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The Game Bird

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  72 ratings  ·  19 reviews
An evil is growing. The Realm is under attack. A leviathan has risen from the depths and is destroying the fleets that feed Stormhaven.

Stuck ashore and drowning in debt, Captain James Faulkner resolves to hunt the sea monster and claim the enormous bounty on the beast.

Sophia Blake's life looks effortless. But she carries a secret, an occult curse that is capable of destroy
Kindle Edition, 402 pages
Published April 2nd 2018
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Aidan Walsh
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Average rating 4.25  · 
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kartik narayanan
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Originally posted on Digital Amrit

Some authors have it in them to tell a story; others do not. The former can make even a dry topic interesting, can take cliches and make them feel fresh or weave a yarn that enthralls readers. Aidan Walsh is one who belongs to the first category and 'Game Bird' has all the ingredients needed to make it fascinating.

Game Bird is about Captain Faulkner, a naval captain and war hero, who is now deeply into debt. He hears of a monstrous fish titled 'The Leviathan' wh
Lee Conley
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spfbo-18, to-review
The Game Bird
By Aidan R Walsh

I was initially drawn to this book because of its fantastic cover, it gave me thoughts of warships and sea-monsters – I was not disappointed. The Game Bird is a book that tells the story of a ship. It is a story about a hunt for a terrible sea-monster called the leviathan which preys on entire ships, pulling them down into the oblivion of the murky depths. It is also a story about family, about a daughter with a secret and a father who does everything he can to prote
Travis Riddle
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spfbo4
Admittedly we're only two weeks into the new year, but The Game Bird is already one of my favorite books of 2019 and I could very well see it winding up on my year-end list come December.

I was initially worried that this book might lean more into the "historical fiction" side of things than the fantasy (aside from the leviathan everyone's after), so I was glad to find that the weird, dark, fantastical aspects were weaved throughout the entire narrative.

Which isn't to say the swashbuckling was
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant book, it draws you in so that you feel like you're living every second of it! I can't wait for the next one! ...more
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So much fun, a really excellent romp through a richly imagined and created new world. Looking forward to the next book. Loved the Sophia character. (Passes the Bechdel test)
Laura May
This book is excellent, and I encourage all fans of fantasy - and particularly fantasy on the high seas - to snap it up at its current unreasonably low price.

At first I was worried the book would be too slow, because I'm someone who has very little patience for world-building, despite the pay-off. However, it allowed the author to establish some strong, diverse, and differentiated characters, in a world with interesting heritage, history, and fascinating magic system. By the end of the book, the
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Actual rating: 2.5/5

Naval themes are interesting. Leviathans are even more interesting. Add a good cover to the mix and I'm ready for a ride.

The book offers something new to readers tired of medieval settings. The world, based on times of regency, features a stratified society in which women have small chances for a fulfilling career. They are expected to marry well and lead sedated and boring lives. Gunpowder and firearms play an important role in battles, but swords and axes are still in use.
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
In his debut novel The Game Bird, Aussie author Aidan R Walsh dispenses with the more traditional medieval type setting of most fantasy novels and sets his tale upon the bones of a Regency England stage. I was - at first - concerned this setting would overwhelm the understanding that the book is not, in fact, set on earth. It didn't. With a sure hand belying the fact that this is his first novel, Walsh allows the story and characters to tell his tale in such a way that while there is a feeling o ...more
Carol Gray
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book has everything that I could ask for in a story. That is suspense, action, all types of relationships and an enemy that you want to kick in the teeth. Once I started I couldn't /didn't want to put it down. I'm looking forward to what what adventures await in this unique world . ...more
Nov 23, 2018 rated it did not like it
This was a frustrating book to read.

The concept sounded cool to me, an shipfaring adventure with a down on his luck captain, a woman who was hiding a power and a crew who all were setting off to kill a mythical beast. In a world where pegasi and birds coexist. So cool!

However, it was poorly executed. I think the characters were poorly conceptualised and written. I disliked both the main characters. The female character Sophia has the "taint"*, but and unlike every other female in this world she
Amanda Bridgeman
May 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this read - 4.5 stars. At the time I selected this book I was in the mood to read an adventure set on a sailing ship, and this fit the bill nicely. Not only did it deliver on the sailing adventure set in a fantasy world, but it also delivered some surprises! I wasn't expecting the strong romantic thread throughout the book, and this was one of my favourite aspects that kept me turning the page. Although I was expecting the tale to be focused more on chasing the leviathan, and it ...more
Jason Franks
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Walsh brings a fresh take on seafaring adventure, running a 19th century swashbuckler in a secondary world full of wyverns and sea monsters and demons.
Game Bird is a fast moving story driven by likable heroes and hideous villains, full of action, humour, romance, and good old fashioned storytelling.
The prose and dialogue puts you in the period without ever feeling forced. It's clear that Walsh has lavished a lot of research and world-building on this book and he delivers allows it to surface wi
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I recommend to anyone who loves fantasy and find characters, character growth particularly important.
Couldn’t put it down! I love a story that sucks you in, has you imagining yourself as part of the world, the characters and the adventure and game bird does this.
There are so many beautifully crafted lines that have you wanting more. I can not wait for the second instalment of this adventure... and I do hope it’s coming!
Courtney Walsh
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well worth a read!

This was a great read! A compelling story which made me race through it, characters I fell a bit in love with, and a beautifully crafted world, even as someone who doesn't typically enjoy naval fiction.
This really got me out of a slump of being bored by other fantasy authors, and as a first novel, I'm looking forward to see what comes next!
Andrey Popov
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a fantastic gem of a book! Exceptionally well written. Cannot understand why this isn't more well known and spoken about. ...more
Bruce Coleman
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this book. Well written and the build up of the characters was great. Cant wait for more of James and Sophia's adventures.

Larry Ortman
Jan 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Kept me up at Night

I read a lot of books, most are good but few keep me reading late into the night. This was one of them.
Suzanne Rogerson
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The story starts with immediate action and thrusts you straight into Captain Faulker's life as he attempts to escape bailiffs. Stormhaven comes alive as a place I wouldn't particularly like to live and I enjoyed the adventure right from the first page. The scenes on the ships are especially well written.

The 'swashbuckling black powder fantasy' was quite a new and unique reading experience. I got swept along with the tale and liked all the characters especially James Faulkner and Sophia. The ment
Lynn K : Grimmedian
Nov 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spfbo
Adventures on the high seas, and monsters so terrifying that they leave men completely unhinged, if they survive at all.
I have the feeling this one will be as appealing to many as it was for me. This is an adventure fantasy with a very classic feel, a unique premise, and the newest nightmare to haunt dreams. The Tallowman. One would believe that the leviathan on the cover which is threatening trade routes and livelihoods would be the true horror here, but the thing hunting down Sophia Blake is m
Erin Hill-Dowdle
rated it really liked it
Feb 22, 2019
rated it liked it
Sep 08, 2018
Bob McGough
rated it it was amazing
Feb 07, 2019
Andrew Theaker
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Apr 28, 2018
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Mar 05, 2020
Michael Schaefer
rated it liked it
Oct 18, 2019
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Aug 15, 2018
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May 20, 2018
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Sep 30, 2019
Joshua Hurley
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Jun 04, 2019
Matthew Silvester
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Oct 10, 2019
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Aidan R Walsh is a prize winning fantasy author. Aidan has loved fantasy and science fiction for as long as he can remember. His tastes have broadened with age, but fantasy has remained particularly deep in his blood. If a religion could convince Aidan that Middle Earth was heaven, he’d sign up immediately.

Aidan lives in Newcastle, Australia with his wife, three children, two dogs (one of which is

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