The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Set in 1491 Grenada, most of this novel reads like a devoted historical novel where the Muslim world is mixed with the Christian at a time when the Spanish Inquisition is running strong and the last Emirate is about to fall.
Fatima, the last concubine, and her friend Hassan, a mapmaker with the ability to open up doors to the Other, transforms this novel from a strict historical to an outright fantasy. But it happens slowly. The historicity of the world is rich and lush and it introduces the world of the Jinn and magic in pure magical realism style, later becoming an outright adventure to find the Bird King.
The old world has died. The only course now is survival. Perhaps happiness. But mostly, it's just finding a place to survive, and if it is with the help of the Jinn and all the creatures under Allah, so be it. Allah made all.
I liked the message at the end of the book.
I also happened to like G. Willow Wilson's Alif the Unseen a lot more. But that being said, there's a lot to love right here.
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