The Bird King: NetGalley Book Review

  • I received this digital ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of The Bird King through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Grove Atlantic Press for choosing me.

The bird king book review

The Bird King Synopsis

G. Willow Wilson’s debut novel Alif the Unseen was an NPR and Washington Post Best Book of the Year, and it established her as a vital American Muslim literary voice. Now she delivers The Bird King, a stunning new novel that tells the story of Fatima, a concubine in the royal court of Granada, the last emirate of Muslim Spain, and her dearest friend Hassan, the palace mapmaker. Hassan has a secret—he can draw maps of places he’s never seen and bend the shape of reality.

When representatives of the newly formed Spanish monarchy arrive to negotiate the sultan’s surrender, Fatima befriends one of the women, not realizing that she will see Hassan’s gift as sorcery and a threat to Christian Spanish rule. With their freedoms at stake, what will Fatima risk to save Hassan and escape the palace walls? As Fatima and Hassan traverse Spain with the help of a clever jinn to find safety, The Bird King asks us to consider what love is and the price of freedom at a time when the West and the Muslim world were not yet separate.

The Bird King Book Details

  • Author: G. Willow Wilson
  • Publication Date: 22nd March 2019
  • Publisher: Grove Atlantic Press
  • Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Sci-Fi, Young Adult

My Review

At first, I wasn’t sure whether this book was going to be a stand-alone novel or part of a series as many fantasy books now become series. I would gather by the ending that it is going to be a stand-alone. The predominant genre in my opinion is Historical Fantasy.

It is set during the 1490s when part of Spain was a Muslim kingdom. I admit a lot of naivety to history pre-Victorian times and it was interesting to read a book set during one of the times that I have little knowledge of. The recurring theme of being targeted by the Spanish Inquisition made for an interesting story. I loved watching the friendship between Fatima and Hassan evolve and grow.

Though I enjoyed this book and gave it 5 stars, I’m finding it really hard to review. I enjoyed the storyline and the pace was good. It was a quick read for me, taking only a few hours and I never felt bored and always intrigued.

Recommendation and Where to Find It

Though Fatima is 17 so would be a young adult, it didn’t feel like a typical young adult fantasy novel so anyone young adult or older can enjoy it. Her age is irrelevant to the story as it wouldn’t feel different if she was 25. You can order The Bird King here. It is released on 22nd March 2019.


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Post Author: bexcapades

Bookish person trying to get through this crazy thing called life.

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