The people of Uztar have long looked to the sky with hope and wonder. Nothing in their world is more revered than the birds of prey and no one more honored than the falconers who call them to their fists.
Brysen strives to be a great falconer–while his twin sister, Kylee, rejects her ancient gifts for the sport and wishes to be free of falconry. She’s nearly made it out, too, but a war is rolling toward their home in the Six Villages, and no bird or falconer will be safe.
Together the twins must journey into the treacherous mountains to trap the Ghost Eagle, the greatest of the Uztari birds and a solitary killer. Brysen goes for the boy he loves and the glory he’s long craved, and Kylee to atone for her past and to protect her brother’s future. But both are hunted by those who seek one thing: power.
Black Wings Beating by Alex London is a Queer YA fantasy that follows a pair of twins as they try to capture an uncapturable eagle and find themselves part of a war they never asked to be a part of.
Kylee and Brysen have a strenuous relationship. She has the falconer abilities he’s always wanted but never managed to learn. However, her refusal to use her ability led to their father taking out his anger on Brysen. Because of this, even after their father’s death, there is constant tension between the two of them. When the life of the man Brysen loves is on the line, he volunteers to capture the ghost eagle, which hasn’t been captured in centuries. Kylee and their friend Nyall follow Brysen on his journey in order to help. While they’re hunting the ghost eagle, they find themselves being hunted as well. If they manage to capture the ghost eagle, they’ll find themselves smack dab in the middle of war.
I didn’t know much going into the story except it had to do with twins and falconers and that it was a Queer fantasy. It was a bit slow in the beginning, but by the end the twins’ story had its hooks in to me, and I was invested. Did I want to throttle Brysen on more than one occasion? Yes, I also felt bad for him because he was an emotional mess. Brysen makes rash decisions, is impulsive, and doesn’t always think through his actions. I enjoyed Kylees character much more, her sense of responsibility for her brother and how she seemed to be constantly trying to make up for the way their father treated him. I also loved our side characters, Nyall and Jowyn. Jowyn because he was simply endearing, and Nyall because he cares for Kylee unconditionally, even though he knows she won’t ever love him back and he doesn’t expect her to. He says one of my favorite quotes from the book about loving the moon and it was just 🥰
“I’d rather live in a world where I get to love the moon than in one where I don’t, even if the moon won’t return the feeling.”
Black Wings Beating b Alex London has great Queer representation with the two main characters, Bryson being gay and Kylee being Ace , even though it’s not labeled. On top of Queer rep it has action, violence , danger and a little bit of romance. I’m excited to continue the series.