Johanna's Reviews > Skybound

Skybound by Aleksandr Voinov
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Jul 27, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: aleksandr-voinov, short-story, ebook, romance, favorites
Read on August 18, 2012 — I own a copy

I was touched by this story about brave men in the extreme circumstances. I couldn’t even start writing this review right after I finished reading, because the powerful, yet subtle story left me pondering on the characters and actions of Felix and Baldur. I loved the names the author had chosen to these men. Merely those two words describe them so accurately: the other one really is the lucky one while the other means bold, brave and good.

I think that the word love isn’t mentioned in this story at all, but the presence of love is strongly there. It’s in the will to die for someone and in the desire for "friendship as deep as destiny". Felix was willing to do anything for Baldur. And he was willing to have Baldur to do anything to him. Is there bigger love and devotion than that? I was also left quite wordless at Wischinsky’s fate and decisions. No doubt Wischinsky’s character is going to haunt me for a long time.

In this story the actions of men speak louder than words. The most precious moments were the moments when not much was said between these two men. When they match their stride while walking side by side for the first time: "It’s almost like a conversation, walking together to the barracks." And when Baldur is gently brushing the keys of his piano: "Unplayed sound is like unspoken words." The lenient silence speaks for itself.

I also treasured the small, wonderful details related to birds and flying: How Baldur’s eyebrows looked like wings to Felix and how in the the basket of food were ”some eggs with the occasional feather still clinging to them”. And when Felix was afraid for Baldur, his heart was "rattling like a badly maintained engine".

In the Edda Baldr’s death lead to the destruction of gods. I the Skybound Baldur’s death would mean the end of the world for Felix. I keep thinking about the bullet that Baldur so nearly escaped in the beginning of the story and which Felix later pulled from his seat. It reminds me of the invincible Baldur in ”In the Days of Giants” by Abbie Farwell Brown: "Each arrow overshot his head". This one bullet in the palm of Felix’s hand was a gift, a treasure for him. It was everything he feared the most and at the same time it was a symbol of a second chance. In a way it was the new beginning for both of them. The beginning of their story.

Circumstances around these two men might have been complicated, but their feelings and longing for each other were very simple. I was moved by the fact that so little was more than enough for them: just the knowledge that the other one knew your name, a stolen glance, a hand against neck, a gentle kiss. It makes me think about the things that really are important in life, the things we so easily forget when the life goes on, hurrieldy day after day, and when nothing very dramatic makes it halt.

In the end Felix really got to live the adventure story he liked so much as a boy. There definitely were heros and heroic deeds in Skybound, but I like to think that the true adventure was ahead of him. Adventure filled with freedom and love — and maybe Paris…

I would not have liked this story to be longer. And I would not have removed a word from it. It is a perfect story as it is. I recommend it wholeheartedly.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Johanna Oops... the first version of my review had some typos in it... sorry about that. I tried to correct the ones I found...


Emanuela ~plastic duck~ I adored the details of the eggs and feathers too. It made the story jump our of the page.


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