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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Hawksong by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Many of us have a few books that hold a special place on our bookshelves because they will forever remain favorites. For me, HAWKSONG was a teenage favorite of mine and I've stopped counting how many times I've read it. It's not because it's written exceptionally well or because it has an amazing story. On the contrary, the writing is relatively simple and the story, while being original, could be a little bit more detailed. I think it became a favorite of mine because as a high school student, about 10 years ago, this genre was just starting to become popular for teens and this was simply the book that caught my attention.

The book is about Danica Shardae, an avian shapeshifter who is heir to the avian throne, and Zane Cobriana the serpent shapeshifting king. Ever since avian and serpent history can remember, their two courts have been at war, killing each other for a reason that has been lost over the years. Both these leaders wish for peace and the end of senseless killings, but both also fear assassination despite wanting the same thing. Together, Danica and Zane work together to form an alliance, that will forever change their courts and their lives. They both agree that marriage is the only thing that will keep their subjects from retaliating against the alliance but despite their good intentions, the violence doesn't end.

War and political intrigue might be the main themes of the story but I truly believe it's a love story at heart. Danica always thought she would marry another, a childhood friend of hers, but when the marriage to Zane is first proposed by peacekeepers, she is almost disgusted by the idea. Danica is a stoic person and adheres strongly to the Avian reserve, always keeping her feelings to herself, while Zane is more liberal and free with his feelings, like all Serpientes.  Zane lives in a culture that thrives on touch and affection, while Danica's people tend to frown upon displays of affection in public. Their cultures couldn't be more different, yet they decide to try as hard as possible to find a way to keep the peace. Love might be too strong a word to describe what goes on between Zane and Danica but I truly believe they end up caring for one another.

The way the author portrays the racism and hate between the two culture is quite realistic. Obviously I'm not talking about the shapeshifting part but about the different beliefs and ways of thinking. Our world can definitely improve when it comes to accepting different cultures and I think I read this book at the right time because I strongly believe the message of acceptance must be grasped by everyone, especially teens.

What I find really special (and maybe a little confusing) about this book is that you never really know if this is a fantasy world, or if it's a hidden society in our human world. The author doesn't reveal much about the actual setting and despite this fact, it really doesn't matter because the story holds on its own. The author doesn't reveal much about the time frame either because wars are fought with swords and arrows, but the women wear pants and are included on the battlefield.

Like I said, HAWKSONG is a personal favorite of mine, and I don't think anyone will ever be able to change my mind. I have no clue if it's because I have a biased opinion because I read this book as an impressionable teen or not, but one thing I know for sure, even after all these years, I can read this book time and time again.


Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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3 People left their mark' :

  1. OMG I haven't read this since I was a teen. But I know exactly what you mean about a book holding a special place for you. Demon In My View is like that for me.

  2. Oh, I, too, loved this series as a teen! I still have my copies, and I think it's time to do a reread, actually. I've not been as fond of her newer novels, but this series really stuck with me!


  3. Jessica @ a GREAT read22 December 2013 at 09:56

    Nice! I remember reading this one in high school as well! I actually started her books in 7th grade and loved them! Practically Demon in My View which became my first vampire book and the one that started my paranormal obsession! Read that one over and over and over again! Loved it so much! I liked her new world she build here. But I couldn't get into this series as much as her vampire one. I think I read the first three books and then stopped. Missed it when the publishers also changed the size of the hardcovers. I loved those small hardcovered ones! Still have them shelved on my closet shelf as well!