Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Wind Singer (Wind on Fire trilogy, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Wind Singer (Wind on Fire trilogy, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Wind Singer (Wind on Fire #1)

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  14,195 Ratings  ·  457 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
Hardcover, 486 pages
Published June 7th 2004 by Turtleback Books (first published 2000)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Wind Singer, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Wind Singer

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
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?"
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
Edward's Ghost Engine (also known as.......... Jinky Spring)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Pamela Lloyd
May 03, 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 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
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
Aug 24, 2016 LisBirdLove rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Overall Honest Book Review: (I read this book years ago, may not be as concise of a review)

The Hath family is a very supportive loving family.

Kestrel Hath is a little girl who has more courage to stand up for what she believes in then the whole town. She is cute, spunky, intelligent, fair and honorable.

Bowman Hath is Kestrels twin brother who goes on the quest with her.

Mumpo tags along, he doesn't take no for an answer.

Kestrels is a little girl who is a great protagonis
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
Feb 26, 2016 Gabriel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book worth reading
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).
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
ummmmm this book was very strange. VERY VERY STRANGE. but i found myself liking it, for some reason. but just to warn you, if you haven't read it, this is one of the weirdest things i have read in my entire life.
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
Apr 18, 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
Feb 18, 2014 KJ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ya-lit
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
Feb 26, 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.
Jul 19, 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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 19, 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
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
Oct 10, 2016 Monica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, megan
It's not you, it's me. I mean, it has to be right? Everyone else seemed to like this book but for me....meh...

It does have a lot of action. The storytelling is great. It's imaginative, with new creatures and worlds and situation at every turn. The characters were likeable and decently fleshed out for YA. But for some reason, I just couldn't love it. I wanted to. The transitions were fast, again, this is fairly normal of a YA read, so I can't say that was the problem. It was a good story and fast
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
Feb 24, 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 10, 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
Apr 11, 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
May 21, 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
Elle Pepper
May 01, 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
Aug 12, 2016 Ellie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For a book aimed at children, there some unexpectedly dark moments and concepts which meant that the story never felt too juvenile.

I enjoyed the characters and themes explored in the book - it was quite refreshing to read something where there was a lot of emphasis on the importance of familial love and friendship.

The writing style, whilst fairly simple, was effective in describing the world of the book and immersing the reader.

I'd certainly recommend this to older children and teenagers, but ad
Will J
Jul 30, 2009 Will J rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jo Woolfardis
Feb 05, 2011 Jo Woolfardis rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, masculine
This might possibly be the worst thing I've ever read. The names? And the stupid words? And the writing? I quite liked the prologue. It seemed a nice idea: a building built to sing with the wind. But then what the fuck happens? It's like a 5 year old started writing it after that. There's never any need to write a children's book like this, never. It is so detrimental to all who will read it.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • The Doomspell (Doomspell, #1)
  • Song Quest (The Echorium Sequence, #1)
  • Switchers (Switchers, #1)
  • Predator's Gold (The Hungry City Chronicles, #2)
  • The Starthorn Tree
  • Broken Sky, No. 7
  • In Lane Three, Alex Archer (Alex Archer, #1)
  • The Ropemaker (The Ropemaker, #1)
  • The Tin Princess (Sally Lockhart, #4)
  • The Red Shoe
  • Troll Blood (Troll, #3)
  • The Creature in the Case (Abhorsen, #3.5)
  • Snow-Walker (The Snow Walker, #1-3)
  • At the Crossing Places (Arthur Trilogy, #2)
  • The Fire-Eaters
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)

Share This Book

“He accepted what each moment brough him, and never troubled himself with matters that were outside his control.” 18 likes
More quotes…