Books · Reviews

Book Thoughts: The Bird King (G Willow Wilson)

Wilson, G Willow - The Bird King


Title: The Bird King
Author: G Willow Wilson
Genre: Fiction / Historical / Fantasy     Pages: 440
First published: 12 March 2019 by Grove Press
Edition: E-book courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher

Hassan has a secret–he can draw maps of places he’s never seen and bend the shape of reality. When representatives of the newly formed Spanish monarchy arrive to negotiate the sultan’s surrender, Fatima befriends one of the women, not realizing that she will see Hassan’s gift as sorcery and a threat to Christian Spanish rule. With their freedoms at stake, what will Fatima risk to save Hassan and escape the palace walls?

I think some people will love this book, but I just did not get on with it. I like both historical fiction and fantasy, so the fact that those two genres collided in this novel was a compelling reasong for me to read it. That the novel was set in Moorish Spain was a definite bonus.

For the first 50 pages or so I considered DNFing it, but then it picked up and I felt I was going to really like it and then it simply sort of fizzled out for me.

I did like the setting and I liked aspects of our main character Fatima, who starts out as the Sultan’s concubine. I feel her character could have been explored a bit more, as could Hassan’s, who is a really interesting character and I feel he is so underused in the narrative.

As I read the latter half of the book I just found I did not care as much I wish I did and it lost its shine for me. The events that unfolded just did not hit me in the right places.

If the premise interests you, do pick it up and try it out.

3 out of 7 stars

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