Welcome to my first book review. As you may know, I read a lot. As a matter of fact, I just finished reading my 139th book of 2008. Have no fear, I will not burden you with a review of every book that I read. That is what shelfari is for. Only my most favorite, 5-star reads will earn a spot here.
Birdwing by Rafe Martin is based on the Grimm Brothers' fairy tale The Six Swans in which six brothers are turned into swans by their wicked step mother. Through a great sacrifice of their sister, they are all eventually turned back into humans. Unfortunately, there is a small mishap with the youngest brother, and his left wing never changes back into a human arm. This is his story.
I found Birdwing to be a thoroughly engrossing and well-paced fantasy. I enjoyed all the coming-of-age angst, magic, betrayal, and triumph. There is a just a hint of romance, a lot of adventure, unexpected twists in the plot, and several quiet, tender moments.
I wish the author would have delved a little deeper into the relationships, and it seemed like the resolution happened a bit too fast and easily, but overall this is a wonderful read. I loved it because of what it meant to me personally. The idea that something we think of as a weakness or curse can actually lead us down a path that will bless our lives. This book spoke to me at a time when I really needed to have that message. Highly recommend for grades 6 and up, who love fantasy or fairy tales.