by Rafe Martin
What if happily ever after isn’t perfect for everyone?
Meet Ardwin, the son of King Lugh. He and his brothers were enchanted—changed into swans—by their evil stepmother. Through their sister’s determination they were all changed back into humans—all but the youngest, Ardwin. He alone bears the mark of his time as a swan; in place of his left arm he carries a white wing. “Prince Freak,” people call him, staring and warding off evil as he passes. Ardwin is restless, wanting to return to the flock of swans he once flew with, where he would be accepted.
While Ardwin desperately wishes to be rid of his wing, it also reminds him of the wild freedom of the swans, and even gives him the ability to speak to animals. He is torn between wanting to fit in, and wanting to be himself.
But part of him has to choose when he learns of a plot to marry him off—under the condition of replacing his wing with a prosthetic arm. Horrified at the thought, Ardwin sets off for the world with his friends, Stephen and Skye. But soon he discovers the journey must be his alone.
Ardwin’s captivating and original story is born from the Brothers Grimm tale The Six Swans, and it’s not just a fairytale retold, but a fairytale continued, and Rafe Martin pulls it off beautifully; there is nothing stale or drawn-out about this book. If you like stories of self-discovery and -acceptance, adventure, magic, and a little romance, Birdwing is for you.
I’m really not doing Martin’s novel any justice in my description, because it was simply so, SO good. Just read it and find out for yourself!
****Also posted on YA Books Central.****
Sunday, January 6, 2008
by Rafe Martin