Black Wings Beating
Author: Alex London
Publication date: September 25, 2018
Genre: YA fantasy
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
The people of Uztar have long looked to the sky with hope and wonder. Nothing in their world is more revered than the birds of prey and no one more honored than the falconers who call them to their fists.
Brysen strives to be a great falconer–while his twin sister, Kylee, rejects her ancient gifts for the sport and wishes to be free of falconry. She’s nearly made it out, too, but a war is rolling toward their home in the Six Villages, and no bird or falconer will be safe.
Together the twins must journey into the treacherous mountains to trap the Ghost Eagle, the greatest of the Uztari birds and a solitary killer. Brysen goes for the boy he loves and the glory he’s long craved, and Kylee to atone for her past and to protect her brother’s future. But both are hunted by those who seek one thing: power.
I was immediately intrigued by the title and cover of this book, I’m a sucker for anything with black birds on it.
I enjoyed this book, it was one of those books that was enjoyable but I didn’t love it or hate it. The concept of the birds was very interesting, the middle was action packed, hard hitting topics are discussed and there’s a lot of betrayal going on.
Black Wings Beating is told from two POV’s: Kylee and Brysen, who are twins. These two have had a very rough upbringing with a very abusive father and a neglectful mother which shows in their personalities.
Kylee is a likeable main character she’s tough, determined, fiercely protective and a provider. She had to grow up quickly due to having an abusive father who resented her and having a neglectful mother, Kylee had to step up and care for her brother. Brysen on the other hand is incredibly unlikable. I believe he is a character we are supposed to feel sorry for because of his abuse which has pretty much broken him down but he’s impulsive, jealous, selfish, angry, careless, blinded by feelings and slightly delusional. All of these traits make him unlikable to me and I can’t feel sorry for him. He treats his sister like garbage even though she’s the one who has always taken care of him, provided for him and tried to protect him.
As mentioned the concept of the birds is very interesting, people called Falconers call, train and raise birds as fighters and companions. Brysen one of the main characters wants nothing more than to be an accomplished Falconer, but no matter what he does or how much he trains he isn’t a natural like his sister. Kylee who is a natural Falconer wants nothing to do with it, she’s able to call birds and train them with ease but all she wants is to leave this life behind.
When Brysen makes a horrible decision to go on a quest to capture the most feared bird to save the man he loves, this is when the book starts to get interesting. From this point on there the story is filled with action, adventure, sticky situations, betrayal and friendship. Not only is the story full of adventure but there’s a looming threat of war throughout the book, a war that’s been looming for quite some time between the Uztar and Altari.
I really enjoyed the setting of the story, the town is set at the foothills of the mountains and the journey Brysen and Kylee go on takes them through the mountains. Any book that has an adventure in the mountains will always get points in my book.
Besides Brysen, another thing I didn’t enjoy about the story was how easy the characters got out of sticky situations. Everything was laid out too nicely and easy for them, there was no real challenge. There were also a few characters I felt were unnecessary and were just thrown in there so it wasn’t just Brysen and Kylee the whole book.
Overall the book was pretty enjoyable and a relatively quick read for me. If you like adventure, diversity and some action you’ll probably enjoy this!