The Bird King

11 CDs. Brilliance Audio. Mar. 2019. 14:14 hrs. ISBN 9781978649217. $35.99. FANTASY
This historical fantasy by Wilson (Alif the Unseen) is set in the late 15th century at the fall of the last sultanate in the Iberian peninsula in what would become Spain. Fatima, a young concubine in the sultan's harem, and her only friend, Hassan the mapmaker, have lived sheltered lives at court. Hassan's ability to create maps that alter reality makes him a prized asset, and the pair are forced to flee when Spanish forces take the besieged estate. Their odyssey forces them into partnerships with unexpected allies as they attempt to escape the forces of the Inquisition to the fabled island of the Bird King, to which Hassan holds the only map. Iranian actor Elmira Rahim narrates the audio edition; her faintly accented English informs the story with feeling and flavor.
VERDICT An emotional and often melancholy historical fantasy that will appeal to fans of Guy Gavriel Kay and Helene Wecker.
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