The Republic of Birds

Jessica Miller. Amulet, $17.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-4197-3675-9
Ever since the War in the Skies, yagas and magic have been banished from Tsaretsvo. Olga Oblomova, 12, who loves cartography despite its male-only designation, feels out of place between her movie-star stepmother Anastasia and perfect younger sister Mira. But their lives are upended when Olga’s architect father is demoted to Minister for Avian Intelligence at the Imperial Center for Avian Observation. The remote outpost separates the world of humans from the Republic, the forbidden city of birds ruled by the treacherous Ptashka III, who is intent on finding a firebird egg taken by yagas that will give her ultimate power over humans. When Ptashka’s army kidnaps Mira, Olga’s fascination with legendary cartographers proves useful—especially when she learns she has magic of her own. As Olga journeys into the Unmappable Blank, a place from which no cartographer has ever returned, she weighs saving her sister against her newfound powers. Miller (Elizabeth and Zenobia) crafts a Russian folklore–infused tale, augmented by excerpts from mythical history books. While the resolution feels abrupt, the theme—“If you feel you don’t fit somewhere, change it until it fits you”—is movingly portrayed. Ages 10–14. Agent: Catherine Drayton, InkWell Management. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 03/11/2021
Release date: 04/01/2021
Genre: Children's
Book - 978-1-68335-563-2
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