The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson

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

My Review

What an absolutely beautiful book, not only is the cover stunning but the story itself is as  beautiful as its exterior. From the exotic setting in Morocco to the fabled shores of the isle of Avalon the story is told in such splendid detail you can’t help being swept along throughout.

The characters are as colourful as their surroundings weaving together humans and mythical creatures alike all culminating in the quest to find the fabled Bird King.

I loved this book to the point I’m struggling to review it without spoilers and to do the story justice. It was a genuine pleasure to read and will be one that can be read and re read without loosing any of the spellbinding magic.

This is the first book i have read by G. Willow Wilson but she will be a author I will be keeping an eye out for in the future.

If you enjoyed books such as Robert Dinsdale’s The Toymakers or Katherine Arden’s The Bear and The Nightingale then you won’t want to miss this one.


The Bird King will be published in the on 04 July 2019 and can be pre-ordered now below

A proper review to follow!

Thank you to G. Willow Wilson, the publishers Grove Atlantic and NetGalley for my copy in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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