February 17, 2012

Feather Stroke by Sydney Van Scyoc

Title:  Feather Stroke
Author:  Sydney Van Scyoc
Format: PB
Pages: 264
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Avon, 1989
ISBN-13:  978-0380754380 
Series: Stand Alone

Favorite Quote:  "And perhaps one day your great-grandchild will come to explore the inland, and he will hear stories of a fugitive priest who grew very wise and full of years and never regretted being alone because he didn't feel alone at all, not so long as he could hear the birds sing."

Synopsis (PBS):  The girl Dara was as plain as the buildings of the simple folk, as gray as the land they called their own. Yet there was a fire behind her eyes. Unbidden, her thoughts took flight to the world her grandmother knew, when water and wind had names, and the people had souls that sang. Frightened, she pushed this world away... — Then one day, the world came to her. Danger, in the form of a rider, splendid in gold and red. Wisdom, in the vision of the Ilijhari, the mountain folk who could see through the eyes of their birds.

And Destiny, for those with the wings to ride the air.

Review:  I really, really, really enjoyed this story.  So many Fantasy books rehash old tales.  This one seemed to me to be almost fully original.  Dara is a good main character.  I loved all the characters, in fact, even the 'bad' ones.  

I thought the Ilijhari had an obvious relationship to the American Indian culture, only with a new twist.  The bonding between them and their birds is a great addition to the story.

The book was impossible to put down and a really fast, easy read.  This could be almost listed as a Science Fiction / Fantasy because it is set after a terrible amount of damage was done by past people, which sounded like it could have been nuclear war.  But, the story felt like a Fantasy, so there is where I put it.  Ms. Van Scyoc has yet to disappoint me and she didn't this time either.  Highly recommended. 

Rating:  10 / 10

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