IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS is a rich YA historical novel. The story is engaging and transports you to a time of uncertainty, war, sickness and grief. Mary Shelley Black is charming and quirky, strong and courageous, and I liked her a lot. Her romance with Stephen is touching and beautiful. IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS is haunting, thrilling and very emotional. The presentation of the book is also impressive and unique - historical photographs and an eerie, striking cover. Gorgeous debut.