The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen

The Bird and the Blade

As a slave in the Kipchak Khanate, Jinghua has lost everything: her home, her family, her freedom … until the kingdom is conquered by enemy forces and she finds herself an unlikely conspirator in the escape of Prince Khalaf and his irascible father across the vast Mongol Empire. On the run, with adversaries on all sides and an endless journey ahead, Jinghua hatches a scheme to use the Kipchaks’ exile to return home, a plan that becomes increa...

Details The Bird and the Blade

TitleThe Bird and the Blade
Release DateJun 5th, 2018
PublisherBalzer + Bray
GenreFantasy, Young Adult, Historical, Historical Fiction, Romance

Reviews The Bird and the Blade

  • Emily May
    “Should you fail to answer correctly each riddle by the end of seven minutes, you shall forfeit your life. Do you understand?” Mongolian fantasy with ghosts and riddles, anyone?Well, this was pretty damn fascinating! I've been putting this book off because I've been so disappointed with almost every YA fantasy novel I read lately, but this was like nothing I've read before. It's a strange and stunning combination of the Mongol Empire, the Ita...
  • jessica
    wow. thank goodness this is a standalone, because i dont know if my heart will ever recover from that ending. i randomly picked this up at the library because (1) i saw it on a recent GR list and (2) the font was big, meaning i could speed read through it and if i didnt like it, no real time wasted. so imagine my surprise when i found myself taking my time with this, soaking up every word. because this story felt like a gift - one i didnt want to...
  • Melanie
    ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. “Now, cold and exhausted, a girl disguised as a boy, tottering after the losing end of a battle, I have to second-guess that assessment. It seems to me that I’ve made some choices—some very bad choices—that have led me to this moment.” The Bird and the Blade is a completely enthralling and heart-breaking YA fantasy debut. I enjoyed this so much, and I was co...
  • Hamad
    This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription“God does not judge you according to your appearance and your wealth, but He looks at your heart and looks into your deeds”🌟 So I haven’t heard a lot about this book, I thought for a moment that it wasn’t even out because it does not get the hype it deserves. I saw Becky talking about this many times in her posts which I am thankful for. I considered this a r...
  • Lola
    3.5 stars.This is a retelling of Turandot.An opera, ladies and gentlemen. That’s a first for me. I read retellings of fairytales often enough to consider it one of my favourite genres, but I admit I know nothing about operas. But that’s okay. You can still understand the story perfectly. And I did. It really isn’t that complicated. The setting is original and the culture different, but it comes down to kings (‘‘kahns’’) fighting for...
  • Sylvia Mercedes
    I knew I was going to love this book. I just knew it. I mean, unless the actual writing turned out to be subpar, there was simply no way this book wasn't going to be a favorite. But . . . even though I knew I was going to love this book . . . I HAD NO IDEA JUST HOW MUCH I WOULD LOVE THIS BOOK. Here's the thing--I was an honest-to-goodness outcast in high school. Not because I was rebellious or reclusive or anything. Mostly it was because I just d...
  • Aila
    EDIT: Originally, I did not rate this book anything. But after seeing the amalgam of 5 stars, I thought I'd put my #ownvoices review in here (as well as the fact that now I have to explain why I gave it this status in the first place). I'm happy you liked the book, if you did, but I don't need to be told how to read.My full review of this can be found on Happy Indulgence, over here. This is a review not from an objective point of view, but from a...
  • Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
    Loved this so much! Review to come closer to release date.(EDITED TO ADD REVIEW)*Amazon*B&N*I honestly can't remember the last time a book tore my heart out and stomped on it as hard as this one did. I can't remember the last time I cried, truly cried and didn't want to stop because of the emotions that I felt not only all through this story, but especially at the end.Oh my poor heart and soul. I may never be the same again.Filled with beautifull...
  • Kristen
    Gah this book made me cry. I loved the setting and characters soooo much! I honestly am not knowledgeable about the history (during -13th century and having to do with Mongol Empire) but this book led me to google. Plus, I really enjoyed reading the author’s notes! TBatB is really beautifully written, fast paced and tense! Some of the language used is a bit modern but I loved this aspect because it helped me relate to the characters as well as ...
  • joanna ☽ the little brown fairy
    ouch, there goes my heart. full review to come soon
  • Vicky Who Reads
    btw if you want some uber hilarious bonus content from the author on this book, check out this postEDIT: after seeing some other reviews for this, I would like to note that I am #ownvoices for this and despite the ending, I really loved the book. For me, was a big metaphorical middle finger to white people by taking their opera and putting an all Asian cast in while still sticking so closely to the original narrative. So in short, I still loved i...
  • Rae
    This book. This book just took my heart and chewed it up and spit it out. I don't know how to go on from here. There is a hole in my chest where my heart used to be!!! I WAS NOT PREPARED FOR THIS!!! But omg it was soooooooo good. Love story for the ages. I will write a full review here soon once I can get my emotions in check!
  • Dani - Perspective of a Writer
    Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...Jinghua is a slave in the Kipchak Khanate… and the unlikely conspirator in the escape of Prince Khalaf and his father. Wanting to use the opportunity to return home this becomes increasingly hard as she falls hard for Khalaf. It’s made worse since he seeks to restore his kingdom by forging a marriage alliance with Turandokht, the daughter of the Great Khan. All suitors must solve 3 impossible...
  • Chelsea
    The Mongols can keep their nasty cheese curds to themselves....I wipe a ticklish strand of hair out of my face. Even caked in sweat and dust, the baby-fine wisps defy gravity....He may once have ruled over his own sprawling piece of the Mongol Empire, but, from my perspective, he's just my grumpy old dying feels imminent. It's breathing down my neck like an eager, wet puppy....I pull Timur toward a food cart that wafts of duck-fille...
  • Jeremy Martin
    Holy moly did I drink this up or WHAT. Megan Bannen is an author that I will be following very eagerly for the rest of her writing career. Which I hope is forever and ever.
  • Ashley
    I finished this last night and couldn't even have begun to get my thoughts together to write a review. I just stared at my wall and thought about this book inside my head for awhile. I am dead. This is the best book I've read this year. This is one of the best books I have ever read. How is this the first book this author has written? How can someone write something this amazing? I wanted to keep reading but the book ended. Why did this book end?...
  • Mar
    You know those books that grip you from the very beginning and just won't let go? Those books who have such captivating characters? Those books that you still think about even though you finished it a while ago? This is that kind of book. As soon as I read the synopsis of this book, I knew it was going to be great, and I wasn't let down in the slightest. Even from the very beginning I was entranced and literally did nothing except read for an ent...
  • Heather (The Sassy Book Geek)
    Review Originally Posted On The Sassy Book Geek **** Thank you to Balzer + Bray for providing me with an ARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review ****I was pleasantly surprised by how much I ended up enjoying “The Bird and the Blade”, it’s a more subtle YA Fantasy but packed a lot of punch nonetheless. And it is more YA Fantasy than Historical Fiction since there are some more fantastical elements and this isn’t supposed to be ...
  • Keri
    Actual Rating: 4.25 starsWell, this book is going to haunt me for a while. It was a gut-wrenching read and left me tearing up at the end (and I never cry over books!). Megan Bannen crafts a beautiful, 13th century Mongolian inspired setting with gripping characters and an enthralling spin on the opera Turandot. After staying up late to finish this book (because of course nessun dorma when they read this book), one of the first things I did the ne...
  • Nara
    Well that was fucking devastating.I'm not sure how famous the opera Turandot is, but I personally had never heard of it and knew absolutely nothing about the plot of the original tale. The Bird and the Blade is a retelling that focuses on one of the secondary characters in the play, and gives her the story that the original never shows.Jinghua is a slave girl who is shown kindness by the prince of the Kipchak Khanate, and decides to follow him an...
  • Kathy Martin
    THE BIRD AND THE BLADE was an excellent historical fiction novel set in the Mongol Empire around the year 1280. It's star is Jinghua who is a young woman with lots of secrets. She is a slave in the Kipchak Khanate. When the Khanate is overrun by the il-khanate she chooses to go on the run with the deposed Khan Timur and his only surviving son Khalaf who is both kind and brilliant.As they flee ahead of both the il-khanate's forces and soldiers sen...
  • Jenny
    Wow. I am stunned. This was a masterpiece, beautifully written with lots of emotion and wonderfully constructed. The title and the cover...looking at it now, I have CHILLS. This brought out all kinds of emotion in me. I loved the world building and the character arcs. I really felt like I was in the Mongolia Empire. But at the same time, the author modernized it a bit with speech patterns and letting us into this brave young girl's head. Made it ...
  • Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight My my, what a lovely book this was! I had just read a really fabulous book right before I started this one, so I was high key nervous since it has been actual ages since I have loved two books in a row. Well, my streak was broken, because guess what? Loved this one too! And now I shall tell you all the reasons why!The setting/time peri...
  • Angelica
    Well, I'm conflicted.Review to come closer to the release date!
  • Bright Star
    "And wilderness is paradise now."When I decided to read The Bird and the Blade I didn't know what to expect. Now that I've finished it, I'm literally broken. It is true the book is inspired by Puccini's opera Turandokht and follows pretty much the opera's story, but she's not the main character. The main one is the princess-slave Jingua and I adored this choice, to give her depth and relevance. I also loved Khalaf, who emerged not for his look bu...
  • Rebecca Woodward
    Oh wow!!! A definite must read. A young adult genre with so much more. This story was developed from parts of history and so much fiction. It made the characters bloom. I was so drawn into the storyline I didn't want to put my Kindle down. Such a smooth read. This is one of those books where you will be left thinking about after. The poems and riddles were magical. The ending was done so elegant. I was sad yet happy for Junghua and Khalaf, even f...
  • Susana Zemlyakova
    5 stars for The Bird and the Blade This book wrecked me. It is a bit hard to put in words how I feel having just finished it. I think I can say it is the same as watching your dog get run over while winning the lottery. Megan Bannen is a very talented storyteller. I was not familiar with the story of "Prince Khalaf and the Princess of China" but from the author's closing statement I understand that this is a retelling of that story from the view ...