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Black Wings Beating

(Skybound #1)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  921 ratings  ·  308 reviews
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, t
Hardcover, 426 pages
Published September 25th 2018 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr)
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Popular Answered Questions
Elias I don't know what that means but the hero, Brysen, is a boy who happens to be attracted to other boys.
Emilie It is a YA book. I say it's appropriate for middle through high school readers.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  921 ratings  ·  308 reviews

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Adam Silvera
Dec 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
OFFICIAL BLURB: "BLACK WINGS BEATING takes the fantasy genre to soaring new heights with its epic thrills, heart-punching romance, and a marvel of a hero."

So happy I got to read BWB early. Alex London does some one-of-a-kind storytelling here. (While waiting for this one, I definitely recommend checking out his futuristic thrillers PROXY and GUARDIAN. I really love those books too!)
At first glance, this may seem like an original tale. (The cover sure is.) After all, who knew birds could play such a huge role in a story.

But the more I read, the less impressed I became. I did find the idea of training birds for different purposes interesting, and even fighting an opponent for money along with your trained bird.

Except, when it came time to discuss the war that may or may not happen, I was like, ‘‘Here we go again.’’ Perhaps it’s bad timing, perhaps I would have liked this mor
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Hi, I love this book.
may ➹
despite this book being about birds, this book was surprisingly, shockingly nothing like Six of Crows

chandler ainsley ♕
Sep 24, 2018 marked it as to-read
gay. pokemon comparisons. young adult. fantasy. fuck me all the way up.
Nov 16, 2018 marked it as to-read



Joshee Kun (조수아)
Thank you, Macmillan, for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

There was an invisible tether that bound them to each other. Each of them was the falcon, each the falconer.

Have you ever read a book reminiscent of Pokemon? Because I couldn't help but imagine the domesticated birds in this book as Pidgey, Spearow, and their evolved forms. Moreover, Brysen and Kylee were on a quest to find a ghost eagle, which was virtually a legendary Pokemon like Articuno. Basically, it was my first t
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fantasy Lovers :)
You know that one character, the one dumber than a box of rocks and yet somehow everyone adores him??


I love this book, but I would have enjoyed it so much more if Brysen pulled his head out of his *ss for one second and realized his sister DOES have feelings and DOES deserve his loyalty/care. Just, I don't know, A THOUGHT.


This story is about two siblings, Kylee and Brysen, who live in a world where predatory birds are revered/worshiped/the cultural touchstone. The
Dec 20, 2017 rated it liked it
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 h
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A cool fantasy, How To Train Your Dragon meets Tess of the Road. The characters were strong, the plot was exciting, and the whole idea I can't wait to see be fleshed out more in the next book.
Full Review:
Nov 01, 2018 rated it liked it
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
Jaime Arkin
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,
"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 no
Patry Fernandez
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 ->
Jul 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
I gave this one a good ol' college try with an awesome cover and some falconry but there wasn't much of a story to build that I realized I wasn't getting in to it and skimmed through until the end and realized I didn't miss much for it's thickness. It really only moved a tick forward in creating a series that could have probably been an awesome and thoughtful retelling standalone but instead gives it up to being another derivative series.
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
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
Feb 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtqia
I mean, okay.
I really really loved this! The characters were precious and I adored them! (Not to mention the fantastic world building, gorgeous writing, and exciting plot.)

Dec 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wishlist, 2019, favorites
TWs: abuse (physical, emotional); implied sexual relationship with a minor; self-harm; suicidal ideations

I like to refer to this as "feather fantasy." It's like dragon fantasy but with birds of prey. The world was really unique in that everything, from religion to military strategy, revolved around birds and the sky. Was it all perfectly explained? No. I'm sure there are stuff I will understand better on reread, but for now I'm really pleased with what I read and understood. The politics of this
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book so much! The writing was just exquisite and to die for! Unlike anything, I have ever read before!
Mar 27, 2019 rated it liked it
I met the author of this book at the North Texas Teen Book Festival! He was really sweet and that’s why I decided to buy his book.

Now for the review:

I throughly enjoyed this book. It was good to read after a test, because it wasn’t super advanced and I could focus on the story. I loved the writing style and his descriptions.


I didn’t really enjoy Brysen that much. I thought he was whiny and wasn’t very strong. He took his sister’s accomplishments and tried to make them his own.

I lov
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Trigger Warnings:
Mentions of Past Parental Abuse, mentions of past self harm, gore

This was an enjoyable fantasy centred around the traditions of Falconry, and the love between a sister and brother as they seek to protect each other.
Alexis  (TheSlothReader)
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars.

I thought the world building could have been a little stronger, but otherwise I really liked the characters and thought the story was refreshing.
Sara (A Gingerly Review)
2.5 - 3 stars

I'm still processing my thoughts but I know this was not really what I expected
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Vicky Who Reads
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: drcs, wishlist
4 stars

Fantasy is one of the genres I'm the most picky with, and this one just ended up being not as perfect for me as I expected.

Black Wings Beating is an extremely well-written fantasy debut filled with falconry and magic and all sorts of political strife. It was basically set up for me to love: it had diverse characters, it's an #OwnVoices novel for queer characters, and it had a solid premise.

So, I'm honestly left kind of confused as why I wasn't "OMG THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER." But I thin
Lukas Anthony
Jan 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: has-some-gay
Goodreads really needs to integrate half stars into its rating system. I'm too indecisive for this full star nonsense.

3.5 Stars
Ally Watkins
Hello, flawed characters.

Hello, beautiful world and high stakes adventures.


I adored this book, even though it doesn’t really feel like something I’d ordinarily like. A pleasant surprise, this one.
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Best Readers! 1 1 Apr 12, 2019 10:26AM  
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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 bra

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“The ghost eagle couldn't plant thoughts in their minds; it could only distort what was already there. But like Jowyn said, they were all more than their worst thoughts. Maybe there were pieces of truth in everything they'd just yelled at one another, but only the most jagged pieces. No one was only the sum of the broken things inside themselves. Anyway, what were breaks if not openings?” 0 likes
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