The Republic of Birds

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The Republic of Birds
Age Range
8+
Release Date
April 20, 2021
ISBN
9781419736759
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A young witch must save her sister from evil birds in this masterful middle-grade fantasy
In the land of Tsaretsvo, civil war has divided the human kingdom from the Republic of Birds. Magic is outlawed, and young witches are sent to a mysterious boarding school, from which no one has returned. Olga and her family live a life of dull privilege in the capital until her father displeases the tyrannical tsarina. The family is sent off into exile at the Imperial Center for Avian Observation, an isolated shack near the Republic of Birds. Unlike the rest of her family, Olga doesn’t particularly mind their strange new life. She never fit into aristocratic society as well as her perfect younger sister, Mira. What does worry Olga is her blossoming magical abilities. If anyone found out, they’d send her away. But then Mira is kidnapped by the birds, and Olga has no choice but to enter the forbidden Republic, a dangerous world full of iagas, talking birds, and living dreams. To navigate the Republic and save her sister, she’ll need her wits, her cunning—and even her magic.

Editor review

1 review
A rich, magical story
(Updated: July 19, 2021)
Overall rating
 
3.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Once, birds and humans lived together until a war erupted over a firebird’s egg. Now, the humans have their own kingdom, and birds have their Republic of Birds. Olga’s family has been exiled to the Imperial Center for Avian Observation, where her father is determined to regain the tsarina’s favor by finding the long lost firebird egg that started the war so long ago. When his actions anger the birds, Olga’s younger sister, Mira, is captured. Olga must journey into the Unmappable Blank and confront her growing magical powers if she wants to save her sister.

3 Reasons to Read THE REPUBLIC OF BIRDS:
1.) The atmosphere- Olga’s world is a wintery, magical land with yagas, talking birds, and more. The scenes are lush with descriptions of the land, particularly given Olga’s affinity for maps. This makes the world building feel rich and fantastical.
2.) Olga’s characterization- Olga is a highly relatable protagonist. Her sister is full of talent, and her parents never let her forget it. While she loves her sister dearly, she can’t help but be a little resentful of the praise and attention she receives. As Olga journeys to save Mira, Olga finds her own talents and her own power.
3.) The magical school- All through her childhood, Olga has heard terrifying stories of the boarding schools for yagas. When she starts to develop magic of her own, she’s horrified at the thought of being sent there. In her journey, Olga encounters the school. I won’t go into details in order to avoid spoilers, but the school is a whole world unto itself that I wish we had more time in.

THE REPUBLIC OF BIRDS is a rich, magical story perfect for fans of S.E. Grove’s THE GLASS SENTENCE and Catherine Fisher’s THE CLOCKWORK CROW.
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