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Black Wings Beating

(Skybound #1)

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  2,285 ratings  ·  654 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, 432 pages
Published September 25th 2018 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr)
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  • Black Wings Beating by Alex London
    Black Wings Beating (Skybound, #1)

    Release date: Sep 03, 2019
    We're giving away 15 copies of BLACK WINGS BEATING, the first book in Alex London's soaring, fantasy-filled Skybound Saga! Enter now to win. ...more

    Format: Print book

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    Availability: 15 copies available, 2153 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Jun 10 - Jun 17, 2021

    Countries available: U.S.

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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. …moreI don't know what that means but the hero, Brysen, is a boy who happens to be attracted to other boys. (less)
    Naomi Waters I think this is a good book for high-schoolers and mature middle-schoolers. There are a few graphic scenes in this though. For example a guy is alive …moreI think this is a good book for high-schoolers and mature middle-schoolers. There are a few graphic scenes in this though. For example a guy is alive when he has his eyes pecked out by birds, so if you don't think a middle-schooler could handle a few scenes of that caliber then this book isn't for them.(less)

    Community Reviews

    Showing 1-30
    Average rating 3.60  · 
    Rating details
     ·  2,285 ratings  ·  654 reviews

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    Start your review of Black Wings Beating (Skybound, #1)
    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!)
    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

    chan ☆
    Sep 24, 2018 marked it as to-read
    gay. pokemon comparisons. young adult. fantasy. fuck me all the way up.
    Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
    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 ...more
    Nov 16, 2018 marked it as to-read
    • BIRDS

    • GAYS


    May 15, 2019 rated it liked it
    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
    Apr 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: netgalley
    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
    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 th
    May 10, 2019 rated it liked it
    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 constant ...more
    Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: came-soon-18-20
    Full review:

    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
    Stella ☆Paper Wings☆
    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
    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
    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 hope
    Aug 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
    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
    Jul 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    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
    Aug 24, 2019 rated it liked it
    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.
    "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 n
    Jay G
    Jun 15, 2020 rated it liked it
    Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my Youtube channel:

    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 u
    Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    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. (view spoiler) ...more
    Books on Stereo
    Black Wings Beating is an imaginative fantasy that sadly loses its mesmerizing premise as the novel continues.
    Feb 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: lgbtqia
    I mean, okay.
    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
    Ben Howard
    Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing

    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
    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.)

    Marius Paulsen (Antari-kun)
    Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
    I loved this start to the series and this plot is so unique! Loved every second of it! Minor pacing issues but otherwise perfect!
    Dec 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: 2019
    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
    Naomi Waters
    Jun 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: lgbtq, owned, fantasy, reviewed
    A 4.5 stars. I had a blast reading this book! There was action, murder, and war on the rise and all those things together made for an entertaining ride. But there is one thing that immediately turned me off this book, I actually stopped reading for a minute. This moment didn't turn me off because the writing was bad, or I didn't like what was happening, it was because one line Brysen said made me flashback to another trilogy about another set of twins. And that flashback reminded me that I loved ...more
    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. ...more
    I have had this book on my audible account for almost a year and never really listened to it. Until today.

    I honestly have no idea what I was expecting to get from Black Wings Beating and I still don't after finishing it. The world started off leaving me in awe but then I slowly got less intrigued and more annoyed throughout the book. Things just weren't making sense or adding up for my brain today. Maybe I'm just so tired or I'm doing way too many things while listening to this book (like chores
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    Challenge Corner: Black Wings Beating (Skybound #1), by Alex London - starting December 16th, 2019 6 2 Dec 22, 2019 12:00PM  
    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

    Other books in the series

    Skybound (3 books)
    • Red Skies Falling (Skybound, #2)
    • Gold Wings Rising (Skybound, #3)

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