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The Wind Singer: Wind on Fire Series, Book 1 (Wind on Fire #1)

3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  13,200 Ratings  ·  412 Reviews

In Aramanth, exams are everything. When Kestrel rebels, her family are sentenced to the harshest punishment. To save them, Kestrel learns the secret of the wind singer and she sets out to discover the true source of the evil that grips Aramanth.

MP3 Book, 0 pages
Published April 6th 2010 by AudioGO (first published 2000)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sep 28, 2007 Betsy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Children's books about the horrors of standardized testing are increasingly popular these days. From Edward Bloor's well-intentioned, Story Time to The Report Card by the otherwise talented Andrew Clements, these books have attempted to capture the dangers of this destructive teaching tool. Both books have fallen short, leaving some people to wonder if there could ever be a book that discusses this controversial subject well. What few people know is that there's a fantastic well-written and beau ...more
Jul 28, 2013 Ingrid rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh my goodness! I read this book when I was about eleven years old and I've been searching for it every since. No, really. You know those books you read as a kid that kind of stayed with you, but you can't remember the title? That was this book. I searched for it in the library, rooting through the orange coloured books. I scoured titles for something with "Wind" in it. That's all I could remember.

And then, by some bizarre chance, a friend asked, "Did you ever read the Wind on Fire trilogy?"
Pamela Lloyd
May 08, 2009 Pamela Lloyd rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: literary analysts, especially in women's studies programs
Shelves: fantasy, childrens
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
In year 7, my class was split into reading groups. There were six people in my group and we were the more capable group of the class. When it came time to select the book we would read and discuss, our group was divided in regards to what we should choose. The four boys in my group wanted to read this book (I assume just to spite us) and my friend and I wanted to read another book (the title escapes me at the moment). After much heated debate about how good our book would be, purely because of t ...more
In the city of Aramanth, the lives of its citizens are ruled by a color-coded caste system of standardized tests. How well one does on the yearly “High Examination” determines what you do for work, where you live, and even what color clothing you wear. Those that test poorly find themselves consigned to the dismal one-room tenements and menial labor of the Grey district, while those who test well can eventually aspire to life in the mansions and illustrious careers of the White district. Free th ...more
Dec 19, 2010 Ebehi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started this book when I was much younger (about six or seven) and I was hooked. Unfortunately, I was unable to finish it until much later (about three or four years later) and it still had me hooked. The book made me happy. Of course, there wersome unaswered questions especially about the old children and the windsinger but the rest of it was really charming. I didn't really mind the made-up words because they just added a lighter tone towhat could have been a depressing story. I especially l ...more
Christianne Ellene
Mar 30, 2012 Christianne Ellene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-my-kindle
I read this 4 years ago for school, and I never regretted sticking with this book until the end.

William Nicholson introduces us to the twins Kestrel and Bowman Hath, who share a telepathic/empathic connection on top of Bowman possessing the empathic abilities. The city they live in, Amaranth, is bureaucratic to the extreme (e.g. every family has a "family rating" that is determined from the family members' individual performances in written exams and decide the living conditions of the family).
Feb 24, 2014 KJ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very simple book, but one I would deeply have loved to read as a younger child. It is refreshingly GENTLE for an adventure story.

Its main heroes are siblings--brave, frustrated, impatient Kestrel and her gentler, more empathetic brother Bowman. Unlike the usual trope, they aren't orphans! They are in fact very close to their parents and their baby sister. While the main action follows Kestrel and Bowman as they try to fix their cursed city by magical means, we do see their parents tak
Apr 19, 2011 Geoff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a kid anymore; really, I'm at the other side of the curve. It would have been simple to look at this book from that perspective and rate it lower for many reasons: in your face points being made about society, simplistic writing style, convenient wrapping up of situations to the favor of the main characters, lack of character development, etc.

But... the book was targeted at the younger set and I wouldn't be doing it (or the author) justice if I didn't try to look at it from the rising si
Jenni Frencham
Feb 17, 2012 Jenni Frencham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, tween
It's been a very long time since I found a book I genuinely wanted to keep reading to the point of ignoring my other responsibilities. It's been a very long time since I woke up thinking, "I had better get my stuff done quickly so I can get back to my book." The Wind Singer is a book like that.

The Wind Singer is the first book in the "Wind on Fire" trilogy, but it would stand alone just fine. When Kestrel tires of constant examinations and the focus on ranking of families, she rebels against the
Mar 01, 2012 Meggan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I feel terrible giving a book two stars, but "it's okay" was truly how I felt. I didn't dislike it, and it was an entertaining, fast read, but everything happened so quickly that I felt like some of the plot points were over before I really understood what was going on. This book needed less telling and more showing! Give me details! There were a fair amount of minor characters introduced that disappeared so quickly I questioned why they were even mentioned.

I also felt like some of the main ele
Aug 05, 2007 Chuck rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: upper elementary/middle school
The Windsinger is a wonderful tale of twins who fight against the leaders of a town who reject diversity and independence. The main characters are twins who have the ability to read each other's thoughts. The twins are forced into situations where they learn a great deal about themselves. The various "obstacles" they encounter are a very creative and deal, in some aspects, with fears children may have, such as old age. Highly enjoyable book that I read in one sitting.
Sep 10, 2015 Takunda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Author: William Nicholson
Reviewer: Takunda
I chose to read The Wind Singer by William Nicholson because I remember the book being read to me by a teacher a while ago and parts of the book were a bit blurry in my mind so I decided to re-read it. I
I had reached about page four in the book when I realised that this book would be the reason I would forget to do my chores for the next two days. I thoroughly enjoyed the book because it wasn’t the type of book that keeps you on the edge of yo
okay, i thought i found this recommended on cousin stephanies goodreads list, but now i can't find it.

anyways, i was really struck by the city that was created in the story. A city where everyone is tested (starting at 18 months old)according to a standard test and the results of that test is your rating. your rating is added up with the rest of your family's ratings and your family is given an overall standing in society. This is in reference to Standardized Tests in our current world.

Who deci
Aug 26, 2011 Ash rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-hell
Recommended to: People who don't have a life, people who didn't read books, people who are around 7-9 years old ONLY.
I feel Sorry for: people who read it, People who counts it as a big part of their childhood, people who thought of reading it, people who bought it, people who enjoyed the whole thing.
So I made this WHOLE new shelf just for this stupid book. to-hell (I LOVE IT).
So from where to start... oh yeah the prologue, wasn't intresting it was a nice prologue a good one, a total normal
Dec 07, 2011 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the first real fantasies that I actually read. The Wind Singer is the first book of William Nicholson's Wind on Fire trilogy. I believe I read the first one in either 7th grade and loved it so much that I had to get my mom to buy it for me. She also bought me the second and third to go with it a few months later for Christmas. I was very happy and still am because this trilogy is one of my favorites and they aren't in stores anymore. I have all three hardbacks and have read them a ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 17, 2013 Chae rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. What an amazing novel. "The Wind Singer" is a must-read for anyone wanting an intriguing, slightly puzzling read. The novel takes place in Aramanth, where the society is divided into color groups. The protagonist, Kestrel Hath lives in Orange County, the third-to-last division in Aramanth with her family. Kestrel and her twin brother Bowman set off on a journey to find the lost voice of the wind singer to bring normalcy to the society.
As I mentioned before, this was such an amazing read.
Mar 11, 2014 Daniela rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The first chapter, if I must say, is really boring. In the whole book you don't feel the need to keep reading. It just continues. The "high" parts, that are supposed to be interesting and quick, they are dull and weird. You don't expect a (it doesn't even says the age) girl to do such things!
I liked the creative parts, like the underworld and the eagles, but the Ombarakas and Omchakas are not necessary. Also, it leaves unexplained the origin of the old children and why they were in the city. I
Jul 15, 2015 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Take chances, make mistakes, get messy! Hold your precious people close and make a wish for the future! Challenge the system, and sing a song of change!

I have many positive post-book feelings!!!!! And many accompanying exclamation points to express them!!!! Wonderful twins with their wonderful family! An honestly kind of terrifying enemy (maybe I'm just a huge wuss)! Dire but also slightly silly situations!

Some parts of this kind of remind me of The Phantom Tollbooth -- the irony and illogical/l
Jul 11, 2015 Clara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Es una muy buena distopía infantil. Bueno, en realidad es sola la primera parte de una trilogía de la época en que no estaban tan de moda. Los personajes están muy bien trabajados y, además, el hecho que los protagonistas sean unos gemelos con una conexión especial ha sido uno de los puntos que más me han gustado. La imaginación de su autor es incuestionable y hay algunos pasajes muy bien conseguidos (esos barcos en el desierto son fantásticos).

Un punto positivo de la historia es que, aunque los
Katrin Hollister
One of my favourite fantasy books. Fantastic world building and a headstrong young female MC. The political dark undertones make this an eye-opening read for teens and a relatable book by adults. Highly recommended.
Emily Joyce
Jul 15, 2015 Emily Joyce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this series when I was in junior high and it's been tickling the back of my mind for years. It took combing through the far reaches of many YA Listopias to remember the name of this gem.
Elle Pepper
May 02, 2012 Elle Pepper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book starts with a depiction of life that quite frankly is frightening. All silence and tests, all regime and study. No fun, no music, no art. And a mysterious artifact of bygone days called the Wind singer. The titular artifact is a hold over from the old days. And you get so engrossed in the story of it and its effect on the Hath family you don't even notice the momentum building.

Some have argued that it is flat, but while it may not have the same depth as say, Tolkein, I would rate it a
:I didn't understand half of the book but it was nice:
Pippa Wilson
Jan 24, 2016 Pippa Wilson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So what did I think?

The Wind Singer is the first in William Nicholson's "Wind on Fire" trilogy, first published in 2000. It is a long standing personal favourite of mine since reading it soon after publication, when I was teaching Year 6. I've re read it more recently to my two eldest children. I love the world, the characters and the story, and it's one of those books that I've thought about a lot long after reading it.

The Wind Singer tells the story of a young girl called Kestrel (Kess) who li
James A Beaumont
The Wind Singer is a very entertaining children’s book with some great characters and which diverts from the typical “parentless” child hero by placing a whole family in the spotlight. Nicholson builds up his dystopian world really well and the description is handled with all the elegance necessary to appeal to both adult and child readers. However, the key problem I found as an adult reader was that the plot is almost entirely steered through coincidence. The protagonists are never really in co ...more
J Thorne
Dec 24, 2014 J Thorne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this beautiful trilogy aged 13/14 (borrowed them from the library) and it was years later before I came across it again as I couldn't remember what they were called or who the author was, but the story stayed with me, and the characters - particularly Mumpo who is so kind and sweet and innocent.
For me, the most memorable part of these stories is the relationship between the Hath family members. I have never read another story about a family who love each other so much, you don't often see
A very odd story. Sometimes fantastical - OK, always fantastical, often loving and likeable, gruesome and brutal, dark, exasperating and well... strange. There are several morals hiding within the context of the book; dare to be yourself, it's OK to rage against a immoral "system", looks can be deceiving, everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, team work accomplishes far more than individualism, etc. etc. the list goes on and on. Most of the time these are never blatant in your face preachi ...more
Pedro Benoliel
Take a dumbed-down 1984, add a generous dose of Hunger Games, season with a sprinkle of Akira, and you get one of the most boring children's books this side of Narnia.

Nothing about William Nicholson's first young adult novel feels fresh. The Zars are obviously lemmings, if lemmings were bloodthirsty Aryan teenagers (they fall off a cliff because when they get to a broken bridge they can't stop marching - seriously, people, Lemmings!) The Old Children will be familiar to anyone who has read or wa
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

William Nicholson was born in 1948, and grew up in Sussex and Gloucestershire. His plays for television include Shadowlands and Life Story , both of which won the BAFTA Best Television Drama award in their year; other award-winners were Sweet As You Are and The March . In 1
More about William Nicholson...

Other Books in the Series

Wind on Fire (3 books)
  • Slaves of the Mastery (Wind on Fire, #2)
  • Firesong (Wind On Fire, #3)

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“He accepted what each moment brough him, and never troubled himself with matters that were outside his control.” 20 likes
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