The Wind Singer (Wind on Fire trilogy, #1)
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The Wind Singer (Wind on Fire #1)

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  10,215 ratings  ·  321 reviews
In the city of Aramanth, the mantra is, "Better today than yesterday. Better tomorrow than today." Harder work means the citizens of Aramanth can keep moving forward to improved life stations--from Gray tenements and Orange apartments, upwards to glorious mansions of White. Only some families, like the Haths, believe more in ideas and dreams than in endless toil and rating...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published 2000 by Mammoth
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Betsy
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
The Airship Librarian
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?"
Me...more
Liz
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
Molster
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
Pamela Lloyd
May 08, 2009 Pamela Lloyd rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: literary analysts, especially in women's studies programs
Shelves: childrens, fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
V.E.
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
Geoff
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...more
Jenni Frencham
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...more
Meggan
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...more
Christianne Ellene
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)....more
Chuck
Aug 05, 2007 Chuck rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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.
Rebecca
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...more
Ash
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...more
Katie
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
Tortla
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chae
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....more
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.
Elle Pepper
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...more
pdarnold
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...more
Nic
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elizabeth
I am not quite sure how to feel about this book. I found it at yard sale at a Catholic church. It was a quarter and it has been on my recommendation shelf for ages, so I decided to give it a go.

The cover is really cool and I was immediately taken with the name Aramanth. One of my favorite typefaces is Amaranth and for a moment I thought they were one in the same and I got really excited. Well, they're spelled differently, but still I was a little excited.

***SPOILERS***

Anyways, I have mixed feeli...more
Charlie
I first tried to read this when I was about nine or ten, and gave up halfway through… I reread this because I hoped I had given up on it because of the new Harry Potter, or something and just forgotten about it… Now I remember I set it aside because of how terrible it is.

The characters are flat and have no character development whatsoever; I realise that the story only spans a few days (which is a problem in itself; whatever happened to realistic pacing?) but they go through a lot and don't lear...more
KJ
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...more
Daniela Ramos
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...more
Leila
Jun 04, 2007 Leila rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: middle school readers and above. Older readers looking for a good story.
I think it's original, that's really the bottom line. The world he creates is vivid and extraordinary and I love it. My personal asthetic leans towards alternatre worlds and stuggles against totalitarianism, and this book hits both. It's a good middle school read, nothing too challenging but at that point where themes start to have depth. I really liked the whole series.
Will J
Mya sent me this book, and so far I love it. The characters and the plot are built so well it sucked me into the story and made me feel like I was in the story, as a character who was watching the story and I started caring about the characters as if they were real people. When I accidentally stopped reading, I forgot who I was for a second.
Fantasy Literature
The Wind Singer is a children's novel and so comes with all the pluses and minuses of that genre. The pace is quick with little room or time for digression or a lot of descriptive detail. The upside is that the book never once bogs down and keeps pulling the reader along. The downside, though how much of a downside will mostly depend on age and expectations, is that characterization suffers a bit and there are a few places where it would have been nice to have gotten a more full picture (both vi...more
Bea/ Ruby
i couldn't put it down, this book has a real beauty to it and how it flows. The story is powerful and also intriguing also Well written.


The story was not elaborate but kept simpler and had more twists as the plot grew. I liked it because it was simpler then some fantasy novels. It felt more believable to me.
At first it was a little hard to get into the book but once i started reading i really enjoyed it.
It is not fast past through the whole book some places are slower but i think it added to...more
Kayleigh
Great story, but Nicholson's writing leaves a lot to be desired--the dialogue in particular is cutesy to the point of being obnoxious, and often reduces the impact of the dangerous situations the protagonists find themselves in throughout the book.
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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
More about William Nicholson...
Slaves of the Mastery (Wind on Fire, #2) Firesong (Wind On Fire, #3) Seeker (Noble Warriors Trilogy, #1) The Wind on Fire Trilogy: The Wind Singer/Slaves of the Mastery/Firesong Jango (Noble Warriors Trilogy, #2)

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“He accepted what each moment brough him, and never troubled himself with matters that were outside his control.” 17 likes
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