falconry as such a seamless, everyday part of the characters’ lives and Uztar as a whole.

Kylee and Brysen are the main characters in Black Wings Beating. Their development is not left to the background while Uztar and Falconry are given such brilliant detail. Not only are they painted into life but with them an intricately woven plot that explores Brysen’s relationship with a male falcon trainer and is wrought with family trauma.

In meshing the the character development with plot development London is able to keep the initial book of the Skybound Series more enthralling, while not leaving either component feeling shallow or unfulfilled.

Black Wings Beating stands on its own as a book and series to sink your teeth into. Having said that, London should be applauded for not shying away from tackling cycles of family abuse or Brysen’s sexuality.

Along with For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig, it is one of the best opening books of a series to come out recently

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