Plot summary[ edit ] The book centers on two different kinds of shapeshifters: the avians and the serpiente. The avians have birds for second forms and their royal line consists of golden hawks. Their leader is the Tuuli Thea, or queen. Avians do not lose their temper and they do not cry, no matter what the situation.
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It deserves a review. So, here goes: Hawksong is vastly unique and different from most of YA. Its set long in our past and the past of the Den of Shadows world , and it focuses entirely on shapeshifters. Specifically, the avians, who are at war with the serpentine, and have been for as long as anyone can remember.
In order to do this, Danica, a shapeshifter royalty, agrees to marry Zane, a cobra royalty. Amelia tries to create some tension with subplots, but the main plot is purely an emotional one. But in an epic fantasy essentially book about shapeshifters, I sort of expected something more, and I never got it. But once you get past this First off, the worldbuilding. Both the Avian and the Serpentine have incredibly detailed cultures, including customs, religion, rulers, and terminology not slang, thank God.
Each society feels real, and each feels beautifully contrasting. And why should there be? It helps that Danica and Zane both felt completely real, and their personalities were completely utilized in making an emotional conflict. And last but not least, she has to pretend to be in love with him, when she is in fact in love with Rei, a childhood friend of hers.
The message is a strong anti-war message. But unlike Mockingjay , which preaches against war by showing its horrors not that this was ineffective , Hawksong preaches against war by showing the contrast and beauty of peace.
Danica is definitely shell-shocked by the war, and by the death of her friends and family over the years, but this is a book about growing beyond that, about the wonderful afterthoughts of peace, and the ways that we would be bettered if war was a thing of imagination.
Her language is beautiful and complex, never awkward or simplistic. Looking back, I cannot believe that she wrote this book when she was only eighteen. Is it because of the slow plot? Their relationship had grown over years and years of being together, and really, he was all she had left. Over the course of the book, again and again, Danica turns to him for advice, for comfort. I cannot believe that Danica would abandon all this for Zane.
I have nothing against a story of two people who thought they could never love each other coming together, but a romantic declaration of love was completely unnecessary. Sure, she would enjoy him, but only as a friend. But the book actually takes place over a relatively short time frame, and it just felt insta-lovish and out of nowhere. Probably not. But that ending just ruined a lot of what came before it, and I cannot accept it. Let me try again.
These things may not be easy or fun for you, but you have to do them anyway. The ending completely ruined that, because, well, doing the right thing for the better suddenly became easy. You owe it to yourself.
Books by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes