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Skybound #1

Black Wings Beating

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The people of Uztar have long looked to the sky with hope and wonder. Nothing in their world is more revered than the birds of prey and no one more honored than the falconers who call them to their fists.

Brysen strives to be a great falconer--while his twin sister, Kylee, rejects her ancient gifts for the sport and wishes to be free of falconry. She's nearly made it out, too, but a war is rolling toward their home in the Six Villages, and no bird or falconer will be safe.

Together the twins must journey into the treacherous mountains to trap the Ghost Eagle, the greatest of the Uztari birds and a solitary killer. Brysen goes for the boy he loves and the glory he's long craved, and Kylee to atone for her past and to protect her brother's future. But both are hunted by those who seek one thing: power.

432 pages, Hardcover

First published September 25, 2018

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About the author

Alex London

21 books887 followers
The Short Version:

Alex London writes books for adults (One Day The Soldiers Came: Voices of Children in War), children (Dog Tags series; An Accidental Adventure series) and teens (Proxy). At one time a journalist reporting from conflict zones and refugee camps, he is now a full time novelist living in Brooklyn, NY, where he can be found wandering the streets talking to his dog, who is the real brains of the operation.

The Long Version:

C. Alexander London grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. He's an author of nonfiction for grown-ups (under a slightly different not very secret name), books for teens (as Alex London...see above), and, younger readers. He once won a 12-gauge skeet-shooting tournament because no one else had signed up in his age group. He's a Master SCUBA diver who hasn't been diving in way too long, and, most excitingly, a fully licensed librarian. He used to know the Dewey Decimal System from memory.

He doesn't anymore.

While traveling as a journalist, he watched television in 23 countries (Burmese soap operas were the most confusing; Cuban news reports were the most dull), survived an erupting volcano in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a hurricane on small island in the Caribbean, 4 civil wars (one of them was over by the time he got there, thankfully), and a mysterious bite on his little toe in the jungles of Thailand. The bite got infected and swollen and gross and gave him a deep mistrust of lizards, even though it probably wasn't a lizard that bit him.

Although he has had many adventures, he really does prefer curling up on the couch and watching some good television or reading a book. He enjoys danger and intrigue far more when it's happening to somebody else.

He lives in Brooklyn, NY.

See also C. Alexander London and Charles London

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 720 reviews
Profile Image for Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd).
332 reviews7,311 followers
September 25, 2019
Brysen is one of those characters who is so obnoxious that it just slowly permeates the rest of the book and ruins it. If you want a book about a man's pride and how it is more important than any other characters' feelings then this is the book for you. If I had to read a single more page about Kylee making herself small and her accomplishments smaller in order to make her brother feel good about himself I was going to scream. A man's ego is not more important than a woman's self worth. Ugh. UGH.

This gets points for having super normalized queerness, especially as both of the MCs are queer. Brysen likes guys and there is a very normalized habit of saying that anyone can like guys or girls in any scenario. Kylee is also written to be aromantic and asexual, which I assume would be more specifically described in a second book. But beyond this there isn't really an inclusion of gender as a spectrum (i.e. options other than "guy" and "girl) and I didn't love how much one character insistently went after Kylee despite how clear she was that she had no romantic or sexual interest in anyone.

I think it's fairly easy to say that I won't be reading the next book in this series.
December 30, 2020
”I’d rather live in a world where I get to love the moon than in one where I don’t, even if the moon won’t return the feeling”.

Isa, ¿en qué momento quisiste leer un libro cuyo principal atractivo son… los pájaros? Qué tedio, por todos los dioses. Se suponía que esto iba a ser un libro de fantasía genial y súper queer, pero no me gustó en lo más mínimo. Autores, por favor aprendan que un libro no se puede salvar y repuntar en las últimas páginas. Lo mínimo que pueden hacer es intentar mantenernos interesados durante toda la historia, ¿no? O, bueno, será cosa mía…

Black Wings Beating sigue la historia de Brysen y Kylee, dos hermanos que viven en un mundo en el que los diferentes tipos de aves son importantes, sobre todo uno: el águila fantasma. Por diferentes circunstancias, Brysen escapa de su pueblo para capturar a uno de esos seres míticos, pero su hermana Kylee sabe que es una misión básicamente suicida, así que lo sigue sin que él se dé cuenta. Y así pasa la mitad del libro, sin que nada suceda y luego “oh, hay una tribu extraña”, “oh, somos prisioneros”, “oh, Kylee, tienes que aceptar ese poder que te da miedo”, “oh, miren, la guerra se acerca”. Y, de un momento a otro, quedamos perdidísimos porque no sabemos de dónde salió nada.

¿Y qué decir de los personajes? Uf… hay una diferencia entre un personaje complejo y con emociones difíciles a un personaje francamente desesperante… como Brysen. Creo que es una de las personas más egocéntricas y tontas con las que me he topado en un libro. Es decir, si como autor tienes que hacer que tus personajes tomen siempre una mala decisión para hacer que la trama avance, bueno, creo que hay un problema allí. Y lo desperdiciada que estuvo Kylee, uf. Es una mujer con unos poderes ancestrales y legendarios tremendos y por lo único por lo que se preocupa es por no hacerle sombra a su hermano para que él brille. Es que por favor.

En fin, que no me interesó nunca nada de la trama, de los personajes y, mucho menos, de los pájaros, que creo que los mencionan obsesivamente cada cinco palabras. El horror.
Profile Image for Kiki.
191 reviews8,441 followers
Want to read
November 16, 2018



Profile Image for Thomas.
1,425 reviews8,326 followers
May 16, 2019
I liked this book but nothing about it stood out to me. While Alex London's debut YA novel Proxy grabbed my attention from the start with its thrilling plot and solid queer romance, Black Wings Beating left me wanting more. The noven follows Brysen and Kylee, twins gifted with the skill of falconry, as they embark on a dangerous mission to save the boy Brysen loves and to fend off enemies who want to use them for their power.

I appreciated the complexity of the family dynamics between Brysen, Kylee, and the wounds their father left behind. The twins' protectiveness, jealousy, and commitment to one another elevated the book's quality of characterization. The rest I felt average about though. The plot moved but not a remarkable pace. The world-building made sense but did not feel too compelling. The characters, while distinct enough, did not leave a lasting impression. So I would still recommend Proxy over this book.

I really enjoyed London's Proxy series and he seems like a great guy from his Twitter, so I hope to read more of his books in the future even if this one did not resonate with me.
Profile Image for Rachel.
Author 4 books149 followers
November 1, 2018
As I reach the conclusion of this book, I'm a little in awe, a little annoyed, and mostly confused. Let me start, though, with what I really love about this.

The Intricate World
The Uztari are built on a society of falconry. They catch birds of prey, train them, sell them, use them as weapons, messengers, companions, and guides. The beginning was a bit heavy on backstory building this world, but it really left no day-to-day detail untouched. From their greetings, the two-winged salute, to their language, calling kids hatchlings, and the rules of battle, this really felt like a genuine society built around birds, hence the well-deserved comparison to Pokemon.

One of our main characters, Brysen, is openly gay and his gayness is NOT used as a plot point. He simply is and everyone is cool with that.

"Who can tell a heart on which branch to land?"

Okay, so we've seen Kylee before, the young, teenage girl who feels responsible for the protection of her family. However, Kylee has this awesome ability to command birds...even though she suppresses that ability which we will get into shortly


The World-Building at Large
As detailed as the day-to-day, village life is described and organized, beyond that, I can't tell who is in charge. There's Altari (??), Kartami (religious extremists), and the Uztari (the falconers.) Then there's the council of 40, the Sky Castle, and the Tamir family. I *think* the Sky Castle are the rulers and the council of 40 are part of the Sky Castle, and if that's the case then I don't understand why Kylee and Bryson would care about the Tamir family. They're not royalty, so can't Kylee and Bryson just tattle to the real powers that be? Full disclosure, I listened to this as audiobook so maybe I'd have a better handle on things if I'd read it on the page.

The Structure
This is mostly told from Kylee and Brysen's perspective...but, then there are one-off chapters interspersed from random people who aren't really important to the story. I would spend most of those chapters trying to figure out who they were and why they mattered. There are also some back-in-time chapters that discuss events long past, and rather than grant understanding, they pull the story backward. There's this budding war between the Kartami and the Uztari that felt a little like "Winter is Coming." They keep talking about it building, but I would have liked to SEE that in an attack on the village or with an explanation as to why now? Why, in a society with a history of tension is war coming now? I would have preferred more history about their mother, (who is Kartami and married a falconer. Why?) than some of these other chapters.

Is the worst. He shows up to work late and hungover, can't manage to write down the bird weights (his one task) and forces Kylee to suppress her wonderful bird-voice gift to protect his fragile ego. Then he goes and volunteers her for a life of debt to save his loser boyfriend on an impossible task.

This is not a new story for us, ladies. We have a thousand year history of suppressing our skill, intelligence, and hard work in order to shield masculinity. While Kylee trains the birds, feeds them, takes care of their mother and manages their debts, he blows money on drugs and his boyfriend, and then takes the glory for Kylee's diligence, wasting never a second to throw her under the bus.

The only reason this is NOT getting the ridiculously-sexist tag is because of the Owl Mothers, a women-led society in the mountains. I also think the author meant well. I feel like he was trying to create unique characters,(which he did) and to make unique characters, sometimes you have to make them unlikable. But for unlikable characters, I personally either like to see them have a complete turn around or end up in the bottom of a pit.

All in all, this is amazing writing, interesting characters, a great concept, I just hate Brysen and want more detail on the overall world structure and budding war.
Profile Image for Monica.
518 reviews157 followers
April 14, 2021
Great YA fantasy! I really enjoyed this story and was cheering for the characters from the start! Kylee was definitely my favorite- strong willed and determined to take care of her brother even when he refused her help.

I was a bit lost in the politics of this world but that didn’t detract from the lively writing style. The quest had a flavor of Middle Earth, so that was fun! I could easily see a sequel that included Kylee’s training and then return to her village.

Recommend for ages 12+. Thanks to NetGalley and publishers for the free e-book!

Profile Image for Connor.
681 reviews1,657 followers
May 10, 2019
I wanted to love this, but there was a lot I didn't understand or couldn't get behind. Brysen is so hard to root far. I think you're supposed to like him, but I really did not. I understand that people have father issues that can really pound their self esteem, causing them to accept a toxic romantic relationship as okay but... man, the whole reason for the journey in this book is unbelievable. Brysen whines a lot which is also so annoying. Kylee is a bit easier to stomach. However, she constantly talks about how she's underappreciated but then continues to help everyone who doesn't appreciate her. It's hard to invest in their story when you don't like or understand them.

The world had some interesting elements: cool bird magic, conflicting religious views that are ramping up into a full out war, and magical tree sap that changes people into I don't know what. I just would have liked some more information on all of that and how it creates a full world. I saw another review talk abut how the world building feels very Skyrim to them, and I totally agree! There is even a group of elderly women very akin to the Greybeards. We get info dumps about the existence of these different religious factions and how they've treated each other, but I want to know more (without info dumps preferably).
Profile Image for ivy francis.
544 reviews27 followers
June 2, 2019
Full review: https://bookpeopleteens.wordpress.com...

A fantastic fantasy chronicling the quest of twins Brysen and Kaylee, both fighting to capture a legendary killer bird. Smart and original and queer, this avian epic makes me hungry for a sequel. The bird puns and references got a bit excessive after a while, but the writing was strong and the ideas stronger. Aesthetically, I loved it. Technically, I wasn’t as much of a fan. Overall, I had a good time, I learned about birds and I fell in love with some cool characters. Rating: 4/5

For fans of: Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman, How to Train Your Dragon, The Firebird Thing From Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Favorite quotes:
- “I’d rather live in a world where I get to love the moon than in one where I don’t, even if the moon won’t return the feeling.”
- “But I still get to laugh because I’m alive. I get to laugh and cry and love and sing, and every time I do, I tell death she hasn’t got me yet.”
- “Great poems know more than their poets, but they cannot exist without them.”
Profile Image for Stella ☆Paper Wings☆.
522 reviews46 followers
July 2, 2019
This is one of those books that I never stopped wanting to DNF, but I still managed to push through. Black Wings Beating certainly isn't all bad, but I just really did not like it. I'm going to try to be nice in this review but I have so many nitpicky little issues that it might be difficult.

Let's start with the CONS so we can end on a positive note:

☆ My biggest problem is that the concept is actually pretty strange and underdeveloped. It certainly seemed interesting when I picked it up, but as I read it I realized... the entire concept for the world is that it revolves around birds. That's it. At one point someone asked me what the book was about, and I actually struggled to explain it to them!

☆ This is a nitpicky thing, but I really feel like the word "said" is underrated. When you use "said," the reader moves right past it because they're used to that. When you (over)use words like "responded," "mentioned," "agreed," or "commented" it slows the reader down. And let me tell you, I saw so many of those "said" synonyms in this book. I can see why you might use "shouted" or "snapped," or "muttered," or even "asked," because they describe the manner of speaking. But "replied" is usually just as good as "said," and this honestly just made the writing style feel amateurish to me.

☆ I. hate. Brysen. By the end of the book literally everything Brysen said or did annoyed me. He's certainly consistent as a character, but all his character traits are practically designed to be irritating!

☆ And then Kylee (whose name never ceased to puzzle me- sorry if that's anyone's actual name), an okay character overall but not the best either, gets annoyed by Brysen too. I swear he's supposed to be a jerk, which is just strange.

☆ There's a difference between a "complex" character and an unlikable character, you know?

☆ The relationship between Kylee and Brysen is very strange as well. We're told they love each other and would do anything for each other, but they spend the whole book arguing- and not just like normal sibling arguments. They're actively working against each other for the entire middle of the book!

☆ I can't tell if I was supposed to ship Dymian and Brysen or not, but Dymian is so obviously toxic that I could never get behind it. Since the whole quest thing is just to save Dymian in the first place, I just felt like the whole thing was completely pointless and I wished Brysen would get a mind of his own. Weirdly, Kylee seemed to agree with me, but it all happened anyway.

☆ My favorite part of this book was undoubtedly the chapters at the end of each act/part that were from the point of view of a random side character somewhere else in the world. They pretty much saved the world-building, and they add to the tension with a little good-old-fashioned dramatic irony.

☆ This is a pretty diverse book! None of these are very clear (which is okay I guess, especially since there's a sequel where it could be developed more), but I think the two main characters are black, one of them gay and the other somewhere on the aromantic spectrum. It also seems to be a world where pansexuality is somewhat the default, which I always appreciate.

☆ I did like some of the side characters, particularly Vyvian and Toryn (did I spell those right??), and (slight spoiler for the rest of the paragraph) I like where the chemistry between Toryn and Brysen is going!

But I guess I'll never know what happens between them because I will not be reading the sequel.

CWs: physical and emotional parental abuse, self-harm, violence against and murder of animals, romantic pursuit that could be interpreted as ace/arophobic (kind of challenged...?)
Profile Image for Jaime Arkin.
1,419 reviews1,326 followers
September 24, 2018
This was my first Alex London book, and it definitely won’t be my last. I picked this up and read it in less than 24 hours. I was just completely enthralled with the world and characters London has created with this story.

Twins, Brysen and Kylee live with their mother on the outskirts of Six Villages. Brysen wants only to become a famous falconer and Kylee wants just the opposite, to be free of the debt they acquired upon the death of their father and falconry all together.

Brysen has spent his early years ducking his father’s fists quite unsuccessfully, while Kylee tried to protect him as much as she could, but there is a huge divide between them that was apparent from the start of this story.

When the boy Brysen loves life is threatened, he’s determined to do whatever he can to save him… that means he has to head up the mountains and catch the Ghost Eagle, the very bird that killed his father. But the village is on the brink of war, and as they head up the mountain they aren’t alone and Kylee and Brysen find that despite the many issues between them, they still need each other.

I really loved the world building with this story. The falconry aspect was fascinating to me and it’s apparent that London did his research! The characters were intriguing and if you know me, you know I love reading other people’s interpretations of the relationships of twins. I do have to say that I kind of struggled with Brysen a bit. He had some pretty bad tunnel vision about the guy he was so determined to risk his life over, and I kind of saw the ending twist coming early on. I hope to see a bit more growth in his character in the next book.

Kylee was intriguing to me. She had this gift that her brother would kill for, and she was determined not to use it. I think it made a lot more sense to me as I read on, where you got a bit more visibility into how not being able to control the words could cause more harm than good.
Overall, this story was a departure from my most recent reads and I think that’s why I really was so intrigued. The plot is unique, the world is really well crafted and the story is so well told and filled with action. If you are a fan of fantasy and love unique stories, then I highly recommend grabbing this one upon release. I can’t end this without mentioning that cover at least once! It’s beautiful and I can’t wait to get a finished copy on my bookshelves.

Thank you to the publisher for an early copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.
Profile Image for Andy.
2,360 reviews185 followers
September 11, 2021
3.5 rounded up!

Black Wings Beating is an immersive fantasy about a world that relies on falconry. Twins Brysen and Kylee have been running their family business since their father died. They only need to make it through one more good season and they'll be free to leave the business behind if they want. Kylee longs for freedom from the birds even though she has an ancient and rare gift for falconry. Brysen wishes to be a great falconer and bring glory to his family name. The two will risk everything to trap the Ghost Eagle, the greatest bird in the country.

I really loved the world of Skybound and everything about the magic and birds. I don't completely understand Kylee's power, but I'm excited to see her explore it more. There were several outside forces that seem to be surrounding the twins and I'm very curious to see how everything will erupt, I have a feeling Kylee and Brysen will be in the center of it.

I really liked Kylee. She's canon aroace even tho the words weren't used. I really hope her brother stops trying to push romantic partners on her. That annoyed me. Actually, Brysen in general annoyed me. He was such an egotist and would take risks for no reason and Kylee would have to clean up his mess. I'm pretty sure he never once thanks her for all she's done for him. I don't hate him, but I definitely don't like him. Maybe he'll grow in the next book so I can like him more, because right now he's just a patriarchal asshole.

Rep: Aroace BIPOC female MC, achillean (gay coded) BIPOC male MC, achillean male side character.

CWs: Animal death, blood, child abuse, death/death of parent, domestic abuse, drug use, injury/injury detail, murder, physical abuse, violence.

I heard there's an ace character! Instant boost in TBR priority!
Profile Image for Ari.
973 reviews106 followers
November 6, 2018
I've been waiting for his next book after PROXY & GUARDIAN like forever....

after read thoughts:

Honestly, It was hard for me to get into the story. I can't get my head around all that falconry and or falcon battle... And the political in it...just... thin. It didnt make me feel like on the edge of world war...

The story was way more enjoyable when it came to the action; The twin launched the guest to capture the legendary ghost eagle (whatever it is) and it's brilliantly tied to their past.

I hope that there'll be characters development in the next installment.

Profile Image for Lance.
463 reviews142 followers
October 8, 2018
"In stories, people said they were dumbstruck by love, but those storytellers knew nothing. Love didn't make you dumb; it made you too smart, too quickly. In the span of a breath, a person in love could imagine everything they should say and its opposite, every tone of voice they could use and why each one was a mistake. They could weigh every word and analyze every gesture.... A person in love was paralyzed by the brilliance of their own longing."

4.5 Stars. Wow, Black Wings Beating did not disappoint in the slightest. I'll admit I was a bit hesitant going into this, especially with the mixed reviews and having just read the sheer perfection that was Muse of Nightmares but wow this book is such a great start to what's sure to be an amazing series.

Going in, I was aware that Brysen was a character that people hated because of how impulsive, selfish, and unlikable he was. Well, while perhaps I don't fully understand him, I can definitely relate to him in some aspects. He's a teen who is desperate to be first in someone's heart, to be seen as not lesser, not lacking, but as a person who deserves to be treasured and thought of as great and because of it makes some stupid decisions (like chasing after the Ghost Eagle for the sake of a boy who clearly only cared about him when it was convenient). His characterization didn't bother me as much as it did other reviewers, but I get why people don't like him. Kylee, his sister, was a likable enough protagonist but I didn't see as much growth in her as I saw in Brysen . She's a caring, compassionate, powerful character who is poised for some amazing character development as the series progresses. Also, .

Now for two of the best elements of the book: the writing and worldbuilding. While Alex London's writing is definitely not Laini Taylor level, his writing is comparable to one of my favorite writers of all time Leigh Bardugo. He has a way with words, evident from the quote above, that is simultaneously poetic and compelling . As for the worldbuilding, it was just slightly below Leigh Bardugo's. While I can't sit here and write about all of the intricacies and names of places, his worldbuilding is completely understandable, never info-dumpy, and very interesting all at once. . I was apprehensive about a book based around birds as it's main magic system, but now I am fully on board and interested in it.

The plot was where this book fell only slightly short. Don't get me wrong, the plot was perfectly paced, with political machinations and action brewing and always keeping things interesting. This book never had a really dull moment . But, my main complaint has to do with the way that .

All in all, pick this up. If you're looking for a good fantasy that is slightly unorthodox with diverse characters (I believe most of the cast are PoC and Brysen is gay), look no further.
Profile Image for Dianne.
6,765 reviews582 followers
August 5, 2020
Fans of high fantasy are in for a journey filled with desperation, diversity and political intrigue as two siblings set out to save their world by trapping the Ghost Eagle, the deadliest killer in a world where falconry rules. Complex world building, well-developed characters and high octane emotional energy give young adult readers something to sink their teeth into, all while being able to dissect and identify the mechanics of sibling relationships.

BLACK WINGS BEATING by Alex London is boldly written, intense and the world created is anything but mundane. Dreams may be crushed, relationships tested and inner strengths will grow.

A tale written with passion and imagination that comes to life and pulls readers in.

I was invited to receive this copy from Farrar, Straus and Giroux and NetGalley! This is my honest and voluntary review.

Series: Skybound - Book 1
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (September 25, 2018)
Publication Date: September 25, 2018
Genre: YA Fantasy | LBGT
Print Length: 414 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
For Reviews, Giveaways, Fabulous Book News, follow: http://tometender.blogspot.com
Profile Image for Grüffeline.
1,047 reviews100 followers
July 20, 2020
Blood was so much easier to spill than truth.

4.5 stars
Oh my gosh, this was soooo good! I didn't know what I was in for - I simply followed a recommendation after asking for books with asexual characters.
The writing was amazing, I could see the mountainside and the desert with those magnificent birds of prey. The legend about the ghost eagle was amazing touch - I would've loved to know more, though, since it plays such a great role in the plot.
Kylee and Brysen (yes, every single name has a y in it) are amazing characters to follow, more Kylee than Brysen though. I couldn't warm up to him or connect with him.
I can't wait to start the sequel and finding out where this journey will take us.
Profile Image for Anny.
631 reviews298 followers
March 19, 2019
Más bien un 3'5.
Me pareció una novela muy, muy original porque mezcla: ¡aves, mellizos y lgtb! ¿Algo mejor que esto? No lo creo. La historia me gustó muchísimo, porque tanto la ambientación como el mundo que ha creado el autor es una pasada, peeeeeero le faltó desarrollo, ya que en muchas partes me veía abrumada con tanta información y a veces perdía el hilo de la novela. Pero tiene muchísimo potencial, que seguro que en la segunda parte será mucho más aprovechado.
Aunque tiene un final abierto, no es taaaaan abierto y sin embargo, me dejó con ganas de seguir leyendo.
Profile Image for Minerva Saldaña.
113 reviews47 followers
August 25, 2020
Personalmente me fue muy difícil conectar con el libro hasta el momento de la aventura central que nos da la historia. Brysen me fastidió porque no sentí motivos suficientes al arriesgarse por su amor, era inconsistente e indeciso. En cambio, los personajes de Kylee y Jowyn se me hicieron buenos por el poder de decisión, meditación e intuición por los distintos casos que se les presentaba a lo largo de la historia. El mundo que nos muestran se me hizo muy auténtico, este sentido de espiritualidad y respeto hacia las aves se me hizo súper original.
Profile Image for Carlos.
588 reviews288 followers
August 25, 2019
3.5 star for this book. Would like to see the sequel and how all conflicts that are introduced here come to a clash . Loved the talk about falconry art.
Profile Image for Jay G.
1,206 reviews465 followers
June 15, 2020
Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfer...

Kylee and her twin brother Brysen are falconers, left with the debt their late father owes. Brysen loves it, but Kylee wants to be free of falconry. The boy Brysen loves gets into trouble, owing a great debt to a dangerous man. The twins set off on a daring adventure to catch the Ghost Eagle, the bird who killed their father. Along the way, they are faced with many enemies who want to use Kylee's strange ability for power in the upcoming war.

I was not a fan of Brysen at all, he was self-centered and annoying. He was so ungrateful for everything his sister did for him and just seemed to think he was entitled to everything. I was hoping that he would have character development in the end, but he is just a shitty person through and through. The relationship between Brysen and Dymian was extremely toxic, and the fact that this whole book was based around the twins having to go save his ass, also really annoyed me. I'm really hoping Brysen ends up with a certain someone in the end... I also wasn't the biggest fan of Kylee either, she repeatedly diminished herself to make Brysen feel better about himself... She could have been such a kick-ass character and I just didn't get that from her. I liked the idea of falconry and the Ghost Eagle. I wanted to know more about these birds of prey and why Uztari came to capture, train, and sell these birds. It was interesting to learn more about the different ways these birds could be trained. I also wanted to know more about Kylee's ability to talk to the birds of prey. The most redeeming part of this book were The Owl Mothers, a women-led society up in the mountains.

The book was okay, but nothing memorable in my opinion.
Profile Image for Cindee.
782 reviews34 followers
October 26, 2019
I really loved this book it was LGBT without that being the main point there was so much more to the book than that. I loved the characters especially Kylee,Brysen and Nyall I liked the relationship between the siblings Kylee would do absolutely anything to protect Brysen. I really did like how Brysen was determined to go get the ghost eagle to save the one he loved. I really liked Nyall he was a really well written character that would do anything for Kylee since he is in love with her even if she is completely oblivious of it. These characters really mesh so well together I am really excited to read more about them. I really loved the plot I liked the whole concept with the falconing thing it was really interesting . So overall I liked this book I will most likely read the sequel soon.
Profile Image for Books on Stereo.
1,268 reviews173 followers
September 29, 2019
Black Wings Beating is an imaginative fantasy that sadly loses its mesmerizing premise as the novel continues.
Profile Image for Tobbi Garcia.
323 reviews17 followers
June 24, 2019
4.5 ⭐

El pueblo de Uztar ha mirado el cielo con asombro y esperanza desde tiempos remotos. Nada en su mundo es más venerado que las aves rapaces y nadie es más respetado que los cetreros que las llevan en el puño. Brysen se esfuerza por ser un gran cetrero, mientras que su hermana melliza, Kylee, posee dones ancestrales pero quiere librarse para siempre de la cetrería. Ya casi lo ha logrado, pero una guerra se aproxima a Seis Aldeas, con un ejército rebelde que no deja nada a su paso, excepto sangre y el cielo vacío. No habrá cetrero ni ave a salvo de esta invasión.

La historia comienza cuando estos dos hermanos mellizos, Brysen y Kylee tiene que ir en la búsqueda del Águila Fantasma, una mítica ave rapaz que muchos han intentado cazar pero nadie ha podido. Ambos emprenden esta búsqueda por distintos motivos, Brysen para salvar la vida de su amado, Dymian, y por la gloria que tanto anhela; Kyle, para proteger a su hermano y para reparar algo del pasado. A lo largo de este camino se encontraran con distintos obstáculos que no le facilitaran el camino hacia su cometido.

Las palabras no eran halcones adiestrados. Una vez liberadas estas a la caza, jámas se les podía hacer regresar.

Una furia de Alas negras es sin duda uno de los mejores libros que leí en el año y soy consiente de que no es perfecto, pero me enamoro desde sus primeras paginas tanto por su narración, su historia y sus personajes.
Puede ser que al principio el libro parezca lento y un poco introductorio, no porque tenga un mundo complejo, sino que el vocabulario que usa el escritor referido a las aves así como todas las metáforas y analogías puede hacer que el principio te encuentres un poco perdido pero a medida que te vas familiarizando con la narración y sus personajes, todo se deja fluir. Creo que lo que mas ame de la historia es esto ultimo, como el autor en todo momento hace analogías y metáforas con las ave y de esa manera crea un ambiente al mundo que nos presenta en el cual las aves son tan alabadas.

El corazón es como un pájaro, ¿quién pudiera decirle a un pájaro en qué rama aterrizar?

También ame la construcción de personajes, Kylee sin dudas fue mi protagonista favorita ella a toda costa quería proteger a su hermano y también ayudarlo a que encuentre esa gloria que tanto anhela, nunca se comporto egoísta en ningún momento y siempre hizo todo para ayudarlo a él. En cambio Brysen, siento que fue muy egoísta con su hermana y tomaba decisiones absurdas poniendo en riesgo la vida de ambos, solo por un amor que no valía la pena. Pero a medida que avanza la historia conocemos mucho mas de su pasado y vemos porque Brysen es así y podemos entenderlo. Es un personaje que a medida que avanza la novela va creciendo pero siento que todavía le falta mucho camino mas para llegar a la madurez que necesita y que seguramente, con lo que paso al final de este libro, lo va poder lograr.

Ame mucho los distintos grupos que hay dentro del libro, como las madre búho y los Kartami(de los cual quiero saber mas) y también a los personajes secundarios Jowyn es otro de mis personajes favoritos y me encanto el protagonismo que va teniendo a medida que avanza la historia.

Es una novela que tiene todo lo que a mi me gusta:
- Un gran historia
- Narración Exquisita
- Personajes bien construidos y con sus pequeñas complejidades.
- Es LGBT+
- Capítulos cortos que te dejan con ganas de mas.

Le tengo muchísimas ganas a la segunda parte, y eso que no es un libro que te deje en un cliffhanger tremendo que necesitas continuar si o si, de hecho es todo lo contrario, pero quede tan enamorado de los personajes y su historia que quiero saber mas de ellos y como sigue su aventura.

Profile Image for Patry Fernandez.
461 reviews230 followers
April 17, 2019
En realidad 3,5💥

«Un halcón no es racional. No tiene culpas, recuerdos ni razonamiento. Solo sentía todo lo que podía sentir de forma instantánea y pura, y actuaba así de rápido. La gente tenía demasiada fe en el pensamiento cuando las órdenes del corazón merecían, al menos, el mismo respeto que las de la mente.»

Reseña completa -> https://thewordsofbooks.blogspot.com/...
Profile Image for CW ✨.
630 reviews1,689 followers
December 12, 2018
This was unexpectedly delightful! An adventure fantasy set in a society that reveres birds of prey. HECK. This book was so fun.

- Set in a world structured around the companionship and connection between bird trainers, or falconers, and their birds of prey companions, giving rise to its unique language, social and cultural traditions, religions, and ideologies.
- Follows twins Brysen and Kylee; the former, the reckless twin who strives to be a falconer and to prove something to the world, and the latter, the reserved and guarded twin who possesses untold power - except she doesn't want it.
- They journey to hunt the Ghost Eagle, a bird of legend, and a pivotal piece of the upcoming war. Great adventure-like things happen - they meet new people, people who want to kill them, and learn something about themselves along the way.
- The worldbuilding was great, but was a little confusing at times with the antagonist's motives. I feel like this will be unveiled in the second book.
- Not much discourse, though some of the worldbuilding nuances offered some food for thought, but it was indeed a lot of fun.

Trigger/content warning:
Profile Image for Ben Howard.
884 reviews98 followers
November 14, 2019

I went into this a bit hesitant, as reviews from people I follow and others were pretty middle of the road.

But I was pleasantly surprised. I loved this book! The concept of falconry was unique, at least to me, and interestingly exicuted. I can understand why people may not like the two main characters, seeing them as annoying and selfish, but I found that the reasons why they acted that way made sense with the context of their relationship with their father. I'm looking forward to how these characters develope in the next book.

Also, the two narrators for this did a great job.

PS: I couldn't find a pic of Britney with a bird, so here's a gif of her with wings to make your day.
Profile Image for Marta G. Mas.
153 reviews55 followers
December 11, 2020

Podría resumir "Una furia de alas negras" en un constante quiero y no puedo.

¿Y por qué? Pues porque realmente la idea no es mala, pero le falta desarrollo. Los personajes no están mal planteados, pero carecen de la profundidad y los matices necesarios para tener coherencia. Las relaciones no están mal enfocadas, pero no están nada justificadas. Los sucesos podrían ser correctos, pero los aspectos anteriores provocan que ocurran de forma precipitada y casi forzada...

Normalmente, por malo que sea un libro suelo leer su segunda parte si la hay, ya que siempre me gusta dar una segunda oportunidad a los autores y a la historia en cuestión. Al fin y al cabo, escribir es un oficio, las novelas evolucionan y la destreza a la hora de narrar mejora, pero muy a mi pesar, en esta ocasión me voy a saltar mi benevolencia y no voy a continuar la trilogía, sobre todo por la traducción.

Me he encontrado con obras en las que en algún punto te das cuenta de que hay un párrafo, una línea o una palabra que ha sido mal traducida, pero tiene un pase. En este caso, los errores de traducción están presentes de principio a fin. Frases sin sentido, palabras mal empleadas constantemente y alternancia de dialectos latinoamericanos y españoles: un desastre.

Probablemente, si la traducción fuera buena y reflejara realmente el estilo de escritura de Alex London, me aventuraría a continuar la saga, porque de verdad pienso que apreciaría la evolución: es algo que me ha pasado con más de un autor y con más de una historia, pero este autor va a ser la excepción que confirme la regla.

Aún así, os voy a dejar algunas de las frases que me he marcado en el kindle y que sí me parece que tienen potencial. No todo va a ser malo ;)

"No era bueno con las cuentas, pero Brysen podía calcular la trayectoria emocional de una ceja y las infinitas combinaciones de dos labios que se tocan [...] Una persona enamorada estaba paralizada por la brillantez de su propio anhelo."

"Es como una llama que debe ser cuidada. Cada generación debe preservar el lenguaje de sus madres, o se perderá, y cada generación debe inventar el lenguaje por sí misma, o no tendrá significado. El lenguaje crece con todos los que lo hablan."

"Nunca había querido empeorar las cosas, pero una brisa no puede pasar a través de un árbol sin agitar las hojas."

¿Habéis leído este título? ¿Qué os ha parecido? Os leo :)
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