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Sting Magic

(Empire of War and Wings #1)

4.63  ·  Rating details ·  78 ratings  ·  54 reviews
She has the wrong kind of magic but the right kind of heart.

In the Winged Empire, magic comes on swift wings.


It manifests from its bearers as a bird, granting its skills to those who wield it.

But this year, things are different.

Aella is the fiercely determined daughter of settlers on the far edge of the Winged Empire. Her huge family means everything to her and w
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 21st 2020 by Sparkflight Books
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Average rating 4.63  · 
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 ·  78 ratings  ·  54 reviews

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*❆ Kαɾҽɳ ❆*
Wow wow wow! This is by far one of my favourite series starters by Sarah K. L. Wilson! This was such a unique story with a new kind of plot within an empire that deals with magic and animals!

In this empire, there are people who “hatch” when they come to a certain age. Hatching means who manifest an egg and when the egg hatches a creature comes out, normally it is a bird of some kind. For some it is an honour to hatch, for most it is dreadful as it is where they have to leave their life behind a
Joanna Bennett
Sep 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
This author is one of my favorite indie authors. I have read a few of her series (haven’t finished them all yet and slowly working through) but when I saw that she was writing one about bird magic, I was super intrigued!

One thing I didn’t realize before jumping into this book was how dark it was going to be. Oh my! Le Majest/ Juste Montpetit is just insane but yet somehow I am drawn to him and wonder what he has planned next.

Aella’s magic is not like any other. Instead of a bird, she gets bees.
Debbie Eyre
Sep 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
OMG this is a fantastic new epic fantasy adventure that will leave you stunned and a little breathless. It’s well written and the world building is incredible and is a truly magical read! I love the twists and turns and this had me hooked from the very start and I have to say I cannot wait for the next instalment!
Sep 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Today, September 22nd 2020, is release day! Grab it while it's on sale for 99¢~

   I started this book looking forward to the promise the blurb gives us of bird and bee magic and the main character, Aella’s, desire to protect her family, but it’s so much more than that. Aella and her family live on the fringes of the Winged Empire, carving out a life against the Forbidding which invades their land with tendrils of dark, consuming magic. It is no easy life, but she has a large family of siblings a
Sting Magic is the first book Sarah K.L. Wilson's new series and I was swept away into a unique new world where there is literally danger at every turn and the main character finds herself in a huge fight for her life and those that she cares about.
Sting Magic is truly a thrill ride from beginning to end. Aella is the main character in this book and she has a lot of spunk to say the least. She desires to protect her family, but when the crown prince royal makes a sudden appearance in their villa
Sep 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In the Winged Empire birds were revered, and those who hatched got their own spirit bird and could wield ancient magical powers, however those who never hatched were powerless in this tyrannical empire. Aella and her family lived in the Far Stones, on the very edge of the empire, where their lives were dominated by the forbidding which they had to battle with day and night in order to survive and Aella was one of the best to battle the forbidding. Only one young girl had hatched from their islan ...more
K Elise
Sep 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As usual Wilson does a stellar job, I mean, when has she not? This book was REALLY captivating though. It deals with things that are actually very familiar in our own real world, civil unrest/war, inequality, the theft of people's rights in the name of peace, and having the "relentless" will to make a change. Aella is a really intense character, full of flaws, and rage, and she has to try to overcome her own inclinations to rush into something without thinking, while maintain her fire and drive. ...more
Becca Mee
Sep 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sting Magic was a pleasant surprise for this reader right here. Aella lives in the Outer Reach of the Winged Empire, a world where those who harness the magic of mystical birds are revered and the common people are trampled under foot by the emperor and his heir: Le Majest. When Le Majest and his forces come and rob Aella and her family of their weapons needed to fight back The Forbidding darkness that consumes her land, Aella finds herself and her family on the brink of revolution. But when her ...more
C.K. Beggan
Sep 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Note: I received a free advanced reader copy of this book in exchange for an honest review (via a limited-time giveaway on the author's mailing list).

Sting Magic, the first book in the new Empire of War and Wings series, has typos and flaws, and it's also a true page-turner. There are three reasons for that: world-building, a unique magic system, and the fact that it is never boring.

Sting Magic is a shorter novel that moves at a brisk pace. The cozy but disgruntled domestic scenes at the beginni
Sep 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is another compelling start to a new series by Sarah.K.L.Wilson. “Sting Magic” pushed me forward with anxiety, dread and hope as I felt each and every emotion radiating from the pages from this new unbelievable world and it’s characters. Aella the main m/c has to endure the worst of times, so extraordinary as to seem impossible. Her security, family and dignity changed overnight bringing her to her knees with cataclysm grief as she was forced into a new life, with only the confusion of bees ...more
Nancy (The Avid Reader)
When I read the summary for Sting Magic I didn’t know quite what to expect but one thing I did know was that I had to read it. The summary mentions that she has the wrong kind of magic. Wrong kind of magic I was like well what is the wrong kind of magic? But then I was like what is the right kind of magic? I didn’t know but I had to find out.

Sting Magic is a great introduction to a brand new world of magic with a big twist on the magic. Sting Magic is a thrilling read that had me in suspense fro
Michelle Wilson
Sep 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: indie-favorites
I read a lot of books I like, and a lot of books I love. But it’s rare that a book becomes an insta favorite within the first few pages. I've been intrigued by this book since the author revealed the cover and when she offered the book to her newsletter subscribers I quickly grabbed it up. I'm so happy I did.
Wilson immediately transports the reader in the world and mind of Aella and her family’s fight against the strange Forbidding magic. Just one scene in and I was hooked. The juxtaposition be
Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this first book in a new series. Aella and her family live in a far-flung part of the empire, where there is a constant battle with dark magic in the form of twisted growth. The growth consumes everything and everyone in its path. To farm, it is a constant battle to keep the area cleared of this danger. On occasion visitors from the empire come to see if any of the young people show magic when tested by the magic users. They are supposed to manifest a bird of some sort. Aella didn't want ...more
Genelle Themann
Sep 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A hard but happy life was all that Aella knew, and she liked it that way. Suddenly her life was thrown aside when the Imperial army of the Winged Empire showed up at her family home. Under the command of the son of the Emperor, the army was ruthless, evil and destructive. They were merely the harbinger of the evil yet to come. At the "Hatching" ceremony the next day, Aella was chosen by the hatching but what emerged from the hatching was not the baby bird that was expected. And things went downh ...more
Mary T
Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Spell binding

It had been seven years since the Hatching last occured when someone in Aella's area of Far Stones had been manifested.
An Imperial Wing would attend this years ceremonies and new manifestors could only hatch under their guidance.
Le Majest and his Claws break into Aella's home, take all their weapons that they use to kill the Forbidden, the scourge of their land and threaten the lives of the whole family. The next day at the ceremony Aella is the last tested and the only one to manif
Ann O'Nymos
Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, freda
Another fabulous series by Sarah K. L. Wilson.
If you like her Dragon Rider series you will love this one. And if you haven't read them you will still love this one if you like:

- Reluctant heroine fighting for the good course
- Magic that manifests in spirit animals (who doesn't love an animal sidekick? And who would have thought bees can be so cute??)
- Strange dark magic holding a twisted grip on the world
- Fighting an evil empire for freedom of the people
- A mysterious handsome young man
Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Highly engrossing read!!!

A highly engrossing and addictive read, with a unique fantasy world and magic system. The world building is amazing and builds slowly with every page. The characters -both main and secondary- are extremely well developed and the storyline full of unexpected plot twists. There's a romance subplot, as well as the mystery of the Forbidding, the strange magical entity that threatens to take over the world. And let's not forget the Crown Prince, who thinks that the world is h
The Mysterious Reader
Sep 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have adored prior series by Sarah K.L. Wilson but somehow missed this latest one, Empire of War & Wings . Once I heard of it I latched onto both Sting Magic (Book 1) and Hive Magic (Book 2). I fully expected to pace myself but I found I simply could not. Wildly imaginative, superbly written and filled with perfectly built characters I got totally invested in. How could I possibly not get addicted? No surprise that I ended up binge reading through both books. Totally yummy even though I ended u ...more
Amanda Sagen
Sep 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received an early copy of this book from the author and here are my thoughts after reading...

A fabulous start to what promises to be an awesome new series from Sarah K.L.Wilson!

A new and unique magic system where people *hatch* their manifestations of birds while the MC, against tradition manifests bees! Who saw that coming?!
A corrupt empire who take whatever and whoever they feel like and characters who want to fight back and regain their independence.
A new world described in enough detail
Philicia Parkin
Sep 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Aella is my hero! "Be relentless" is my new catchphrase! Her never give up, never say die, fight for what is right and what she loves is easy to get behind.
The beginning of this story is so frustrating because you have to endure Aella suffering one injustice after another before she finally and epically accepts her bees! And let me just say her bees are AWESOME! So freaking multitalented!
This story is also not a true cliffhanger in the sense that it has an open ending (meaning you know there is
Sep 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a great book full of unique magic and great a fantasy world full of mystery. I especially loved the magic system of the hatching and their manifestation into the different kinds of birds that match their manifestor or hatchling. But Aella has a different kind of magic that's actually bees that doesn't fit into this world. She's taken from her family by the crown prince and desperately tries to find ways to go back to them. Then there's the Wing/Guardian Osprey who wants her to join him on a ...more
Sep 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
First of all, I would like to thank the author for the early review copy. Here is my honest review:

I loved this book! Sting Magic is a great start to this new series by Sarah K.L. Wilson. In this amazing new world magic usually manifests from its bearers as a bird but in one person, Aella, it comes as an angry swarm of bees. Aella is now property of the Winged Empire and will have to learn to control her magic to protect herself and those she loves.
This story drew me in right from the start and
Joanne Hampton
Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Exciting, exhilarating, captivating and on the move book with great storytelling! A book that has to be read and enjoyed. A Ruler that conquers all and believes some people have magic and can hatch a bird. But one girl, Aella, hatched bees and the conqueror wanted her to be able to control them. The birds are an extension of the person that hatched it. Then there was the Forbidding ground cover that killed anyone in its path. Watch out the conqueror is coming to wipe out your village. Can 't wai ...more
Christina Morley
Sep 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sting Magic by Sarah K.L. Wilson is a page-turner of a story and releases on September 21! What would you do if you became the property of the empire because of your magic and everyone you love is at risk of death based on your conduct? That's what happens to Aella, a girl taken from the Far Reach where the people are tough, living free and proud. Not only does she need to learn how to be obedient, but she also has to learn how to control her aberrant magic. It's supposed to manifest as a bird b ...more
Richard Goodrum
Sep 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
I find Aella to be a strong, interesting but naïve character in a rather vile world. The life lessons forced on her are even more harsh than the world first appears. Lots of action and plenty of tension. I feel that this story ends poorly. I can only say that I expect things will pick up through the series based on my experience reading other stories by this author.

Action-packed. Great world building. Haunting. Scary. Tragic. Twisted. Unpredictable. Wonderful characters.

I received a copy of this
Wanda Jewell
Sep 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book! When I first read the blurb I wasn't sure if it was my cup of tea, I mean, after all, BEES? But after I started reading the book, I COULD NOT put it down. If you liked Sarah Wilson's previous books, you will like this one. It is a new world. She has done an excellent job on the world building and the characters are fantastic! They are relatable and realistic with their reactions. There are twists and turns in the plot of the story. All in all, I think that anyone who likes fan ...more
Sep 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a great start to an epic story. I both loved and hated all the characters. Some were so easy to hate that I had to keep reading to see what else they would do to make me hate them more. The set up for the story and series was amazing. The hints of what is to come just drew me in too. The story flowed and kept me reading to the end. I was blown away and cannot wait to see what happens next. The action and danger were woven into the story of Aella very well and I had to see what she could do ...more
Amber  Christiansen
Sep 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was pretty thrilling from start to finish. The world is extraordinary. The characters are believable; some loveable and others hateable. Like all books I've read by Sarah K. L. Wilson, this book was fast-paced and I couldn't put it down. I can't wait to get my hands on the next book and find out what happens next!

I received a free advanced copy from the author, but my opinions are my own.
Sep 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Oh that was GOOD! I was wondering if I would like it because I usually don’t read dystopian type of fantasy but it turned out awesome. Original, creative, engrossing. I loved how magic works in this world! Osprey is an interesting character and I really liked Ivo. I felt Zayana had the biggest change of heart and I hope she becomes a positive character in future books. Sarah K. L. Wilson is a wonderful storyteller! I ended up loving it!
Demi Sharpe
Sep 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

This is my first book that I’ve read for this author, and I was pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed this book. I loved the storyline and the characters. I think so much work went into creating the world, the magic, and it’s villains, that it just made everything so much more enjoyable!
I’m excited for book 2, i can’t wait to see how this story will continue!
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USA Today bestselling author, Sarah K. L. Wilson loves spinning a yarn and if it paints a magical new world, twists something old into something reborn, or makes your heart pound with excitement ... all the better! Sarah hails from the rocky Canadian Shield in Northern Ontario -
learning patience and tenacity from the long months of icy cold - where she lives with her husband and two small boys. Yo

Other books in the series

Empire of War and Wings (3 books)
  • Hive Magic  (Empire of War and Wings #2)
  • Wing Magic (Empire of War and Wings #3)

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