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Swordbird (Swordbird #1)

3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  1,115 ratings  ·  156 reviews
The blue jays and cardinals of Stone-Run Forest have turned against each other. According to legend, only Swordbird, son of the Great Spirit, has the power to conquer evil and restore peace to the land.

Teenage author Nancy Yi Fan weaves a captivating tale about the heroism, courage, and resourcefulness in the birds of Stone-Run's quest for peace.
Paperback, 219 pages
Published January 22nd 2008 by HarperCollins (first published January 1st 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,077)
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Kate Hastings
Nov 19, 2008 Kate Hastings rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: maybe kids who want to write

Read Redwall, Mistmantle Chronicles, Warriors, etc instead.
Kat  Hooper
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

The Swordbird Song
by Kat Hooper
To be sung to the tune of “The Trees” by Rush.

There is unrest in the forest,
There is trouble in the trees,
For the bluejays want their eggs back
And their nuts and their berries.

The trouble with the blue jays,
(And they're quite convinced they’re right)
They say the cardinals filched their babies
And they grabbed their food at night.
But the cardinals didn’t do it,
‘Twas the hawk and all his knaves
They are building a strong fortress
Feb 24, 2008 Chloe rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who wish to see through the eyes of a child.
The problem with young writers is that they generally think they have to be adults. Nancy Yi Fan does not have this problem. Her debut novel is poignant, touching, well-crafted and, above all else, written in a child’s voice. Her voice was what drew me into the story. I felt as if I were listening to a prodigy bard telling a tale. I could almost hear the inflections of her voice. Yes, she sounds like a child, but therein lies the book’s excellence. The complex problems of good and evil, beauty a ...more
Rithika Bayipati
Swordbird is an interesting, though simple story that is told through the perspectives of many different characters. For the author to write and publish this book is truly an amazing accomplishment, and reading as a child myself, I couldn't help but found it more relocatable just knowing that fact.

Swordbird tells the tale of around four (or six depending on how you look at it) different groups of birds. Since there are so many groups that could be, and are, considered the good guys, let me star
I was tempted to rate this 5 stars on principle, but I felt like I had to be honest. It's a terrible book.
Mar 17, 2010 Janeen-san rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Recommended to Janeen-san by: My wonderful mom!
I find it amazing that this book was written by a twelve year old girl. She did a fantastic job. The characters (even the bad ones) were easy to relate to, and very lifelike. I like that she didn't use scary violence in the story. Sure, there are battles, but she doesn't over-do it. In fact, the battles were my favorite parts of the book because I knew something funny was going to happen. Instead of making the battles scary, she makes the good guys come up with amazing ideas so they can win the ...more
I read this book and it was ok.
First thing to discuss is the layout. It can could tell people tried to desperately expand this book. The text was big, when a chapter ends, there would be just a qoute on the left page and the next chapter on the right (the paragraph starting at almost at the bottom) page, there would be drawings taking up whole pages, and repeated smaller drawings. If it wasn't for those factors, this book might of been 100 pages or even less.

The reason why I liked this book is
It’s hard to believe but the author was only 12 years old when she wrote this thrilling, beautifully crafted fantasy about evil Lord Turnatt, a hawk who has enslaved birds to build a fortress and has set the cardinals and bluejays to fighting each other.

She creates vivid characters with wonderful names (Flameback the cardinal, Dilby the loon) and other cool words like “nobird”, “somebird,” and “everybird.” There’s a hummingbird circus, birds dining on raspberry pie and fending off invaders with
Pindari N.
I give this book one star for the fact that, wow, a twelve year old actaully wrote this, and she was chinese. way to go!
I give it another star because the story was…okay.
Aug 17, 2008 Beth rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: kids who like fantasy/birds
Shelves: middle-grade
I wanted to like this book. I really did. Any 12 year old girl who writes a book and gets it published is an inspiration to me and a great motivator to my own students who are the same age as Fan when this book was published. However, the story only slightly held my interest and while Fan is clearly a mature writer for a 12 year old, there were too many inconsistencies with the flow and style of the writing. Perhaps the editors did that by design as a reminder to people that this is, after all, ...more
This book is like a cross of 'Redwall' and 'Guardians of Ga'Hoole', and it's just as good. I like the magic atmosphere it creates. Don't expect tangled and complex plot or morally grey characters - this book reads like a fairy tale above all things. Here we have cruel tyrant, brave heroes and dangerous quest - classic formula, but for me it still works. I'm especially impressed by the main heroes - blue jay Aska, who is always first volunteering to help her tribe, and robin Miltin, who was getti ...more
This tale is written for younger readers with birds of all types as the characters. The evil bird lord is a one eyed hawk who bullies and leads an army of renegade crows and ravens. His goal is to rule the nesting areas and enslave other birds to build his fortress and compound. All other birds are the good guys and the young reader may be searching for a bird guide to see what these birds look like. The messages are peace, harmony and freedom The good birds are defended by Swordbird, summoned t ...more
Savannah gilger
Feb 27, 2008 Savannah gilger rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
The blue jays and cardinals of stone run forest have turned agaisnt each other. According to legend, only Swordbird,son of the great spirit, has the power to conquer evil and restore peace to the land. But is he realor just myth? Can Swordbird arrive in time to save the forest or will it be to late? Twelve year old author Nancy Yi Fang has woven a captivating tale about the birds of stone run forest and the heroism,courage, and resourcefulness in thier quest for peace. I absolutley highley sugge ...more
I admit I didn't finish this one. I didn't have to. I nearly did, and there wasn't even a main character yet. The only reason it sells so well is because NYF is so young. The intelligent-fighting-bird idea is cute, but naive and impractical and totally fantastical. As in, it could've worked. The whole fight thing started too easily and ended too easily and, for a war, there wasn't enough peril. I think the bad hawk or whatever would be good for the rest of the book, however it ended, but the sto ...more
Julia Reynolds
This book makes me feel two things: 1) like I’m doing nothing with my life, and 2) like the publishing industry has made many more mistakes than Twilight, Fifty Shades, or Snooki: A Shore Thing can possibly indicate.

First, the feeling of self-loathing and pathetic loserdom. Swordbird is the first in a series of three books for older children (J Fiction, as in chapter books not qualifying as YA. Think Harry Potter, A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Chronicles of Narnia, etc.). It was written by
KidsFiction Teton County Library
TLC Call #: J FAN

Chris’s Rating: 3 Stars
Blue jays and Cardinals are at war…both claiming that the other side is stealing their supplies and…eggs. Eventually they find that the real threat has been trying to divide them before taking over the land. Two young birds fly off on a quest to get an object that will help them summon Swordbird, son of the Great Spirit, who has the power to conquer all evil.
If the rating for this book was based on the fact that the author was 12 when she wrote it—Swordbir
Ian Wood
This is the complete review as it appears at my blog dedicated to reading, writing (no 'rithmatic!), movies, & TV. Blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, nor will updates or modifications to the blog review be replicated here.

I rated this novel worthy!

After reading The Prophecy of the Stones how could I ignore another one written a really youthful writer? Swordbird is written by a girl who was ten or eleven when she began it (stories of her age, even her own, vary!),
Brigid Michaud
I enjoyed this book very much. It was a good recommendation by Miss Kate. I think that it targets a little bit older audience, perhaps 4th or 5th grade.
Nancy Yi Fan- Swordbird (HarperCollins 2007) 3.25 Stars

Stone-Run Forest is being torn apart by a war waged by blue jays and cardinals, but are there deeper forces at work here? Trapped in a war none of the birds wish to be in, they are looking to a legend for the restoration of peace. Swordbird seems to be the only hope for the forest to return to what it should be. Can they call up this mythical hero, before it is too late?

I must say that I may have enjoyed this book more if I was twelve or yo
Claire Kerry
I feel like the author read a lot of Redwall before writing this. But all similarities aside, this is very strong writing for such a young author. As an aspiring writer myself (of a similar age - perhaps a little older) I remember being quite jealous that she'd managed to write and publish this so young.

It's a simple story, predictable, the main characters are fairly bland and the war between the two species of birds is solved way too quickly, but it's propped up by some brilliant supporting cha
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Carrie Spellman for

Not far outside of Stone-Run Forest an evil bird, Lord Turnatt, is gaining power. He's using slavebirds to build a fortress. And his thieving has caused the Cardinal and Blue Jay tribes to declare war on each other, even though they've been friends for a very long time. Little do the Cardinals and Blue Jays know that a much worse enemy is preparing an attack.

If the Cardinals and Blue Jays are going to survive, they'll need to work together. With h
Ashley Gagnon
I read this book years ago and I enjoyed it. I found it inspirational, as the author had this published when she was only 12. This book is great for children who love writing, this gives them motivation. It's a nice short read, pleasant and cute. It only took a day to finish and I liked the illastator's art...

Now here come the issues. Too many characters introduced at once, that was an issue. I had to go back at times and re read what species of bird was who, or who played what role.

I was lost
Matthew Quinones
A war has broken out in Stone-Run Forest against the Cardinals and the Blue Jays. Both tribes had their eggs stolen and they blame eachother. In their legends it says that the only one who can bring peace to the Forest is the son of the Great spirit, Swordbird. Will Swordbird come to bring peace, or will the two tribes tear eachother apart?

This book is a very entertaining read. The book is filled with action and adventure that will keep you hooked for hours on end. The description of the scene
This book, while neither fantastic or horrible, was still written by a twelve year old. Now, that is little excuse for its sub-par...everything, but that achievement in and of itself does deserve some credit. I've read and watched several interviews with Nancy, and I have to admit, she's adorable! I completely understand where she's coming from when she talks about the writing process for her, and I really admire how she picked up the English language so quickly after moving to the US from China ...more
Swordbird begins by introducing the reader to two bird tribes of the Stone-Run forest at war. Bluewingles (Blue Jays) and Sunrise Birds (Cardinals) were once friends, but after the tribes' eggs and food started to disappear, each thought the other to be dangerous thieves. However, it is a tyrannical hawk who is stealing the eggs. He, along with his army of crows and ravens, is enslaving the woodbirds and forcing them to build his fortress. It is up to the robin Miltin and the bluejay Aska to sav ...more
I give credit for Nancy writing this when she was twelve, but really. The entire book lacked detail, and was written in a very childish fashion. The story felt very boring. When a complication finally arrived it was resolved almost instantly, instead of spiraling into more interesting problems that keep you on the hook. I had trouble finishing this book, I still can't believe there are sequels... I don't recommend this book to anyone unless you are nine years old and loves birds.
Pat Salvatini
The two tribes of the Stone-Run Forest are at war, the cardinals and blue jays that were once friends are now plotting against each other. Each thinks the other has begun their squabble by stealing food and snatching eggs. However, it is a tyrannical hawk who has used his legion of crows and ravens to enslave the forest’s woodbirds to build his castle and stock his larder. It is up to an escaped robin and shy but determined blue jay to save the forest by calling forth the mystical hero, Swordbir ...more
Olivia Dunlap
Apr 14, 2013 Olivia Dunlap rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Very young audiences.
Shelves: owned
I purchased this book several years ago after I saw the young author on Ellen's talk show. Being an aspiring author not much older than Ms. Fan, I immediately wanted to read her book to see what my "competition" was.

Even as an early middle-schooler, I wasn't incredibly impressed. I found myself comparing it to the Redwall and Guardians of Ga'Hoole series' - two of my favorites at the time - however, there was really no comparison to be made. Although moderately entertaining, the plot was somewh
There was a lot of hype about this book when it first came out, and now that I've finally read it, I think it was probably just the age of the author when it was written. Maybe it's just because I'm older than the intended audience, but you can tell it was written by a twelve-year-old. Name dropping (i.e. Brönte, Verne) to sound smart is really immature, and including random names like Cody when everyone else is named Milton, Aska, Slime-beak... Also, the world-building felt very incomplete. Som ...more
I read this book a long time ago. I do remember enjoying it and I know I read it more than once. However, I don't remember enough to say if it was for older or younger readers or anything. All I remember is that it was a good read, and you should give it a shot
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Austin Bat Cave: Nancy Yi Fan 1 7 Mar 09, 2012 12:55PM  
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