Monday, January 20, 2014

Hawksong by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Hawksong by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
2004, Laurel Leaf
Series: Book 1 of Kiesha'ra

Synopsis: DANICA SHARDAE IS an avian shapeshifter, and the golden hawk's form in which she takes to the sky is as natural to her as the human one that graces her on land. The only thing more familiar to her is war: It has raged between her people and the serpiente for so long, no one can remember how the fighting began. As heir to the avian throne, she'll do anything in her power to stop this war, even accept Zane Cobriana, the terrifying leader of her kind's greatest enemy, as her pair bond and make the two royal families one.

Trust. It is all Zane asks of Danica, and all they ask of their people, but it may be more than she can give.

The Good: Hawksong does a fine job of taking something serious like stereotypes and prejudice and turning it into something easily digestible without being preachy. Moreover, Danica's fears and misconceptions of Zane and his people are understandable and even acceptable given the pretext of the book itself.

The Bad: You have to really be into shapeshifter stories to enjoy this series. Not lycanthropic stories, but true animal shifting stories, based on the biology of the animals in question. I'm just not, at least not based on snakes and birds. The romance was lacking in Hawksong, which severely impacted the believability of the story in general. While it made sense that Zane and Danica could come together as a political move, nothing was every portrayed in a convincing fashion that they would even be able to have a functional, lasting, romantic relationship.

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