Expect the Unexpected

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The Bird King follows Fatima, a concubine in the Alhambra in the last days of Muslim rule while Ferdinand and Isabella were consolidating Spain into one country. Fatima is joined by her friend Hassan, a mapmaker who enjoys the company of men and is allowed to do so surreptitiously because he is gifted in ways that few are. Once the Spaniards come, Fatima and Hassan's world is changed beyond recognition by a member of the Inquisition. What choices have to be made for survival? What choices change who we are, and are they worth it? How do we know who we are? The Bird King addresses these fundamental questions, and more.

As an aside, I knew essentially nothing about this time period or the history of Spain, so I found it all fascinating. I'd love to learn more about the time.

Readers of G. Willow Wilson's "Alif the Unseen" will also enjoy a visit from a familiar character as well.