cover image The Wings of a Falcon

The Wings of a Falcon

Cynthia Voigt. Scholastic, $15.95 (467pp) ISBN 978-0-590-46712-4

Newbery Medalist Voigt just gets better and better. While her remarkable range extends from romantic comedy (the adult novel The Glass Mountain ) to urban tragedy ( Orfe ), she returns in this work to the fantasy sequence begun in Jackaroo and On Fortune's Wheel , spinning an episodic tale certain to entrance readers. Two boys become friends as they are raised under the complexly evil Damall's regime on an isolated island in a legendary time; they escape, embarking on a series of adventures that involve armies, fabled marauders known as Wolfers, the beautiful daughter of an earl whose hand can be won only through a death-dealing tournament, a mysteriously engraved gemstone. All the hallmarks of classic fantasy appear, transformed by Voigt's gift for storytelling and the effortless beauty of her prose--and by the superb intelligence she endows upon her characters. Each section of this novel is riveting, mined with powerful surprises. Voigt's themes reverberate beyond the fantasy world; her explorations through imaginary landscapes parallel a psychic journey through questions of identity, ethics, friendship and love. A model for the genre. Ages 12-up. (Sept.)