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The Bird King

The Bird King


Book Overview: The Bird King

A fantastical journey set at the height of the Spanish Inquisition from the award-winning author of Alif the Unseen and writer of the Ms. Marvel series, G. Willow Wilson's The Bird King is a jubilant story of love versus power, religion versus faith, and freedom versus safety.

G. Willow Wilson's debut novel Alif the Unseen was an NPR and Washington Post Best Book of the Year, and it established her as a vital American Muslim literary voice. Now she delivers The Bird King, a stunning new novel that tells the story of Fatima, a concubine in the royal court of Granada, the last emirate of Muslim Spain, and her dearest friend Hassan, the palace mapmaker. Hassan has a secret--he can draw maps of places he's never seen and bend the shape of reality. When representatives of the newly formed Spanish monarchy arrive to negotiate the sultan's surrender, Fatima befriends one of the women, not realizing that she will see Hassan's gift as sorcery and a threat to Christian Spanish rule. With their freedoms at stake, what will Fatima risk to save Hassan and escape the palace walls? As Fatima and Hassan traverse Spain with the help of a clever jinn to find safety, The Bird King asks us to consider what love is and the price of freedom at a time when the West and the Muslim world were not yet separate.

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G. Willow Wilson is a highly acclaimed American author, revered for her significant contributions in comic writing, particularly in the realm of modern superhero stories. Born on August 31, 1982, Wilson initiated her writing career by penning articles and essays for renowned publications, but her trajectory took a dynamic turn when her fascination for comics led her to redefine prominent superheroes through her narratives. She is the visionary behind the reinvention of Marvel’s first Muslim character to headline her comic series—Ms. Marvel, which won the 2015 Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story. In addition to comic scripting, her talents extend to writing riveting novels, highlighting her formidable skill of interweaving complex themes with engaging storytelling. Her debut novel, "Alif the Unseen," received the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel and was acknowledged as a "Top 10 Science Fiction & Fantasy Book" by renowned publications. Her exceptional abilities extend beyond the fantasy genre to include prose, essays, and critical and political commentary, embodying her deep insights and astute observations on culture and society. Despite Wilson's resonance in the world of comics and novels, what truly sets her apart is her ability to break barriers and challenge traditional perspectives via her work. As an Islamic convert, her experience infuses richness and authenticity in her narratives, offering unique cultural representation and inclusivity. Ultimately, G. Willow Wilson is a transformative figure in literature, pioneering the creation of diverse and inspiring narratives that alter the landscape of comic book and novel writing.


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