The bird king

by Wilson, G. Willow, 1982-

Format: Print Book 2019
Availability: Available at 16 Libraries 16 of 18 copies
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From award-winning author G. Willow Wilson, The Bird King is an epic journey set during the reign of the last sultan in the Iberian peninsula at the height of the Spanish Inquisition.

G. Willow Wilson's debut novel Alif the Unseen was an NPR and Washington Post Best Book of the Year, and it established her as a vital American Muslim literary voice. Now she delivers The Bird King , a stunning new novel that tells the story of Fatima, a concubine in the royal court of Granada, the last emirate of Muslim Spain, and her dearest friend Hassan, the palace mapmaker. Hassan has a secret--he can draw maps of places he's never seen and bend the shape of reality. When representatives of the newly formed Spanish monarchy arrive to negotiate the sultan's surrender, Fatima befriends one of the women, not realizing that she will see Hassan's gift as sorcery and a threat to Christian Spanish rule. With their freedoms at stake, what will Fatima risk to save Hassan and escape the palace walls? As Fatima and Hassan traverse Spain with the help of a clever jinn to find safety, The Bird King asks us to consider what love is and the price of freedom at a time when the West and the Muslim world were not yet separate.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "*Starred Review* Wilson's (Alif the Unseen, 2012) newest novel is a historical fantasy set during the violence, bigotry, and hysteria of the Spanish Inquisition. Fatima is a young concubine in the court of the last Muslim sultan in Spain. She has lived a pampered life at the cost of her freedom. When her one true friend, Hassan, a royal mapmaker who can draw maps that bend reality, is set to be sacrificed by the sultan in order to satisfy the inquisitors, Fatima risks everything to escape with him. With the help of various jinn and other unlikely allies, Fatima and Hassan's journey tests their endurance and their faith. This is a novel that thoughtfully contemplates the meaning of love, power, religion, and freedom. But even while exploring all of these heavy issues, this is a fun, immersive adventure that moves at a brisk pace through lush settings, across dangerous terrain, and eventually out to the open sea. This ultimately life-affirming tale of a young woman who rejects her dismal fate and creates her own family will appeal to readers of S. A. Chakraborty's City of Brass (2017), Helene Wecker's The Golem and the Jinni (2013), and Naomi Novik's fairy tale-esque Uprooted (2015).--Becky Spratford Copyright 2019 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Wilson (Alif the Unseen) sets her swashbuckling second novel amid an epic clash between cultures on the Iberian peninsula during the Spanish Inquisition. Fatima, the most beautiful girl at the court of Al Andalus in Granada, is Sultan Abu Abdullah's favored concubine. But she loves only her friend Hassam, the palace mapmaker, who possesses an uncanny ability to conjure doors to whole new rooms-or even whole new worlds. When the Spanish send a delegation to demand the surrender of the Alhambra from the sultan, they bring with them the Baronesa Luz. Invited to the harem to be entertained, Luz gains the confidence of Fatima, but after Hassam's gifts are carelessly revealed, Fatima discovers Luz is part of the Inquisition. When Luz condemns Hassam as a sorcerer, he and Fatima are forced to flee. They make one harrowing escape after another (and another) by land and sea, helped by the vampire-jinn Vikram (who takes the form of a dog); his fickle feline sister, Azalel; Gwennec the ill-fated monk; and various other fantastical entities. Fatima remains the hero throughout, her courage and loyalty the only attributes that can save them. Though marketed as literary fiction, this book is pure fantasy, and teen readers especially will relish suspending their disbelief as Fatima and Hassam careen from one violent fray to the next. Agent: Warren Frazier, John Hawkins & Assoc. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Cartographers -- Fiction.
Inquisition -- Spain -- Fiction.
Voyages and travels -- Fiction.
Spain -- History -- 711-1516 -- Fiction.
Romance fiction.
Fantasy fiction.
Historical fiction.
Publisher New York :Grove Press,2019
Edition First Grove Atlantic hardcover edition.
Language English
Notes Map on endpapers.
Description 403 pages : map ; 22 cm
ISBN 9780802129031
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