Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves created and hosted by Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out Lisa’s introductory post, here.
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 established her as a vital American Muslim literary voice. The Bird King 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 realising 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 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.
It’s my first Shelf Control post of 2020! I love giving myself themes for this so, as it’s the new year, I thought it’d be fun to dedicate this month to the 2019 releases I wasn’t able to get around to last year.
I loved G. Willow Wilson’s memoir, The Butterfly Mosque, back in 2018 and I pre-ordered a copy of this book, her latest novel, but somehow didn’t get to it. I’d really like to read more from Muslim authors, and featuring Muslim characters, this year.
Are there any 2019 releases you still want to get to this year?
I finished up Alix E. Harrow’s debut novel, The Ten Thousand Doors of January, over the weekend and absolutely loved it. It’s so whimsical and made me very nostalgic for the stories I loved as a child. Look out for my review this Friday!
I really enjoyed S.A Chakraborty’s The City of Brass when I read it last summer, and as the third and final book is finally being released this summer, I decided it was time to read the second book, The Kingdom of Copper, before I forget what happened in the first book. I had something of an adventure with this book because I didn’t want to buy a hard copy (I’m reading this series on my Kindle) but I also didn’t want to pay £9.99 for an ebook. I planned to borrow it from my library instead, only my library doesn’t have it and inter-library loans cost £4. Thankfully the Kindle edition was just £5.99 over Christmas, so I treated myself to a copy on Christmas Day!
I’m enjoying being back in this world so far, and I’m hopeful that I’ll love this book and that Nahri will grow on me a little more. I’m still not a fan of Dara, but I love Ali who’s the main reason I’m continuing with this trilogy.
I’d like to make as much of a dent in my winter TBR while it’s still winter as I can, and Katherine Arden’s The Bear and the Nightingale has been on my TBR for years! I’m really looking forward to reading this one.