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Little Black Bird #1

Little Black Bird

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Magic is dying out, but it will not disappear without a fight.

Wiktoria is a seventeen year old with a secret: she has psychic powers. Her uncontrollable telekinesis hurts her and others, setting fires and throwing objects in the air, no matter how hard she tries to hold it back. All she wants to have is a peaceful, average life, but it’s difficult when you’ve been cursed to destroy the magical world.

Her carefully maintained facade of normality starts to unravel when she’s hunted down by local sorcerers and their Guardian, and accused of unleashing banished demons back into the human realm. When a murder shakes up the magical community, everyone agrees that the only way to save the world is to kill Wiktoria.

Her only ally is a boy who can read her mind, shares her dreams and makes her question her sexuality. Together, they face mythical creatures and uncover ancient legends, and they soon realize that there is no such thing as simply good or evil. Whether they break the curse or allow it to fulfil its destiny, the magical world will be forever changed.

Little Black Bird is a tale of trust, friendship and family, and what it means to discover one’s true path.

300 pages, ebook

First published June 20, 2020

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Anna Kirchner

3 books76 followers

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5 stars
64 (37%)
4 stars
58 (34%)
3 stars
37 (21%)
2 stars
7 (4%)
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3 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 75 reviews
Profile Image for C.G. Drews.
Author 5 books22.6k followers
November 3, 2021
I loved this book so much!! It was such a thorough delight to read, engaging and fresh while being filled with the comforting fantasy elements that I crave in a good urban fantasy. Definitely gave me Shadowhunter vibes, but this just felt so grounded. Like if normal people were tossed into a world of sorcerers and telekinesis powers and demon realms...THIS is how the story would truly go. (Also shoutout to all the literary references. I loved this!)

This is an urban fantasy set in Poland about Wiktoria who has uncontrollable telekinesis powers and no idea what is happening with her life. Wiktoria is honestly amazing. She’s thoughtful and so kind, and super loyal to her loved ones. Side note: epic cousin relationships in here too. When Wiktoria is discovered by sorcerers and starts to learn the truth of her magic, her first reaction is just: NOPE I’M OUT. (I also love how after every big magical event she’s like: feed me). She’s so relatable and grounded. And let us not forget Artur, magical soulmate and resident beautiful chaotic boy. He was the best.

We have questioning rep here!! Like give me a fantasy book with not ONE but TWO queer questioning ace-spectrum characters and you have my heart. And I just loved Wiktoria and Artur’s friendship/love, how soft they were for each other.

It’s a beautifully thoughtful and impactful book, with loveable characters, unapologetic queerness, sorcerers and magic and high stakes. Sequel is coming in 2022 and I’m readyyyyyyy .
November 30, 2021
I don’t know what to say. Holy wow. Anna, I am so impressed. I was hooked about two chapters in and it only got better and better. But honestly, how could you. That cliffhanger!!! I am supposed to wait now? How? I want to know what HAPPENS AAaaaah.
But really.
Such a good book. The folklore. The mythology. The magic. The queer rep. The CHARACTERS. This was definitely a 5-star book for me and I finished it in the span of five days because I couldn’t stop.
I’m trying to be non-spoilery here but the way the story developed by always telling just enough but not revealing too much at once is just *chef’s kiss*. Can’t wait to read a sequel hopefully? maybe? someday?
Profile Image for Anna Kirchner.
Author 3 books76 followers
April 10, 2020
A five star read must make me feel everything and no other book made me feel so much - though I might be a little biased...
Profile Image for Anna.
1,264 reviews223 followers
May 5, 2020
Holy wow. I'm not surprised that Anna managed to create such an intriguing and captivating story but I am still absolutely BLOWN away. Fantasy isn't my favorite genre, and sometimes I have trouble connecting to the story or the characters, but that was far from the case here. While yes, I found myself googling A LOT due to my lack of folklore and Slavic mythology knowledge (I'll have more thoughts on that later) it didn't diminish the story in any way.

Think of all the things you want in a book and I can assure you that the big ones are here. You've got TONS of queer rep (which is my most sought after book trait), not to mention the specificity regarding asexuality and the own voices rep there, but we also have magic, demons, controversy, polish folklore, Slavic mythology, and constant action and development. There is also a content warning for sexual assault and internalized acephobia so please be mindful of that before starting this one.

I've been following Anna on instagram for quite awhile now and one thing I adore about her is that she is unapologetic regarding feminism, politics, queer life and culture, and educating people are Polish history and culture. I have learned so much from her and continued to do so while reading this book.

At the beginning of this review I talked about how I had to google a lot of terms in order to understand parts of the book and I want to chat about how that is a normal thing for people who don't live in the US. Americans have this inherent privilege that allows us to usually understand most pop culture and book references. The majority of the world learns English as a second language, while Americans take a Spanish or French class in high school and forget it soon after, never actually retaining another language. Most people can name the President of the United States and perhaps even have a basic understanding of American politics when most Americans couldn't tell you the names of 5 world leaders. Americans take advantage of the fact that the world has a basic understanding of American culture, history, current events, and language while we most of the time remain ignorant to any topic outside of the US. This is an issue.

It started with cheesecake. There is a line in this book about cottage cheese being an essential ingredient to any good cheesecake, and as an American baker, I had some questions. Thankfully Anna is a patient and understanding human being who walked us all through it on her insta story. To be completely honest, even with a background in food history and years working as a baker, I had absolutely no idea about how diverse the history of cheesecake was and I certainly didn't expect such a thing to make me check my own privilege. While there is never a way to know everything, you can and should be willing to change your opinion when presented with new information.

I had thought about American privilege before, but never to such an extent and wow was that a punch in the gut. I pride myself on being open and inclusive and checking what privileges I have at every turn, but seldom did I think about how immersed the world is in American culture without Americans being immersed in international culture. It's late and I'm not sure I'm making complete sense, but I would love to open up this topic for more discussion on a different forum.

Just please know and understand that just because something doesn't make complete sense to you or you don't have the background knowledge, doesn't mean it isn't valid and important (talking to you America). To other Americans who will and should read this book, google the stuff you don't know and let it be a lesson in humility and privilege.
Profile Image for Linn.
63 reviews16 followers
May 11, 2020
First of all, I have to say that I was SO excited for this book. I've been following Anna for a l while now and I know how much heart and soul she has put into this book. I loved following her writing journey and I somehow feel so proud. 😂💚

"Little Black Bird" is a story about sorcerers, demons, magical bonds and friendship. It's also includes Polish folklore and questioning ace characters.
Sounds amazing, right?

Anna really managed to create charactes that grew closer to my heart, the more I got to know them. It was such fun to read about protagonist Wiktoria and the boy who suddenly felt so close to her, Artur. As much as I love Wiki, Artur is the cinnamon role that owns my heart. 😂
I also really liked all the other characrers, like the best friends for example.

I loved the idea with the magical bond so much! Especially for our two questioning ace characters. Since "bonds" or "mates" (yes, you know 😂) are often used in a very romantic and sexual way. I loved how they both were so confused and thought that this bond had to mean they should be attracted to each other in any way.
I really can't wait to see where Anna goes with this, since aromanticism and asexuality exist on a spectrum and the possibilities are huge. 😂
This was probably my favorite thing about the story, together with the fact that we have two ace maincharacters and the great questioning representation. 💚

I also really loved the Slavic mythology and to get to know more about Slavic culture. Anna managed to write a captivating story with amazing fantasy elements.

So if you enjoy urban fantasy, great queer representation and love to have a story that doesn't take place in the US, this book might be exactly what you're looking for. 💚
Profile Image for Chiara | _ckarys.
388 reviews270 followers
July 4, 2021
My queer reading list took an unexpected turn this June, but sometimes the saying “quality is better than quantity” is true, and I’m glad my quality ended up being LITTLE BLACK BIRD. Why? Because it’s fantasy, it’s queer and it’s different.

LITTLE BLACK BIRD is a pearl of magical realism. The story is set in a modern-day Poland and stars Wictoria, a teenage girl with magical abilities she struggles to control trying to live a normal life…until she can’t. Wiktoria finds herself wrapped up in a story that’s much bigger and more complicated than she realizes, with a curse that is closely tied to her magic and that forces her to dig up the secrets of her upbringing.

The characters were definitely my favorite part of the book. Wiktoria herself was a breath of fresh air, veering away from the traditional YA protagonist that is either too perfect or too whiny. Her personality was a very relatable in between. The discoveries and situations she finds herself in called for moments of panic, but the rationality and intelligence with which she faced them made perfect sense. This isn’t a character that gladly walks into danger or makes stupidly brave decisions, and I very much enjoyed this about her, as well as her snarky personality and the frequent references she made to pop-culture.

Wiktoria could count on the support of an amazing cast of characters, among which the shining star was definitely Artur. As far as book boyfriends go, Artur has all the elements to make me swoon: he’s handsome, he’s funny, he’s protective and he’s respectful. I love the way the author built up the relationship between Wiktoria and Artur and how she very originally utilized one of my absolute favorite romance tropes, which I won’t spill because I don’t want to spoil. Is there a ship in the air? Certainly yes, but it’s a very different ship than what I’m used to, which leads me to the topic of queerness.

In many queer books I’ve read before, the characters are already quite certain of their identity and quite confident with it. This was not the case with the characters of Little Black Bird. Though there are some characters who wear their identity with pride, many—including Wiki—are still questioning and exploring. Something I really enjoyed was the asexual representation, which has opened a world to me and made me eager to explore more reads with this kind of rep.

Other elements I enjoyed were the Slavic mythology, the multifaceted aspects of magic and the gray morality of all characters involved. The line between heroes and villains is very blurred, and I’m counting on the future books to help me understand whom I can and cannot trust. My one “issue” was that sometimes I felt a bit aggravated by the refusal of some of the characters to provide clear answers, and while it did add to the mystery, it felt a bit stalling to the pace for my tastes. Still the book flowed really well for the most part and I am eagerly waiting for the next book!
Profile Image for Betty.
85 reviews55 followers
May 6, 2020
"You know, there’s this bullshit idea that you just magically know when you like someone romantically or sexually. But that’s all it is—bullshit. Emotions are messy. People are messy." - Little Black Bird, Anna Kirchner

Where do I even start with this book? I've known about this almost silence I started following Anna on Instagram and I've been so incredibly excited about it ever since! I was so happy to get a chance to read it early, and this book really did not disappoint! It has friendship, magic and demons, and is a bit like Shadowhunters with a The Bone Seasons feel to it.

I loved this book. I'm generally a pretty slow reader and I've been in a huge reading slump lately but I flew through this, binge read it over two days, feel asleep on my phone in the middle of the night because I couldn't stop reading. I don't do that, like, ever.

What I loved the most about this book was the characters. I love Wiktoria for being brave and strong and smart, and chaotic and confused. For picking up her phone to Google what to do when a demon approaches. I love Artur for being a precious cinnamon roll and definitely the ideal person to share a magical bond with. I love Laura, Rafi and Karina for being awesome. And Zuzanna for being unlikeable but interesting. I love that there is not villain, only people with their own interests at heart. I also loved that this book is steeped in slavic mythology and culture – if you enjoy Anna's #SlavicSunday posts, you'll love all the mythological aspect of this book! (continues in the comments) Over all, it's just incredibly refreshing to read a book that's set in a country and culture that isn't the US or even UK, and I really enjoyed that! Apart from that, this book has a lot of discussion of sexuality and questioning main characters. It has adventures, magic, friendship. Very short chapters which I always really love for some reason. Lots of pop cultural references! It's funny, and you can feel just how much love went into this book! It was so great, and I suggest you all pick it up when it's out on June 20th! 💜
Profile Image for Jane (whatjanereads).
513 reviews92 followers
June 13, 2020
If you’re into (queer) YA urban fantasy, you will love this!!!
There’s magic, there’s deamons, an amazing group of friends and the humour is fantastic. Everyone seems to be morally grey, so we don’t really have a single villain...but many villains who are also kind of nice?! I like that!
Also all bookworms will love the numerous book references. 😂👏🏻

The story takes place in a small town in Poland, so we get to know a lot of Slavic mythology in this and it was brilliant. There were so many things I’ve never heard about and I loved learning about it!
We follow Wiktoria as she gets thrown into the world of sorcerers and deamons, where she meets Arthur. And let me tell you he’s the sweetest cinnamon roll character of all cinnamon rolls you‘ll ever know. I’ve read many people want to marry him. I want him to be my best friend. He will care for you and protect you and make you breakfast. I love him. 😁❤️
I also loved Wiktoria, she’s smart and also brave and will take none of your nonsense.
And she’s a super hard fangirl, so relatable.
Also she has red hair due to a dying accident...how could I not love her? 😂🙈

And when you’re thinking “ohhh, I smell the romance”..., well. Maybe? Or maybe not?
Because the thing is, we have a protagonist who’s questioning her sexuality. And I loved it. Often when it comes to queer book characters they’re already so sure of themselves and their identity and sexuality.
I am so ready to follow her journey in the next books.
There’s also many queer side characters (or maybe even all of them?! 😂). We need more queer fantasy books and books with a-spec rep! 😍👏🏻

I just finished it and...I have so many questions now??! I need more information please?! When’s the next book coming out? 👀
Profile Image for Kat (Bookish Blades).
227 reviews53 followers
June 17, 2020
read the full review on my blog Kat from Minas Morgul

the good:
- the characters!!!
- Artur! a cinnamon roll! want to protect at all costs! please keep him safe and warm!
- queer! ownvoices ace rep! questioning!
- people throwing punches, go all of you!
- slavic mythology!
- so much action
- god I love fast paced plots
- Polish food mhh delicious
- magic!! noice!!
- I understood that reference!
- set in a city I want to visit!
- have I mentioned the characters
- love them
- magical bond? but being confused about it? and questioning it and what it means? struggling? yeahh mhhh good
- we love well written characters in this house

the bad:
- ???
- nothing ??
- just give me more
Profile Image for melissa.
64 reviews
June 21, 2020
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

“Just because something is magic doesn’t mean It isn’t real.”
- Anna Kircher, Little Black Bird

Friendship, family, magic and lgbt+ characters are just a few of the things Little Black Bird has. Beside of putting magic in our world, Anna make us look at our society as it is through her eyes.

“We live in the country where abortion is illegal because the Church says so. Where the doctors can refuse to prescribe contraceptives or morning pills if their Catholic morals are against it. How do you think they’d deal with magic?”

And she does it amazingly. Anna does that all the time, go look at her Instagram (rattletheshelves) she does it there too. The way she makes me think, when I read her book, the way she makes me nod and think: “hey, I’ve learned somthing really important while reading a fantasy.” It is amazing, and only few authors can do that.

Also can we just talk about the magic, how the book is filled up with it? I loooveeed everything. It was amazing, I felt so good while reading, and at the same time I sat and shouted “No! You can not do that to my babies!! What are you doing?!” It was… amazing and horrible at the same time… And the friendship between Wiki, Raf and Karina. I loved it, I love how supportive they were, but also how they learned how to talk about Wiki’s magic.

“You’ve discovered a magical society. Great, good for you. But from what you’re telling me, it’s nothing like Hogwarts. Or, actually, it’ exactly like Hogwarts because your life is at stake every day.”

Let us also talk about the points Anna makes in this book. How she uses her characters to speak her opinion (or I hope so, I hope all of you think the way Karina thinks about this:

“I can’t believe that we have to have this conversation. There Is this flimsy concept called consent and it applies to boyfriends as well.”

THIS IS HOW FRIENDSHIP LOOKS LIKE. THIS IS HOW IT SHOULD BE. FRIENDS SHOULD BE TELLING YOU, THAT YOU DON’T NEED TO HAVE SEX, JUST BECAUSE YOU IS IN A RELATIONSHIP. Because that is the truth, and friends are here to tell the truth and look out for you. This quote just made this book a four star, this pushed the book up.

And just because I want this quote to be here too:

“There’s nothing wrong with you. And I really don’t like your idea that I can ‘fix’ you. You aren’t broken. There’s nothing to fix.”

Arthur and Wiki are it. They are THE 'couple'. Because they show us how a couple can be, how every single book out there building relationships on sex are one type of a relationship, there’s other types out there, and they are not worth less.
Profile Image for Kinga.
45 reviews20 followers
May 19, 2020
There's so many good things about this book - Slavic mythology, wonderful characters, queer rep, beautiful setting. ⁣

The story follows Wiktoria, a telekinetic that can't control her powers, as she is introduced to a world of sorcerer's and Guardians and demons, all while trying to figure out who she is and what to do with a curse that's bound to forever change the magical world.⁣

It's set in Poland. In a city I've been to. You have no idea how dumbly proud and happy I felt reading about places and situations so familiar. No googling, no searching my memory for a Netflix series I could use as reference for a setting, no shrugging "makes no sense but apparently Americans do THAT".⁣

I liked plenty of characters, even our MC! (Mostly because she wasn't so fond of making completely dumb decisions) I liked how she was neither a Mary-Sue, nor a dumb cry-baby. Just a realistic person navigating all those crazy events as well as she can. Artur, Rafi, Karina, Laura and the others are such a squadgoals, I can't wait to see more of them. ⁣Especially them being a squad.

Their relationships were beautiful and messy, just like real life. It was probably the first time I've read about ace protagonists (yes, shame on me) and even though I've read posts and articles and definitions, this was so much different. I'm sure it will be wonderful for people to feel seen in these characters, and for others to understand these identities more.⁣ I feel like it was especially poignant seeing how lost the characters themselves are - good reminder that figuring things out takes time.

Slavic mythology was such an awesome part, magic and world's explanations woven seamlessly into the story.

It was action-packed, and the only thing that bugged me was that sometimes plot twists came so out of blue I was confused - they were happening before we even knew what's happening.⁣
The plot is gripping, mysteries and secrets appearing one after the other, and even when most of them seem uncovered, many questions still remain. I am reaaaally looking forward to seeing how it develops. I feel like LBB was just a prelude to something way bigger, and that things are just beginning to unfold.⁣
Profile Image for Χρύσα Αναστασίου.
Author 6 books114 followers
May 17, 2020
First of all, I want to say a big thank you to the BProudPr on Instagram for sending me an e-arc of the book I was so excited to be a part of this and I’m glad I’ve been chosen to do so. I didn’t know it was Anna’s book when I said yes and when I found out I was even more excited to read her story.

I really enjoyed the Slavic mythology and folklore and it got me googling a lot of things and now I have some articles to read. I liked how the story unfolded along with the world around Wiktoria, as we learn things with her and get more entwined in her world. I had a feeling the whole time that “nothing is as it seems” and I loved the way the bond ended up being. I’m not saying it never should be what we are all accustomed to (love interest and such) but, boy, was I glad to get a fresh look/take on such a bond.

I loved the own voices rep and I hope to see this more often in books. The characters felt unique and real, the dialogues kept my attention and I really wanted to know more about everyone, about everything. The relationships are not set in stone and it felt refreshing to see how people behave and grow as they learn more about themselves and others around them.

I would love to read more of Anna’s work and I really hope she continues this story. She has a lot to say as a writer and as a person and I’m glad she decided to do so.
Profile Image for Kelsea Yu.
Author 7 books108 followers
October 2, 2020
I've been looking forward to reading Little Black Bird for a while now, and was so excited to finally have a chance to read it last month! Wiktoria is an awesome main character - she has abilities she’s hidden all her life, she’s no pushover, and of course I was excited that she has dyed hair. 😂 The book is full of subtle humor that made me laugh aloud quite a few times. It was fun discovering the magic in the world of LBB, especially with its inspiration from Polish folklore. And my favorite thing was the way Anna (the author) ties together exploring ace identity with the magic and the bond in the story — it was so so brilliantly done! Both Wiktoria and Artur (the strange boy she shares dreams with) struggle with questioning their identity in various ways, and their experiences were so well-written and felt really realistic.

This was such a wonderful story that I can easily see myself rereading. Looking forward to book two!!
Profile Image for Andy.
2,360 reviews184 followers
October 31, 2020
This was so wonderful!! Full of Slavic mythology, magic and a queer cast, Little Black Bird has something for everyone. This book is going to be close to my heart for a very long time.

Wikitoria has psychic powers, but never knew a whole world of sorcerers existed before she meets Artur. The Guardian of their city isn't exactly trustworthy and when he's murdered in front of Wiki, the blame is wrongly placed on her. Can she and Artur figure out how he died and who's responsible before someone murders them or Wiki's powers cause her to self destruct.

I cannot wait for the sequel, this was such a fun adventure and I need to see more of Wiki and Artur's relationship as they explore asexuality.
Profile Image for Svenja.
3 reviews
June 15, 2020
Wow, I enjoyed this book so very much. It did a lot of things I’ve never read about before (and would definitely love to read more about!). I did expect to enjoy it, but I did not expect to be so utterly pulled into the story, the characters and this world. I literally need the sequel like right now!

First off, Anna’s writing style is beautiful. It is very descriptive, addresses all senses and paints a very clear picture of the settings. It feels almost like you’re in the scene with the characters, while at the same not being overly descriptive or long-winded.

I also adored the relationship between the main characters Wiktoria and Artur. They are so supportive, are each other’s safe haven and help each other come to terms with their identity. It was beautiful to read about these two characters who go through so much, but always have each other to count on. At the same time, they also share some amazing banter. Did I mention they share dreams where they can spend time in fantastical landscapes? Because they do that. Which is honestly all I could ever ask for.

I also really liked the characters. They all seem really interesting and real and have so much potential and I can’t wait to get to know them better. Artur is a precious cinnamon roll, who seems cheerful, but still has a complex character with his own insecurities (those are my favourite characters!!). Wiki endured so much, but stayed strong and true to herself, not accepting actions or treatment she didn’t agree with. Kari and Rafi might not have had a super important part in the story, but I adored how fiercely protective and supportive they were of Wiki, while still being well-rounded characters instead of plot devices. I also liked that there was no clear villain in the story, just people with different goals motivations and moral codes – even if they worked against Wiki, you could still empathise with them.

Definitely an important aspect of this book is its asexual representation. It features characters questioning their attraction to one another, as well as some very important lines about different kinds of attraction. It showed that relationships can be messy and that it’s okay not to have it all figured out and that you can still have a caring and supportive relationship while figuring things out, which was very reassuring.

I also loved the setting of this book as well as the magic system. It is set in a Polish city which is something I’ve never read before and was definitely a nice change from most of the books I read being set in the US or Britain. The magic system is inspired by Slavic mythology, which I found super interesting and fascinating. Because of that, connection to nature is also an important aspect of the book, which I loved. the magic system was a good mix of existing Slavic mythology as well as new, original aspects.

The one critique I have for the book is that I feel as if it would have benefitted from being a bit longer. Some things happened very quickly or were explained just as concisely as possible, which made it a bit confusing at times. (There were no plot holes, everything that needed explaining was explained, I just believe that slightly longer explanations could have made it easier to follow.) I would have also enjoyed spending a bit more time with the characters. Of course, this is a purely personal preference, I’m sure many other readers would enjoy that the book is moving quickly and that there’s no unnecessary filler. I’m just a sucker for (technically unnecessary) scenes to get to know characters and their relationships. As you can tell from my rating, it hardly reduced my enjoyment of the book:)

Overall, I would say that this is a story that’s both highly enjoyable and very important. Enjoyable for its fascinating magic system, gripping plot and evocative writing style. Important for its ace rep (that there’s definitely too little of in YA fiction), its strong and independent characters and for being set in Poland, a country that so rarely ever gets any representation in fiction.

Thank you to bproudpr for providing me with an arc for this book! Little Black Bird by Anna Kirchner will be released on June 20th 2020.
Profile Image for katharina ✨.
427 reviews44 followers
June 28, 2020
• loved the Slavic mythology because it's something I’ve never read before I think; also that it's set in Poland is great because I definitely never read a book set there
• Artur was the sweetest, I love him
• also really loved the ace/questioning rep in general
• was a bit confused at the beginning and couldn't really grasp the magic system but understood everything better along the way
• I’m very excited for the second book already because Wiktoria and Artur really stole my heart
Profile Image for Annie.
126 reviews10 followers
December 27, 2022
Going through tabbing it and underling parts i adore and love made me love this a whole lot more than i already did. Wiwi and Artur mean the absolute world to me and i am so excited to now read Tall White Tenement
Profile Image for Lizzie.
Author 1 book10 followers
July 27, 2021
*2.5 stars
This was quite a fun read, that pays homage to classic YA fantasy from the last couple of decades (even peppered with direct references), playing around in a self-aware way with tropes. The ace rep makes a nice change and is handled in quite an interesting way. The author's narrative has a spot-on 'teen' voice (although I do think it needs better editing). I love the Polish city setting, that was well realised and the 'city' felt like a character in itself; I felt like I was there. The plotting was a bit confusing at times and contrived, there were quite a few plot points, character decisions, and aspects of the magic that didn't make much sense to me, but the magic system and set up based on Slavic mythology was pretty cool and has a lot of potential. Given everything that's going on in Poland at the moment, it is so important that books like this are published and supported, and I commend the author for getting her fun story out there!
Profile Image for E.C. Vitoria.
57 reviews
May 29, 2020
The ace rep in this was phenomenal. With questing characters that didn't just know 'Oh this is my box", felt very realistic 💜.
It did however take me a while to finish this and the main culprit was the writing. To me the prose didn't flow. like where each sentence cascades into the next. This, was a bit choppy. I am a bit of a prose snob and it will usually flatten a book for me.
However, for this one the characters were done so well and the plot compelling enough to carry me through.
I loved how different the mythology was! so refreshing to see this take. And I hope to see more like it in the future.
Profile Image for Kristel (hungryandhappy).
1,439 reviews76 followers
June 7, 2020
Wow!! I loved it!
The characters, the magic! Everything!!
And that ending?
I need more!

(Will write a better review soon!)
Profile Image for Lara.
41 reviews13 followers
July 13, 2020
This is the first (fantasy) book I have read with ace rep (finally!!). Also the setting in Poland and use of Slavic mythology were great. I loved seeing Wiki interact with Artur as well as her relationship with her cousins Karina and Rafi. I am very excited to see how this series will continue.
Profile Image for Moa (The Reading Faery).
255 reviews39 followers
June 9, 2020
I honestly don't know where to start about this book. I beta-read it a while ago, and I loved it back then, it was a solid four stars, but now, after reading the ARC, well, it's definitely five stars. Honestly, this book... there aren't words good enough to describe how I feel about this book, other than it made me feel everything.

The characters were the highlight of this story. I mean, the mythology is so interesting, the plot is very well-paced, and there are so many great things about this book, but the characters are just special. Wiki is so easy to relate to and impossible not to like, and Artur... you guys, Artur is just the sweetest guy on the planet. I want to be best friends with him. But seriously, these characters are so incredibly well-written and they truly pop off the page, they feel so real.

The plot is very well-paced. Not too fast, not too slow. What really impresses me about it is how the author manages to balance between plot and world-building almost perfectly. And the world-building is amazing. It's clear that the author is very interested in the Slavic mythology that the book is based on, and it makes it hard for the reader not to be sucked into the world and mythology. It's also incredibly well-written. Vivid and imaginative, it makes the city and the magic come alive. It makes it easy to get lost in the book.

I also have to mention something about all the diversity in this book. For one, it was very refreshing to read about a character who is questioning her sexuality. I'm all for books about proud gays and lesbians, but I also need the questioning characters. And Wiki's and Artur's struggles are so very relatable. There's also mental health representation in the form of eating disorders and anxiety, and it's incredibly well-written and relatable. This is exactly the kind of diversity I want - need - to see more of in YA literature.

Honestly, I could go on forever about how amazing this book is, but I'm going to stop myself here. Little Black Bird has everything I want in a YA Fantasy; characters that you can't help but love, lots of magic, and diversity. It takes some popular tropes and turns them into something fresh and new, and uses a fairly unknown mythology to build an irresistible world. I can't wait to dive deeper into it!
Profile Image for Elisa.
311 reviews33 followers
October 25, 2020
LITTLE BLACK BIRD by Anna Kirchner is the perfect book to read in October, since the story starts on 23 September and continues into the month October (and it's Ace Week now!). The protagonist, Wiktoria, has psychic powers which she can't control, consequently hurting herself and others. She's trying to uphold a facade of normality, but it starts to crumble when she's hunted down by local sorcerers and their Guardion, because Wiktoria is apparently a danger to the magical world by supposedly unleashing banished demons into the human realm. However, Wiktoria meets Artur, a boy who she shares a strong bond with and together they face mythical creatures, uncover ancient legends, and question their sexuality.
What I really loved about this book was the Slavic folklore and the diverse cast of characters. They were all so unique and interesting in their own way. It was so great to read a book with a bisexual character, an asexual character, and characters who just don't know, that's something that's still missing to much in contemporary fiction, but not in this book.
The plot got me hooked from the beginning and I finished this book in only two days, what a ride! However, I do think Kircher wanted to address too much in this book and it felt a bit all over the place at times. In addition, the language use was a bit lacking for me. It felt a little forced at times, the punctuation was a bit strange, there were some syntactical mistakes, and it didn't flow as freely as I'd hoped. These things are not a big problem, but they distracted me at times, but since this is Kirchner's debute, I think she did a good job. Rating this book is very difficult for me, because I want to LOVE this book SO much, partly because I admire Kirchner so much, but I'm afraid I can't rate it with more than ★★★☆☆
Profile Image for L.B. Shimaira.
Author 5 books25 followers
January 6, 2022
I got this book for the Polish folklore and the ace & questioning rep, and I was not disappointed!
I absolutely loved the characters. They felt very natural and their relationships and friendships made me very happy. I laughed a lot and was also moved to tears multiple times. Especially the moments where asexuality was discussed touched me deeply (I'm grey-ace and only realised this a few years ago).
The mere thought of having read such a book when I was a teen myself gave quite the pang. I hope my daughter will read this book once she's older ♥ It doesn't matter if you're acespec or not, reading this book will broaden your understanding.
The Polish folklore was a lot of fun to read as was the entire Polish setting. The story was engaging and kept me bound. I would have finished it in one go if there hadn't been something called sleep. (I still finished it in two days.)
I can't wait for more!
Profile Image for Jordan.
64 reviews4 followers
January 10, 2021
This is such an amazing wonderful book. I want to go to sleep hugging it tonight because it brings me so much joy. The fantasy world is well constructed and I loved being immersed into Polish culture—most fantasy books are either UK or US based. The characters are well created and all interesting. And the questioning ace rep makes me so happy and means so much to me. Artur’s feelings reflect so much of my own ace-ness. I love this book!! Thank you Anna for writing it.
Profile Image for Isabel.
675 reviews114 followers
August 25, 2020

TW: torture

Once upon a time, in a cursed city, three magic-users set out to summon a devil. They were lucky. The devil, for its own nefarious reasons, cared about their goal as much as they did, so it gave them a good bargain.
Their worst fears came true.

Little Black Bird follows Wiktoria, a seventeen-year-old on her last year of school and studying to be accepted into Medical school. However, her powers get in the way of her normal life. She is telekinetic but she isn't able to control her powers and when she uses them, it hurts her. Her powers are tabu in her family and she feels it made her family not love her as they should. Or that she doesn't deserve their love. One day, she gets noticed by someone and her story begins to unravel.

It's impossible not to care about Wiktoria, Artur, and all their friends and family. Kirchner does a great job of transferring their emotions to the reader, the sadness, the loneliness, happiness, and despair. As the book ended, I felt sad at the prospect of saying goodbye to these characters. I'm looking forward to seeing them again in the sequel (please!)

However, what I loved the most was the Slavic mythology. This is a fantasy novel set around this mythology and I genuinely loved learning the stories through Wiktoria and how it influenced the plot.

The negative aspects amount to the pacing and the lack of atmosphere. The pacing was completely off with the story going very quickly. At times I felt disconnected from what was happening and I couldn't grasp the information the characters were learning. I also wish the writing could have bee more atmospheric with the city and landscape descriptions. There's a scene in a forest that had so much potential and it didn't immerse me because of the lack of atmosphere.

Regardless, there's a positive discussion about consent, especially in a relationship and sexuality. The asexuality representation had me in tears, especially with that last scene (MY HEART!) I'm so eager to read the sequel and see what is going to happen next!
Profile Image for Szidi ☼.
947 reviews45 followers
June 18, 2020
This book was definitely a surprise for me. I don't even remember the last time I read YA book or m/f, but I thought I give it a try bacause the blurb said it has asexual rep.

And I'm happy that I gave it a chance, although I almost put it aside because I couldn't get into the right mindspace for this book. After all i'm more than happy that I read it because holy hell, it was really good!

It was really YA, all the settings and being in a girl's mind was a bit different from my usual reads, but I liked being in Wiktoria/Redhead/Little Fox 's head. She was an interesting and great character. She was exactly what you want from a 16/17 years old girl while trying to figure out the world and her life with possible love in her future.
Artur was a very good character too, I really liked him. He was cute with all the caring and cuddles he wanted to give to his little fox. I loved them together while they were trying to figure out everything around and between them.

I said I wanted to DNF it, and let me tell you why; I missed the asexual side of the story. And the blurb doesn't said it will be 'possible love' or 'soul mate' between the two main character, it said friendship, and I wanted exactly that, friends only. So I was torn apart when it turned out the book will be more focused on their love relationship then I can possibly handle.
But I was wrong. I loved Artur and Wiki together. And although I missed the ace rep, it turned out quite well! First I thought it would be Wiki who is ace, but after a while I knew that wasn't the case.

I really loved reading this book and it was much better then I thought it would be - to my biggest surprise. I'm really happy that I read this story, and after that killer cliffhanger... come ON! I want book two right now!

Highly recommend this book!

Profile Image for Jordan.
36 reviews
June 22, 2020
*E-Arc book received in exchange for honest review*
This book was beautiful in all the right ways: the writing, the characters, the plot.
The writing described a culture and folklore I wasn't familiar with. It hooked me from the beginning. Oh the characters, I loved/liked them all - even the ones we "shouldn't" like. Each had their own story that contributed to the overall plot and their own developments. The two main characters Wiwi and Artur are perfectly imperfect. Wiwi is strong, smart, kind, and human. She follows her gut and what she knows to hopefully do the right thing. Artur is compassionate, intuitive, and endearing. The characters show to the reader that it's okay not to know or to question your sexuality and the meaning of relationships. It's okay to talk about things, be open, and honest with each other. The representation in this book especially ace rep is important for readers to see or possibly identify with.
The pacing throughout the book was good, it did take me some pages to really get into it, but the plot really drives the story. There is no clear cut good or bad side and I loved this because it puts the reader in the protagonists' position of trying to find their place in the story.
Overall, a wonderful read and perfect for fans of The Raven Cycle, The Mortal Instruments, and The Devouring Gray.
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