Review ´ The Bird and the Blade

The Bird and the Blade

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That becomes increasingly fraught as her feelings for Khalaf evolve into a hopeless loveJinghua’s already dicey prospects take a downward turn when Khalaf seeks to restore his kingdom by forging a marriage alliance with Turandokht the daughter of the Great Khan As beautiful as she is cunning Turandokht reuires all potential suitors to solve three impossible riddles to win her hand and if they fail they dieJingh. 35 starsThis is Nikhil evolve into a hopeless loveJinghua’s already dicey prospects take a downward turn when Khalaf seeks to restore his kingdom by forging a marriage alliance with Turandokht the daughter of the Great Khan As beautiful as she is cunning Turandokht reuires all potential suitors to solve three impossible riddles to win her hand and if they fail they dieJingh. 35 starsThis is

Summary Á PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ↠ Megan Bannen

As a slave in the Kipchak Khanate Jinghua has lost everything her home her family her freedom until the kingdom is conuered by enemy forces and she finds herself an unlikely conspirator in the escape of Prince Khalaf and his irascible father across the vast Mongol Empire On the run with adversaries on all sides and an endless journey ahead Jinghua hatches a scheme to use the Kipchaks’ exile to return home a plan. wow thank goodne Ottolenghi SIMPLE everything her home her family her freedom until the kingdom is conuered by The Prank War enemy forces and she finds herself an unlikely conspirator in the Grammar and Practice with Answer Key escape of Prince Khalaf and his irascible father across the vast Mongol Empire On the run with adversaries on all sides and an Pills and Pacifiers: An Age-Play Medical Fantasy endless journey ahead Jinghua hatches a scheme to use the Kipchaks’ Felt and Torch on Roofing: A Practical Guide exile to return home a plan. wow thank goodne

Megan Bannen ↠ 2 Characters

Ua has kept her own counsel well but with Khalaf’s kingdom and his very life on the line she must reconcile the hard truth of her past with her love for a boy who has no idea what she’s capable of even if it means losing him to the girl who’d sooner take his life than his heart The Bird and the Blade is a lush powerful story of life and death battles and riddles lies and secrets from debut author Megan Banne. I knew I was goi ASIA 16 - ASEAN10 6Countries - Comparison Report 2016-2017 - Japan South Korea China Taiwan Hong Kong Macau Philippines Vietnam Cambodia Laos Myanmar ... Singapore Indonesia - (Japanese Edition) even if it means losing him to the girl who’d sooner take his life than his heart The Bird and the Blade is a lush powerful story of life and death battles and riddles lies and secrets from debut author Megan Banne. I knew I was goi


10 thoughts on “The Bird and the Blade

  1. says:

    “Should you fail to answer correctly each riddle by the end of seven minutes you shall forfeit your life Do you understand?” Mongolian fantasy with ghosts and riddles anyone?Well this was pretty damn fascinating I've been putting this book off because I've been so disappointed with almost every YA fantasy novel I read lately but this was like nothing I've read before It's a strange and stunning combination of the Mongol Empire the Italian opera Turandot and Persian fairy tales I should point out that this contains a lot of fantastical elements and the author acknowledges all the liberties she took in the note at the end If you're looking for an accurate historical depiction of the Mongol Empire and the Song dynasty this isn't it Many of the characters though are based on real peopleBannen splits the narrative in an extremely compelling way In the present Prince Khalaf a descendant of Genghis Khan attempts to solve the three riddles presented to him by Turandokht the daughter of the Great Khan If he succeeds he will get to marry her If he fails he will die This is all told from the perspective of Jinghua a Chinese slave who we soon discover is in love with Khalaf Jinghua's narrative then skips to the past filling in the events leading up to that momentFrom what I can tell as I'm only slightly familiar with the opera Turandot the author sticks fairly close to the original with the exception that she focuses on the character of the slave girl In this book Jinghua is given far depth and agency and the author develops an interesting backstory for her that gives the tale another layer Jinghua also considers what it is to be a woman or girl in this time the 13th century especially one who is enslaved and laments the obsession with beauty that sees unattractive girls viewed as worthlessIt's uite romantic to tell you the truth but I did not mind so much The love story is balanced out by a good amount of action and political intrigue and I liked how Jinghua's attraction to Khalaf is based on his personality not his looks Khalaf is also flawed even cowardly at times allowing for complexity of character than is usually afforded to YA fantasy love interestsThere's so many stories within the story too The Bird and the Blade feels like a beautiful celebration of poetry songs and stories from all across Central and East Asia There are many uotes and retellings of tales from authors such as Rumi Saadi Nizami and ingzhao And just when you might be thinking the uoting is getting a little sappy we have Timur to snap us back to reality Fired by love he called her his life his pearl his dew petaled flower“This is the sappiest piece of rotting carrion I have ever heard” Timur interjectsAnd we must talk about Timur because he might be my favourite character in the whole book At first I hated him but over time the author develops him into a really funny source of cynicism I just adore that kind of grumpy but lovable character He really is a cantankerous old goat but it is so refreshing in an otherwise pretty dramatic and serious story Also my new favourite phrase is “Go suck your used tea leaves”If anything I think the book would have benefited from female characters and positive female relationships but I guess sadly women at this time mostly existed behind the scenes so the depiction is probably fairly accurate I still liked how the author gave a minor female character in the opera her own voice and story here A very impressive multilayered bookSome extra notes ➽ This is a standalone➽ You do not need to know the opera Turandot to enjoy the bookBlog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube


  2. says:

    wow thank goodness this is a standalone because i dont know if my heart will ever recover from that ending i randomly picked this up at the library because 1 i saw it on a recent GR list and 2 the font was big meaning i could speed read through it and if i didnt like it no real time wasted so imagine my surprise when i found myself taking my time with this soaking up every word because this story felt like a gift one i didnt want to take for grantedthis story was rich with historical intricacies lush in its writing humbling with tender romance and clever in its unfolding this book really impacted me on an intellectual emotional and entertainment level i cant believe how sad i felt when the story came to an end and i think that is the true sign of a great book just the overall high uality of this book made me so impressed that it was a debutthis is perfect for those who are fans of renee ahdieh and roshani chokshi meaning its on par with todays popular ya fantasy writers i cant wait to see what this author comes up with next↠ 45 stars


  3. says:

    ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review “Now cold and exhausted a girl disguised as a boy tottering after the losing end of a battle I have to second guess that assessment It seems to me that I’ve made some choices—some very bad choices—that have led me to this moment” The Bird and the Blade is a completely enthralling and heart breaking YA fantasy debut I enjoyed this so much and I was completely teleported and captivated every time I opened this book up Plus this is a story about the descendants of Genghis Khan’s sons mixed with the Italian opera Turandot and that’s one of the most uniue concepts of any story I’ve read in 2018 And this might not be the most historically accurate novel out there but I loved reading about the Song dynasty and the Mongol EmpireGenghis Khan had four sons who had trouble deciding who would rule after their father Well this story centers around a prince from Jochi’s blood line Jochi was the oldest of the sons who ended up not being the ascended ruler but still ended up being a great military leader and his great great grandson is no different That is until his men are killed and he and his ruling father are forced to go into hiding with a girl who has many secrets And I fell in so in love with that secret keeper Jinghua is now a companion to the Prince Khalaf and his father Timur but she was once a slave for the them and their entire family Khalaf always showed her kindness and during a split second decision Jinghua goes into hiding with these two royal men And while traveling she teaches him many things from her culture including the language “Cruelty is easy to repay my lord Kindness is another matter” While they are traveling and hiding from their enemies throughout the Mongol Empire they find out about the daughter of the Great Khan Turandokht She is so desired among all the princes for her hand in marriage she has set up a contest for every royal suitor where they must answer three riddles correctly given to them by herself And if they answer any incorrectly they will forfeit their lives Khalaf wants nothing than to try his hand at the riddles to marry Turandokht and restore the glory of his people or die an honorable death trying And this story is told from present time where we first see Jinghua witnessing Khalaf being told the first riddle that will decide if he dies or moves on to the second We are then teleported back in time and we get all these puzzle pieces that slowly start to fit together From Jinghua and Khalaf before they were forced into exile to Jinghua with her family before she became a slave to Jinghua falling in love with Khalaf slowly but ever so surely And this beautiful story that is eual parts heart warming and heart wrenching slowly begins to take form This book puts the spotlight on a discussion about the beauty standards for women that we've endured for all our pasts and still in our present day Like how so many people feel like beauty is all that that women have to offer And how we will pit girls against one another and created all this ugly jealousy when we should be using that energy to uplift and support and celebrate all women “Her beauty doesn’t make you ugly Her intelligence doesn’t make you stupid Her value doesn’t make you worthless” Overall this is the highest three star rating I’ve ever given a three star book I loved this and was completely enthralled in the tale I just really disliked the ending which I suppose if I knew about Turandot before going in I would have been better prepared It completely broke me and I know how beautiful it is when I take a step back and reflect upon it But I just really didn’t like it when I read it But this really is such an impressive debut and I can’t wait to see what Megan Bannen does next because they created such a brilliant standalone that really impressed me Trigger and content warnings for slavery kidnapping heavy war themes mention of rape graphic deaths graphic violence torture gore loss of a loved one and self harm Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | Twitch The uotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publicationBuddy read with Diana ❤


  4. says:

    This review and other non spoilery reviews can be found The Book Prescription “God does not judge you according to your appearance and your wealth but He looks at your heart and looks into your deeds”🌟 So I haven’t heard a lot about this book I thought for a moment that it wasn’t even out because it does not get the hype it deserves I saw Becky talking about this many times in her posts which I am thankful for I considered this a recommendation and went into it not knowing much🌟 Then I saw that this has riddles it got me there fantasy elements and the Mongol empire which I never read anything about I go into this and a few pages later the author used the above uote which is from Prophet Mohammed PBUH and then the writing style is just so good and I read the whole thing in 2 days🌟 It started a bit slow for me but it was interesting nonetheless and the good thing is that it kept improving till the last page From the last riddle onward I was going full on Hermione mode while reading this I wanted to know what happened and fast🌟 So another thing that I really liked is that the author apparently did an extensive research for all parts for the story she took some liberties which she explained at the end but it was accurate she uoted Rumi and Ibn ElHaitham and other Arab important figures she talked about Islam in a very good representation I was so fascinated by this aspect of the story which I salute the author for There was a part where a character did something wrong and I thought it was a bad rep for Islam but then it later said that it was “Haram” which is Taboo and that is cool because Muslims are humans and they sin too🌟 The interesting parts for me are the riddles and I proudly solved 2 out of the 3 riddles so that gave me a happy boost while reading it I found the book pacing good and not slow as I expected at first🌟 The characters in the books are not extensive But it was about the uality than the uantity it is kind of a character driven book Because it starts from the end and then we get to the beginning only to learn about the characters and to appreciate them I was a fan of all 3 MC at the end🌟 For the plot I haven’t heard of the opera Turandot before which by the way is not needed to read and understand enjoy this So I went into this not knowing exactly what to expect and I didn’t care what happens until the end and I thought what if B happens Instead of A it would be suitable and a cooler ending And we did actually get ending B which was so good “Cruelty is easy to repay my lord Kindness is another matter”


  5. says:

    35 starsThis is a retelling of TurandotAn opera ladies and gentlemen That’s a first for me I read retellings of fairytales often enough to consider it one of my favourite genres but I admit I know nothing about operas But that’s okay You can still understand the story perfectly And I did It really isn’t that complicated The setting is original and the culture different but it comes down to kings ‘‘kahns’’ fighting for power and a certain prince who wants to save his and his father’s kingdom by taking part in the riddles competition to gain the hand of a powerful princess Slave girls who get rescued by boys who become their love interest is nothing new but I simply adored the author’s writing 1st person POV choice and dimensionality of the characters I went into it expecting the competition to be the main attraction wrongly so The characters do think about it and yes it is part of the storyline but this is about a slave girl Jinghua a prince Khalaf and his father Timur who travel through cities to find allies and escape enemiesIt is beautifully told I especially enjoyed the interactions between Jinghua and Timur While she and the prince have lovely passages together which lead to a slow burn romance I am a sucker for love hate relationships Timur is a grumpy and authoritarian old man who hates the idea of keeping a slave girl who can’t fight but his opinion of her changes when he notices her intelligence and goodnessJinghua is no Celaena Sardothien On the one hand she has a great heart ambition and uite a lyrical way of viewing the world On the other hand she has low self esteem limited courage and lets her heart cloud her judgment over and over again Also she doesn’t want to learn how to fight thus making her a target in combat and heavy weight at times Jinghua may be the main character but I refuse to believe that she is the hero of this story Prince Khalaf is She is hardly even a sidekick mostly just there for the ride She never undergoes a character development but she does make realizations about herself while helping Khalaf achieve his goals which eventually become hers as wellA gripping and romantic story that is better than the majority of YA fantasy books that get published every year so cheers to thatBlog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google | Bloglovin’


  6. says:

    DNFI really don't like to dump a book However if while reading I am fantasizing about the next books on my list and panicking as to whether or not I'll have time to read them or not then all signs point to 'this book is not for you' I was hesitant to pick this one up in the first place only because it's marked as 'fantasy' and 'young adult' While fantasy can delight me from time to time young adult novels often leave me struggling to engage This became evident with this book as I got deeper into the story Somehow the characters didn't ring true with the setting they felt like people with modern day sensibilities plunked down in the middle of the thirteenth century Mongol Empire Likely this would benefit those readers who would find appeal with the modern feel while learning about a slice of history The first person point of view didn't help matters any for me either I didn't even get to the romance aspects of the book but I suspected they would make me cringe Teenage angst and all I gave up on page 174410 a fair chance I think I apologize to my fellow NI readers that are sharing this book on its journey I am just not the right audience and I think this could certainly please many other readers that have better luck with this genre No rating just a plain and simple DNF


  7. says:

    while everyone else is having a 'spooky' or 'haunted' themed month in october im going for the puffy eyed runny nose aesthetic with my 'crying' theme so far its going great 🙂45 stars


  8. says:

    EDIT Originally I did not rate this book anything But after seeing the amalgam of 5 stars I thought I'd put my #ownvoices review in here as well as the fact that now I have to explain why I gave it this status in the first place I'm happy you liked the book if you did but I don't need to be told how to readMy full review of this can be found on Happy Indulgence over here This is a review not from an objective point of view but from an #ownvoices reader who is Chinese and read about the background of the book and the racist basis for the original play written by Giacomo Puccini I have read the ending of this book Spoilers will be aheadThis book was by no means bad The writing was totally riveting the first person POV narrative from Jinghua was intriguing and the research is really well done Like I read 15% into the book and have to commend the author on her knowledge about the SongYuan dynasty and her placement of the Chinese songs and phrases Yay I was SO into it when I stopped The story jumps immediately into action with Jinghua witnessing her love Prince Khalaf volunteer to solve riddles that would allow him to marry Turandokht which would help him with political prospects The main romance is linear as Jinghua and Khalaf’s affection to each other stays true while Turandokht is mainly there for political reasons and from what I’ve started to read of it it’s very sweet and lovelyBUT Why did I DNF then? There’s a whole backstory to this Get ready everyoneWhen I first saw that this book had a Chinese main character I was like “Ooh interesting” I was a bit wary starting because sometimes Chinese stories don’t get done right by white authors but from what little I did read Bannen did a pretty good job with the culture It’s much drawn out and integrated than the opera this book was based on Turandot I was also excited to see her rendition of the story Before reading I looked up the synopsis of Turandot because I don’t have much opera background and I loathed it It’s the story of a prince who solves these riddles and marries this bitchy princess the namesake of the opera while the slave Chinese girl who has been SUPPORTING HIM THE WHOLE TIME die by suicide because of her unreuited love I was NOT having it Side note the opera itself was very racist and sexist but I don’t think the book exhibited any of these aspectsSo I continued with the novel even excited to see the Chinese girl Jinghua get the happy or at least SATISFYING ending she deserved At the time of reading I just started the school semester so I was a bit backed up with assignments and I told myself “Well why don’t I check out the ending just to make sure I don’t waste precious time” In retrospect I’m glad I did because if I had followed the whole book without knowing the ending it would have left me gutted and feeling like it wasn’t worth the time I spentview spoilerThis book follows the opera very closely even up to the point of the main narrator killing herself in the end to save the boy she loved I respect the fact that she did it in order to save him but I’m just so disappointed that she had to die for that to happen I thought this retelling would be about empowerment for Jinghua rather than the passive role it seemed like she got in the original opera and I just didn’t think it was the ending she deserved Yes the romance stayed linear; the few accounts I got from Khalaf himself made me see him as a nice guy but seriously no one special I’m just really disappointed her character ends with a suicide and would have probably been angry if I read through the whole book Perhaps this will resonate with some readers but for me I don’t need that heartbreak in my lifeThe most heart wrenching aspect for me is that Jinghua is a Chinese character who sacrificed herself in the end I am tired of Chinese heroines not getting the endings they deserve and the victories they work hard for Many a reader will commend this story for its tragic elements but what was tragic for ME was the fact that I saw a character like me die by suicide for a love interest And most of the readers giving this glowing reviews don’t understand the nuances that an #ownvoices POC reader like me does hide spoiler


  9. says:

    I knew I was going to love this book I just knew it I mean unless the actual writing turned out to be subpar there was simply no way this book wasn't going to be a favorite But even though I knew I was going to love this book I HAD NO IDEA JUST HOW MUCH I WOULD LOVE THIS BOOK Here's the thing I was an honest to goodness outcast in high school Not because I was rebellious or reclusive or anything Mostly it was because I just didn't like the right things Even the other outcasts I knew liked the same kinds of outcast friendly books movies and music Me? I read the classics I liked old movies from the 1930s and 40s And worst of all I listened to opera For the fun of itSo yeah Totally an outcast But very happy that way thank you And I did find My People eventually so this is not a pity party I promise All that to say the opera on which The Bird and the Blade is based is one of my favorites Puccini's Turandot It's tragic and epic and gorgeous and just stunning When I was eighteen I got to see it live I wore a floor length black velvet dress and elbow length gloves I mean when you're going to the opera you should GO TO THE OPERA Right? And I cried through the beautiful production and loved every moment Of course the best character in the story was the slave girl Liu She also gets several amazing solos including THIS one Hers is the emotional story that carries the whole opera even if she is only a secondary character She is brave and strong and selfless and just a wonderful heroine in her own right Turandot is interesting but Liu is the heart and soul of this tale And this book this beautiful book is about HER In Megan Bannen's version of the tale the heroine is renamed Jinghua and is a slave to a Mongol prince Bannen really dove into the heart and head of her heroine in ways I could never have predicted staying true always to the original character on which she is based but always deepening and expanding as she went Most of the book is actually prolonged flashback which I wouldn't ordinarily enjoy but it was so perfectly done in this instance We keep coming back to the present for short intervals as we watch the horrifying Riddles Test play out but the story of what brought Jinghua Khalaf and Timur to this crisis is the real adventure I read in an interview that Bannen was heavily inspired by Megan Whalen Turner's The Thief which features an unreliable narrator several MASSIVE surprise twists not to mention a richly developed setting and culture Turner is one of my all time favorite authors so knowing that Bannen was inspired by her also lead me to believe I would love her novel And I have to say the influence is VERY evident in all the best possible ways So here's the thing readers should probably be aware of going in this book is tragic I mean tears pouring down my face as I read the last few pages tragic Familiar with opera as I am I wasn't SURPRISED by how things turned out still I will confess I kept hoping the author would take some creative liberties and find a different way to bring about her conclusion But you know what? I'm glad she didn't The story ended just the way it should Everything about the journey led to THAT moment and to write THAT moment any other way would have been a coward's move Megan Bannen is no coward She courageously tackled this tale and pulled it off brilliantly It's been a week since I binge read the whole thing in about a 24 hr period and I've not stopped thinking about it since I bought a second copy and sent it to my best friend I forced my own copy into my husband's hands and I keep pestering my mom that she MUST read it as well she likes a lot of the same kinds of books I do I can think of at least three people I'm going to foist this story on and I fully intend to keep talking it up every chance I get It's just THAT good So yeah I don't know if Bannen has any books in the works But I'm telling you she has made the VERY short list of authors whose works I will buy on name only going forward Whatever she writes I'm here for it And The Bird and the Blade itself is a book I'm going to be re reading and sharing for years to come


  10. says:

    375I read this story just because I knew it was supposed to have a tragic end for that I was not disappointed I think the ending of this book was brave and beautiful So this story is really a romance in a fantasy setting the entire plot and driving storyline hinges on our MC's undying love for the man who owns her she's a slave I think the plot is very interesting and when the deeper elements of the story and the characters are revealed I thought all that was done very well as wellI'm not a big fan of fantasy romances but that's not why this book wasn't a hit for me The MC's inner monologue got pretty old because on almost every single page of the book she mentioned how beautiful her love was or how distracting he was or how much she loved him or scolded herself for thinking about him it was CONSTANT And when we find out her backstory and motivations for everything I was just disappointed that she wasn't thinking about everything else that should have been on her mind It made her come off as very young like a preteen with an obsessive crush or made the author come of like she was trying too hard to push the love story Keep in mind that this is coming from someone who isn't a romanticI think if you're a hopeless romantic that wants a tragic story for a change I highly recommend There were things that brought it down for me but overall I think it's a well done book