The author has sewn magic with her words in The Bird King. The way in which she has described the historical rule of the Sultan is profound. Although the book is tough to read owing to the usage of a lot of Arabic words, it is a worthy read as it expands ones vocabulary at the same time.
It is set in the time when the then Iberia was looking at a change in rule from the Muslim Sultanate to the Christian rulers. The plot is strong since it is based on the backdrop of true events that changed the course of the Iberian Peninsula and the rest of the world. The imaginative story formed around the thick plot is an add-on.
I also found traces of similarity with the Hindu mythology because of the name of the jinn in the book who carries the protagonist on his shoulders at several instances. It reminded me of Vikram Betaal, but with roles reversed as the human was the one doing the lifting as per Hindus.
The book widely accesses various emotions that emerge as part of love, longing, and suffering, The author has discussed the pain so succinctly than one cannot help but feel it deep within, feel for the protagonists and the antagonist as well.
I also took the book as an opportunity to brush up some history about the region, and how it transformed into the modern day Spain, Portugal, France, and Morocco as seen on the world map. Then there is also the mention of the legend called Antillia, and its interpretation in the context of the story.
I cannot make up my mind as to which genre to file this book in. It is well suited to be under historical fiction, or action and adventure. It also has traces of fantasy. I see this diverse nature of the book as a plus point as it made the story intriguing.
All-in-all, a very well researched book. Definitely worth ones time irrespective of its thickness.
I'd like to thank the author and the publisher for the ARC.