While leading his queen and faithful subjects to their winter home, King Sparrow is betrayed, then abandoned in the woods. He battles foul beasts, psychotic eagles, and the oncoming winter on his quest to find his true love.
With twists throughout, The Trials of King Sparrow celebrates his strength, compassion, and perseverance as he seeks his revenge. It's a magical adventure set against the brutal backdrop of the natural world.
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The Trials of King Sparrow
This was a terrific 'read'!The story is of King Sparrow and his flock.There is love, betrayal and magic, all told from King Sparrows viewpoint.I believe that this would be aimed towards YA boys,but I would have loved it as a girl.James Romick was fine as King Sparrows voice.He was commanding yet compassionate where he needed to be.
"I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBlast dot com."
Watership Down meets Ovid
Absolutely. It's like very few other reads on the market today.
King Sparrow. He's humble yet authoritative, wise yet flawed.
He did a great job on every character, giving them each unique, recognizable, and fitting vocal features.
In a world where bird betrays bird, anything can happen... Literally anything.
Take equal parts Watership Down and traditional fairy tales, and add a strong dash of Ovid, and what you get is pretty close to Bill Meeks' The Trials of King Sparrow. Another way to describe the story — or the first half, at any rate — is to imagine a BBC nature documentary, but told from the first person perspective of the animals themselves. The story begins with King Sparrow, the monarch of a small flock of birds flying south for the winter, is the victim of betrayal, almost losing his life to a conspiracy of wolves and one of his own people. Injured and almost certain to die, he begins a long journey toward vengeance, helped or hindered by other animals along the way. This first segment, to me, has a lot in common with Richard Adams' epic of rabbits plagued by a continuous series of dangers both without and within their own kind. Like Adams, Meeks gives his animal characters a definite ans pleasurable sense of their own animality. Though they have reason and speech, they're not merely human characters in animal clothing. This, to me, is the best part of the story.
About two-thirds into the book, the story takes an unexpected turn, as mysterious forces begin to intervene in King Sparrow's quest, and he is forced to turn aside, for a while, from the road to vengeance. This section is surprising and dreamlike, and for a while I felt unsure whether enjoyment or unease was the better response.
In a way this is appropriate, as this is often the feeling one gets when reading certain old myths, especially the kind one finds in The Metamorphoses. What is more surprising is that, as firmly rooted as the story begins in animality and a naturalist (in the more common sense of the word) aesthetic, it ends in sheer supernaturalism (also in the common sense). Again, this is approapriate to the fairy tail tradition, which in some ways King Sparrow falls firmly into.
The difference is that these characters, being written so well and so strongly as animals, do not belong as squarely in that setting of enchantment and happy endings. There is a brutality in King Sparrow that is both very appropriate given its setting in the animal world, and also very disturbing given the human territory the story wanders into later on. And that dissonance contributes very much to the overall sense of awe, mystery, and inscrutability the reader is left with at the end of the book.
- M. Lucero