For 20 years, the Palomas and the Corbeaus have been rivals and enemies, locked in an escalating feud for over a generation. Both families make their living as traveling performers in competing shows - the Palomas swimming in mermaid exhibitions, the Corbeaus, former tightrope walkers, performing in the tallest trees they can find.
Lace Paloma may be new to her family's show, but she knows as well as anyone that the Corbeaus are pure magia negra - black magic from the devil himself. Simply touching one could mean death, and she's been taught from birth to keep away. But when disaster strikes the small town where both families are performing, it's a Corbeau boy, Cluck, who saves Lace's life. And his touch immerses her in the world of the Corbeaus, where falling for him could turn his own family against him, and one misstep can be just as dangerous on the ground as it is in the trees.
Beautifully written and richly imaginative, Anna-Marie McLemore's The Weight of Feathers is an utterly captivating young adult novel by a talented new voice.
"Narrators Kirby Heyborne and Cynthia Farrell enhance the beauty of the language in this story.... The dual reading reflects the emotional struggles both teens experience as they fight their feelings, and their families, to stay together." (AudioFile)
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A gem of a book
So many things; I may need to come back and add to this review when I have more time! For now:
The story drew me in right from the start, and never let me go.
The touches of magical realism are light and beautiful, accentuating the whole without overwhelming the story, and leaving me with beautiful and novel imagery to enjoy long after the story is done.
Lace and Cluck's characters and actions were believable, and I could hardly imagine anyone not caring about them. Their relationship developed in a way which allowed me to believe in their love, and root for them.
The language and dialog are beautiful and moving, yet unaffected and believable -- there is nothing labored or self-conscious about Ms. McLemore's style.
I loved the touches of Spanish and French, and the ways in which these things are part of the flavor of each of the two families.
A Fantastic Debut
In The Weight of Feathers we are introduced to two feuding families – the Palomas and the Corbeaus. Both make their livings as traveling performers, yet a deep-rooted animosity between the two has divided them for over 20 years. When disaster strikes, and the Paloma daughter, Lace, and one of the Corbeau sons, Cluck, are found inexplicably drawn to each other, the tension brewing between the families is dangerously brought back to the forefront. Written in beautiful prose, and comprised of wonderfully developed characters, The Weight of Feathers is a perfect blend of Romeo and Juliet and The Night Circus. Anna-Marie McLemore is a fresh, new voice to the YA genre, and I can’t wait to see what else will come from her.
- Laura - Audible