Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Sunbird by Elizabeth Wein

The Sunbird

by Elizabeth Wein

Telemakos is the grandson of two noble men: Kidane, member of the parliament in the African kingdom of Aksum, and Artos, the fallen High King of Britain. Telemakos is also an exceptional listener and tracker, resolute and inventive in his ability to discover and retain information. Now his aunt Goewin, the British ambassador to Aksum, needs his skill. Plague has come to Britain, and threatens Aksum. Disguised, Telemakos must travel to the city of Afar where salt—the currency of sixth century Africa—is mined, and discover the traitor who has ignored the emperor's command, spreading plague with the salt from port to port. This challenge will take all of Telemakos's skill, strength, and courage—because otherwise it will cost him his life.

I received a copy of Sunbird via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I didn't realize that this book was the third in a series when I requested it.  Still, not wanting to put off reading it any longer I forged ahead. The book grabbed my attention immediately and didn't let up until the very end.  It was fascinating and heartbreaking, with vivid descriptions of an early, almost fantastical Africa and its inhabitants.

Telemakos is the kind of character that I expect in any book written by Elizabeth Wein.  He is brave and very intelligent, enough that he can confound the adults who barely notice he's there.  I don't want to give anything away, so I'll just say that he is an amazing character and the things he goes through will break your heart.

There was a lot to love about this book.  The writing style was absolutely beautiful. There was nothing that I thought was lacking, from first words to last.  The setting was so well-written that it was almost as if I were there, hot and thirsty in the desert or relaxing with the lions in the sun.
After reading Code Name Verity, I've been a huge fan of Elizabeth Wein.  Now it's official.  I'll definitely find the first two books that I missed as soon as I can. 

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