To be honest, although this book was sweet and original, I would not call myself a great fan. It is inspiring that a twelve year old or eleven year old girl would be able to write at the level that she does, and publish a book. However, I noticed many flaws in the writing. I myself am a writer, and am currently editing a book- not that I expect that to ever be very successful, as there I should never any guarantee of that- and am noticing flaws in my own writing as well as hers. The story is rather simple- which is just fine. However, the characters never seemed to differ from each other. Aska’s supposedly courageous character was sort of ruined for me because of her occasional “damsel in distress” episodes. They all speak with the same voice- using broad vocabulary, preaching peace. Their characters are just so similar, but perhaps that wouldn’t be the case if the author was writing in the point of view of so many different characters. Of course, this applies to all but Turnatt’s, because he is the malicious and evil hawk villain. As for Miltin’s death, it was sweet and somber, but I guess I didn’t understand how he died. I picked up on the detail that he broke his wing, but one of the reason she stated in the story was that “after all of his years as a slave, he couldn’t live any longer” or something along those lines. That didn’t make a lot of sense to me. It would had the character been elderly, but Miltin was a young robin, by my understanding. I was sitting there thinking for a moment, “Okay, so, he died because he was beat up before?” It would have made more sense if the injury had been more fatal...or perhaps the broken wing had been fatal enough, regardless of his past beatings. Another thing that I noticed was that the author dragged out details to the point where it just wasn’t necessary. She could turn a single piece of dialogue into a small paragraph.
Overall, this book was nice. I liked it, but I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite. However, it is also helping me learn how to edit my story, and inspires me to keep on writing. Huge props to you, Nancy Yi Fan.