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Hawksong, Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

2010/04/03

Atwater-Rhodes is perhaps best known for her first novel, “In the Forests of the Night,” published at a precocious age fourteen. But “Hawksong” marks her venture into the shapeshifter realm, and an excellent one it is.

Danica Shardae is the heir to the avian shapeshifter kingdom, which has long been at war with the royal serpent family, which is about to be inherited by Zane Cobriana. The royal families have been decimated by the wars, and both kingdoms have grown tired of the battles. In a peace meeting mediated by the royal cats, a treaty cemented by marriage is suggested, much to the horror of both royal houses. Still, both Danica and Zane cannot help but wonder what such a peace would be like, and after some under-the-table negotiation, decide to pledge to one another despite their natural antipathy.

Though the novel draws on familiar storylines — “Beauty and the Beast” and “Romeo and Juliet” are the most obvious — young Twilight fans will certainly enjoy this book, which also has several sequels of varying quality. Personally I find that this first book is the best of the series. It is a quick read and can easily be completed in one sitting.

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