The Republic of BirdsFeatured
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.
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.