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The Republic of Birds

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  175 ratings  ·  60 reviews
Olga loves the stories of the old cartographers and pores over their ancient books and maps, trying to unlock their secrets. Sometimes, she can even feel through the maps—almost see into them — as if by magic.

When the bird army kidnaps Olga’s sister, Mira, Olga knows that only she can venture into the Republic of Birds to rescue her. But first, she must unlock her magical
Paperback, 304 pages
Published March 3rd 2020 by Text Publishing
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Average rating 4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  175 ratings  ·  60 reviews

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Jade Ratley
Feb 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
8.29 on CAWPILE.

This book was everything I wanted it to be and then some! The subtle weaving of folklore into the story of sisterly love was gloriously done. I had expected the birds to play a slightly larger role in the story, however, the way they were presented was really fascinating to me!

I'm a big fan of Slavic folklore inspired stories, so my favourite elements of this were for sure the presence of the Yagas and the lore of the firebird! But of course, as a huge polar fantasy fan, the sno
Clare Snow
Jessica Miller's second book is released in March!

In other news, I want a Taaaaaarpaaaaaan.

I love this magical retelling of Baba Yaga. Chicken-legged houses roam the snow wrapped world and magic is not exactly allowed.

But eating raw onions is??

There's a map of the Russian inspired land where Olga lives, and Birds are at war with people. Olga loves cartography and magic might just help her land her dream job. If only she can save her family from the Tsarina on one side and the Birds on the other.
Jenna (Falling Letters)
Review originally published 2 March 2020 at Falling Letters. I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I wavered a lot on what I wanted to include in this review because I accepted a physical copy for review directly from the publisher. People involved in the creation of this book are likely going to read this. But this post is a one way reaction, intended for other readers, not a careful conversation resulting in useful critique. I thought about highlighting fiv
Text Publishing
The following book reviews have been shared by Text Publishing – publisher of The Republic of Birds

‘I loved this spicy fantasy with its unusual Russian influences and its clever, cartographer heroine.’
Isobelle Carmody

‘This book has so many things I love: maps, strange magic, living folklore, talking animals, history books, impossible challenges and a redoubtable heroine who mistakenly regards herself as untalented and unlovely, when she is quite the opposite. I couldn’t have enjoyed reading this
Belles Middle Grade Library
Mar 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Loved this! Such an engrossing magical story! I had no idea it was going to have so much about Yagas! Loved! So atmospheric, w/a snowy Russian inspired atmosphere. Olga loves stories of old cartographers, & loves to look at maps. Sometimes she can even feel through them, see into them-as if by magic. Years before there was the War of the Skies. Then the birds went to live separately in The Republic of Birds. Yagas, & all magic was also banished. Her dad just got banished to the same area, & it’s ...more
Julia Tulloh Harper
A lovely middle grade story about believing in yourself and caring for others, set in a fantastical (Russian?) province- it’s magical, wintry, full of yagas, houses on chicken legs, voyants, palaces, sleds and snow. There’s also a big focus on cartography- protagonist Olga is obsessed with maps and they play a big part in the story. Even though Olga goes on a long physical journey, it’s mostly a story about personal discovery and what it means to love your family even when they’re not perfect. ...more
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: on-my-bookshelf
Misfortune strikes Olga’s family when they are exiled to a remote outpost, with her father becoming the new head of the Imperial Centre for Avian Control. Birds are to be feared and magic is forbidden - so when Olga discovers a magical affinity to maps and her younger sister is kidnapped by birds - you just know that it’s time for an adventure!

I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of the huts belonging to Yaga’s and the sensations of Olga discovering maps come alive under her fingertips.

Anita McDivitt Barrios
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade, fantasy
A Fiery Start in the Ice Cold

We loved Jessica Miller's other middle grade book, Elizabeth and Zenobia, because the relationship between the two girls (one ghost, one real) was slightly creepy and it was just a joy to read. So, when I got a request to read an ARC (advance reader copy, uncorrected proof) of her latest middle grade book, I agreed to read and review it.

The Republic of Birds is an exceptionally grounded story, in that it features all sorts of maps and cartography which 12-year-old Ol
Sep 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book has everything: a Gorgeous cover, interesting politics, magical folklore and a snowy expedition.

Olga’s father has made a ‘promotion’ for which they have to leave the city… where it is cold, every meal is made of mushrooms, there are yaga’s and (!!) birds. Her father makes it his mission to find the Firebirds egg to help the Tsarina win the war in the skies and lets them come home again. But then the birds kidnap Olga’s sister.

Olga is a very good protagonist. She isn’t perfect, but grow
Kate Church
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rania T
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Text Publishing for letting me have the opportunity to read and review a copy of this novel.

Olga Oblomova feels that she will never be as talented as her sister Mira, or as sophisticated as her actress step-mother Anastasia. But when her family is exiled to the furthest fringes of the Tsardom, she realises that she has the uncanny ability to do things that cannot be discussed in public, lest she is taken away like many other young girls before her. After a petty argument with her s
Kathleen Dixon
I read Elizabeth and Zenobia just over 3 years ago and reviewed it on < href=" in Goodreads. Recently Text Publishing contacted me - would I like a review copy of Jessica Miller's new book? - and I instantly replied that Yes, I would. You see, some books are ones you don't forget. I read hundreds of books each year ranging from full-length novels in the literary genre, through blockbusters, teen reads, and all ages of children, and sometimes I'm hard put t ...more
Exciting reimagining with a resourceful protagonist.
Dec 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
Thank you so much to Turnaround Books and Text Publishing for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Jessica Miller has created a truly unique and inviting story that just draws you in. I admire a fantasy world that does something new, and I think this is sufficiently different to be compelling (though I do wish this was going to be a series; I would love to get to know more of this magic system, the mythologies and this world).

I adore a 'wilderness' setting and this one delivers tha
Rachel Bea
Apr 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
5th book done for the 24 hour readathon!

Full review to come asap. I was given an ARC, so I will be writing my review after I catch up on sleep.
Oct 25, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this tale of Eastern European folklore, two young sisters are pulled from their extravagant life to the wilderness where their father is attempting to recover a firebird's egg. This egg sparked a war between humans and birds that led to a separation of humans from both birds and those with magical abilities, yagas. To be discovered with magic is to be exiled and one of the sisters, Olga, has just begun to feel the pull of magic as her sister is kidnapped and held in The Republic of Birds. As ...more
Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This novel had me racing to look up information about the folklore of Baba Yaga and the house on chicken legs that they lived in.
I really enjoyed the story and loved the feisty heroine, her adventures, the references to maps and the message to be true to yourself and trust the skills that you are given.
Sep 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Overall I think this is a really solid choice for middle grade readers. I appreciated the relationship between Olga and her sister, particularly the intense jealousy and love she felt for her. I thought that a great realistic and positive sibling relationship. Olga also has complex relationships with her father and step mother that play well into her character development through the book. Olga is very brave and quite clever which serves her well on her journey. She also struggles with realistic ...more
Queen Chloe
Oct 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
this book was surprisingly good! I got it for free from time out bookstore in celebration of national book week!! I was surprised at how well it flowed and was able to make sense of very complex scenes!!! The author of this book is very talented and I admire her skills greatly.
Yvonne (It's All About Books)

Finished reading: May 28th 2020

"Am I glad to be here? I really can't say. I guess I'm in what Great Names in Tsarish Cartography would describe as uncharted territory."

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Text Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

(view spoiler)
Emily Rose
Feb 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
*I received this book as a digital ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

I don't know if I can find the words to express how much I adore this book, but I can certainly try. From the first chapter of The Republic of Birds, Miller builds a unique world that is somewhere between historical Russia and some fantasy world. Olga (our map-loving heroine) and her family have been sent by the tsarina to the Center for Avian Observation - a place necessary thanks to a past war with the birds
Anne Secher
Jun 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
*I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

5 stars.

I entered into this middle grade expecting it to be much more plain and childish. However, I found a beautiful adventure that, as an adult, I believe I enjoyed considerably more.

Jessica Miller created another polar fantasy story based on slavic mythology and the yagas. I haven't read The House with Chicken Legs, but this one certainly captivated my attention and heart.

With an easy-to-read writing style, however
Apr 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
*I was provided with an ARC copy by NetGalley

I absolutely loved this book! The Republic of Birds is the type of story that you will want to want a comfy spot to sit in and read the book from cover to cover. In the moments I had to put the book down, I was looking for free time to pick it back up and finish it.

The world that Jessica Miller creates is so atmospheric! I was immediately sucked into the world. When I looked above me, I was expecting to see birds of different colors flying around. The
Erica B (ricci.reads)
~ ARC received in exchange for an honest review ~

'The Republic of Birds' writted by Jessica Miller is a middle-grade fantasy adventure that is inspired by Russian folklore.

It tells the story of thirteen year old Olga who feels a magical connection to the books and maps of the ancient cartographers who mapped out the land of Tsaretsvo when it was divided into the Republic of Birds and the Tsardom - the human world. Before then humans and birds lived in peace.

One thing leads to another and Olga f
Apr 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book! The Republic of Birds is the type of story that you will want to want a comfy spot to sit in and read the book from cover to cover. In the moments I had to put the book down, I was looking for free time to pick it back up and finish it.

The world that Jessica Miller creates is so atmospheric! I was immediately sucked into the world. When I looked above me, I was expecting to see birds of different colors flying around. The characters were fascinating. We learn enough
Robin Pelletier
May 19, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a sucker for a beautiful cover and anything Russian culture/literature. I saw this one at my local bookstore in the YA section. I pulled it off the shelf and put it back at least twenty times before I decided to buy it. Yes, the cover was just too pretty to not pick up the book and read it. Mira and Olga are sisters: one is a talented and precocious ballerina and one is a baba yaga (witch) whose medium is maps. When their father is exiled to the outskirts of the kingdom, the sisters find th ...more
John Clark
May 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When her father is 'promoted' for messing up the Tsarina's grand project, Olga and her budding ballerina sister find themselves living in a remote observatory in the wilderness, not far from the border between their country and the republic of Birds. Nestled at the foot of their cold and decrepit new home is an equally decrepit manor where three elderly women live. When Olga discovers they're Yagas, magic users banished when members of their order stole and hid a Phoenix egg in an effort to prev ...more
Hails H
Sep 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
I read this with 11 year old daughter, and she loved it. She is just the right age to enjoy the plot line, follow the flow of the story and pick up on the humour and themes. It was well written, and easy to follow.
The use of harder, more unknown words (for her age) that usually get explained, is something I love in stories aimed at this age group. And if we don't get an explanation, we Google!
It encouraged us to discuss jealousy, loyalty, bravery, finding one's gifts and talents, and provided a
Joy Kuhns
Feb 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book. Thank you so much for allowing me an advanced reader's copy. Olga, the main character, is sent into exile with her family because of her father's political misstep. While there, Olga struggles to relate to her "perfect" sister and slowly begins discovering talents of her own. When her sister is kidnapped, Olga goes on a fantastic journey to save her sister. This book had interesting, well-drawn characters. There were many different fantastic settings as Olga went ab ...more
Kristina Watts
Jun 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is the story of a girl called Olga. Her family are sent away to a mysterious place where there is an abundance of mushrooms and things seem a bit bleak. In this world, magical people are called yaga, and Olga has a talent for magic, but it is a bit of a secret (even to herself).
The story has a slow start, but quickly gathers pace as Olga finds herself on a journey of discovery.
So much happens in the second half of the book, and Olga's journey leads her to learning all about herself and he
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