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The Wings of a Falcon (1993)

por Cynthia Voigt

Séries: Tales of the Kingdom (Book 3)

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379566,290 (3.85)1 / 11
Fourteen-year-old Oriel and his friend Griff flee the slavery of Damall's Island and seek a new life on the mainland, where they face raiding Wolfers, rival armies, and other dangers.
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 Name that Book: YA novel about squire and his knight4 não lido / 4Stevil2001, Outubro 2012

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Mostrando 5 de 5
I liked it. ( )
  zahli | Jan 22, 2022 |
Fantasy books get a lot of flack from "established" literature. Children or young adult fantasy books get ignored by adult fantasy readers. So between the two, I guess it's not surprising to find that this book is an undiscovered gem. But I urge anyone who has a few hours and spare 99p or whatever ridiculously cheap cost it is on amazon, to pick this book up and give it a try.

It's hard to pinpoint exactly what makes it so good, possibly because it conveys different things to different people. To me, I see a lot of is as an analogy for morality - moral codes, justice, love, selfishness; about growing up and understanding these things, about making the right decisions and becoming a good person in the face of a corrupt and terrible world. I guess that really appeals to me. Other people I know whom I've made to read it all had different interpretations or things they focused on, although they all enjoyed it just as much.

Ostensibly, WoaF is about a couple of kids who grow up in what is basically slavery and cruelty, escape, and keep going. There is no magic, all sword and no sorcery so to speak; there is no epic quest, save that of survival and endurance; there is nothing you will expect, and an ending that will surprise and touch you. But despite that, it IS magical, and it IS epic in its own right.

The supposed hero, Oriel, is a (somewhat ironic) example of the perfect hero; a force of nature who succeeds at everything he touches, who inspires everyone he meets. But to be honest, I actually think the hero of the book is Griff, his quiet companion/follower, who also escapes with Oriel and follows him from one adventure and conquest to the next. Griff is no leader among men, but he has an unshakable sense of morality, and never once makes the 'wrong' decision about anything. But for Griff, Oriel could easily have become a villian; his only interest is in being the best in a given situation, and he often aims towards that irrespective of the people who get hurt in the process. From Griff, Oriel learns to be a good person; from Oriel, Griff learns to be a strong person; and from Beryl, the third (and lately introduced) protagonist, both boys learn about love and sacrifice.

There are actually a lot of themes which some adults find upsetting, particularly the relationships between Oriel, Griff, and the two women characters. Rather than go into details or spoil things, I would remind readers that Cynthia Voigt is an avid feminist, and (in my opinion) her portrayal of Beryl and Merlis is designed to provoke and challenge (both the fantasy world she has made as well as the reader's assumptions about Oriel's character) rather than to blandly offend. As I've said before... (SPOILER ALERT)... Oriel isn't truly heroic, and his actions in regards to both women underscore that more than anything else in the book. Whether or not he gets redeemed - well, you'll have to read to find out.

A lot of so-called "children's books" are books designed to 'trick' kids who don't want to read, into reading. This book is NOT that. This book is for children who DO want to read, and for that reason I suspect it probably isn't very popular among a lot of younger readers, certainly when compared to the other 3 books in the series, which are comparatively a lot simpler, and definitely more kid-like. It is also likely to get missed over by adults, who will just see "a kid's book" and not give it a try, but actually it has a LOT going for adult readers.

In short, if you like Harry Potter and not much else, you won't like this book either.
If you like Gene Wolfe's writing and aren't too proud to read a young adult's book, you will probably find something to enjoy.
If you like Ursula LeGuin, you'll probably also enjoy this book; it's that same kind of distant, epic-style narrative with an emphasis on heavy characterisation and character development.
If you like this review you might like the book =) If you think I'm an arrogant twit then you probably won't ;) ( )
  Sunyidean | Sep 7, 2021 |
This time it starts with a boy, a no-name boy on a no-name island run by a horrible man. This boy has a friend, sort of, named Griff. And the two of them figure out how to escape in a boat with some of the leaders gold and jewels. And as they flee they end up on a rocky island over night. And on this island the boy finds names carved in to the rock - ORIEL and BIRLE and so a new Oriel continues this story.

Oriel and Griff know nothing of the world outside of their island - they don't know about the people or the Kingdom. They only know pain and loss and suffering. They are captured by Wolfers - a primitive tribe of warriors who kill for treasure to please their king. They experience the horrors of a new kind of slavery.

And then they are freed by an avalanche and stumble through a pass into an amazing world of the Kingdom. They are saved by a young girl - Beryl, the puppeteer's granddaughter (the original Oriel) who teaches them the ways of the people. But there is a contest - a fight to the death for those who want to become an Earl - and that is Oriel.

After all the pain and anguish of this path - they aren't finished yet.

This was my least favorite of the 4 books. The characters were clearly drawn and I was invested in each of them...but I just didn't like the story path. It was so full of pain and so full of the dark side of the Kingdom, all the things that the romantic in my doesn't really want to focus on.

So - I was happy this wasn't the last of the series. ( )
  kebets | Sep 14, 2015 |
Mmmm, I've read this before, but in the context of the multigenerational events in (and out of) the Kingdom, it has so many more resonances. There are some shockers here - stunning plot twists. Great characters too. Love it. ( )
  kirstenr | May 7, 2009 |
Heartwrenchingly good, tho' I did not like the heroine overmuch. ( )
  puabi | May 21, 2006 |
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Fourteen-year-old Oriel and his friend Griff flee the slavery of Damall's Island and seek a new life on the mainland, where they face raiding Wolfers, rival armies, and other dangers.

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