14 March 2020

Review - The Good Hawk

The Good Hawk - Shadow Skye #1
by Joseph Elliott




What they say: In a mythic Scotland, two unlikely heroes must make a dangerous journey to save their people.

Agatha is a Hawk, brave and fierce, who protects her people by patrolling the high walls of their island home. She is proud of her job, though some in her clan whisper that it is meant to keep her out of the way because of the condition she was born with. Jaime, thoughtful and anxious, is an Angler, but he hates the sea. Worse, he’s been chosen for a duty that the clan hasn’t required for generations: to marry. The elders won’t say why they have promised him to a girl in a neighboring clan, but there are rumors of approaching danger.When disaster strikes and the clan is kidnapped, it is up to Agatha and Jaime to travel across the haunted mainland of Scotia to Norveg, with help along the way from a clan of nomadic Highland bull riders and the many animals who are drawn to Agatha’s extraordinary gift of communication. Thrilling and dark yet rich with humor and compassion, this is the first book in the Shadow Skye trilogy, written by a wonderful new voice in fantasy and introducing a welcome new kind of hero.

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I received a copy in the Jan 2020 Book Box Club box (paid for myself)

What I say: I received The Good Hawk as part of the January 2020 Book Box Club Deadly Secrets box. Deadly secrets is a perfect way to describe the book because it's full of both! Think of a fictional version of the Isle of Skye, set in a past where clans are at war and magic is real (or is it?), and you're still not even close to covering everything in the story.

Agatha is tolerated by her clan (just) and has to hide her true self. Her innocence made me smile and I loved seeing her come into her own. The diversity Elliott has included with Agatha is really important and I particularly appreciated how celebrated she is, without being a box ticking opportunity.

Jaime also goes through a lot in the story. He finds his courage and voice in a world where he doesn't have many choices. I did like the idea of a seasick angler!

The myths of Scotland are so interwoven within the story that I could almost believe that they were real. Elliott never shies away from the horrible truths of life: we see death, betrayal and madness, as well as friendship and love.

The book shows many different ways of being heroic and brave. It highlights the importance of being yourself and not changing for anyone. 

I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next...

4 Stars in my Sky!
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