After reading an excerpt, I was excited to win a copy of G. Willow Wilson's new novel, The Bird King (c/o BookishFirst). As a fan of her comic book series, Ms. Marvel, I was eager to read some of her fiction.
While The Bird King is highly imaginative, the story never took flight for me. I think part of the problem is that I went into this thinking it was an historical novel with fantasy elements, but this novel is actually firmly placed in the fantasy realm. I wanted to learn more about the the harem and life at the Alhambra, but the story focuses on a journey to a land unseen for hundreds of years.
The main character is Fatima, the sultan's favorite concubine, and while I think she was supposed to be the "girl power" figure of the story, I felt that her nemesis, Luz, was the character with the most agency. Luz's power drove the story till the very end. While reading, I kept wanting Luz's point of view, not because she was good but because she was more interesting.
While this novel wan't for me, I thought it was full of imagination. If the author ever decided to turn this into a graphic novel, I would want to read it.