The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson

The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson

Available March 12, 2019

I read this one while The Kid ran around the waterpark after Christmas and I could not put it down.  The writing is gorgeous and captivating with a fast-paced story full of myth and magic.

Fatima is the favorite concubine in royal court in Grenada and must use all of her courage and wits to save her best friend Hassan from the Spanish Inquisition after their palace is taken over by agents of the Spanish monarchy.  Hassan has a wonderful and terrifying secret, he can draw maps of places he has never seen and then create doorways to travel there. Fatima has never left the palace and now must travel across Spain to escape the Inquisition and find the magical island of The Bird King.  With the help of a mischievous and clever jinn, Fatima and Hassan will sail ships, find refuge in caves, and create a new life of their own making. Fast moving and full of adventure, this story kept me completely captivated from start to finish.

Fatima is such a strong character.  She never gives up, no matter what obstacle is thrown in her way.  It is her strength that helps keep Hassan going throughout the book.  Fatima and Hassan are thrown into one dangerous situation after the other and my favorite was when Fatima left a cave that Hassan had drawn a map for.  She completely forgot that the doorway would close behind her and was just like, “what the hell do I do now?” But of course she doesn’t give up and is able to save herself once again.  There are so many twists and turns-who is allied with whom and who can be trusted seems to be constantly changing.

The love between Fatima and Hassan was really beautiful.  They are not lovers, nor do they want to be, they are best friends.  I haven’t seen many stories with purely platonic friendships and this made for an interesting change.  Fatima isn’t afraid of Hassan’s gifts and couldn’t care less who he sleeps with. Hassan knows that he isn’t as strong as Fatima and worries about holding her back from her freedom.  

I loved the descriptions of Spain and the countryside that the group travels across in search of the Island of the Bird King.  It really draws you into the story and the scenes on the ship were both exciting and terrifying.

I loved this story and I highly recommend it for you fantasy and mythology lovers.  

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Full Disclosure Time: I received a free copy of this book from Bookish. You can check out all the reading fun they offer here. All opinions are my own.