I love this queer bird fantasy series – Red Skies Falling book two of the Skybound Saga. I’ll say it again for those in the back – queer characters, bird magic, dual POVs, and politics. All the elements for a truly spectacular and inventive series.
In this thrilling sequel to Black Wings Beating, twins Kylee and Brysen are separated by the expanse of Uztar, but are preparing for the same war – or so they think.
Kylee is ensconsed in the Sky Castle, training with Mem Uku to master the Hollow Tongue and the Ghost Eagle. But political intrigue abounds and court drama seems to seep through the castle’s stones like blood from a broken feather. Meanwhile, Brysen is still in the Six Villages, preparing for an attack by the Kartami. The Villages have become Uztar’s first line of defense, and refugees are flooding in from the plains. But their arrival lays bare the villagers darkest instincts. As Brysen navigates the growing turmoil, he must also grapple with a newfound gift, a burgeoning crush on a mysterious boy, and a shocking betrayal.
The two will meet again on the battlefield, fighting the same war from different sides―or so they think. The Ghost Eagle has its own plans.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
Black Wings Beating was an easy 5 star read for me. Bird, a story about siblings, queer characters, and high stakes. Red Skies Falling has everything I loved about the first book and more. Where this series hooks you is in the exact meeting point of characters who are multi-dimensional, wanting, and flawed all while being almost pulled along on this epic journey. I came for the birds, stayed for the characters, and keep reading for the masterful plot. The politics here are dark and dangerous, full of betrayal, and subterfuge.
Characters and New Heights
Red Skies Falling merely continues my immense love for this series and the characters. They stand out – their want to protect people, rush into danger, and guard their fears. Kylee is aroace and her twin Brysen is gay which is just all sorts of angsty feels. Talk about a book series that is so close to my heart. And in Red Skies Falling they encounter more challenges then before, then you could have predicted.
It must be exhausting knowing you can’t trust anyone. I can’t even imagine what my poor babies are going through. But what I love about London’s characters is that even if we don’t know what it feels like to control the massive ghost eagle, some of these character’s struggles resonate with us. Our desire to not be controlled, bound to what we cannot fathom, staring into the unending darkness. How we can begin to resent the roles we are used to wearing, even if they protect us. Do we have the strength to be something other than what we have been before, something more dangerous, sharper, monstrous?
In Red Skies Falling those we care about are taken like pawns in the struggle between larger forces, ourselves and fate, allies and enemies. People turned to violence while others struggle to walk away from bloodstained shores. Asked whether we are the hunter or the prey, or something else entirely, Red Skies Falling is not only action-packed, but introspective. How the world could be burning around us, but that doesn’t diminish our joy, the love we feel in our heart, or the rage in our veins.