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Falcondance (The Kiesha'ra Series #3)

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Overview

Nicias has never felt completely at home among the avians and serpiente in Wyvern’s Court, despite his loyalty to Oliza Shardae Cobriana, the heir to both thrones. He is a falcon, the son of two exiles from Anhmik–and images of this distant island have always haunted his dreams. But when Nicias’s visions become more like reality, his parents have no choice but to send him back to the homeland–and a royal falcon–they’ve tried their best to forget.
If Araceli won’t bind Nicias’s ...
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Falcondance (The Kiesha'ra Series #3)

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Overview

Nicias has never felt completely at home among the avians and serpiente in Wyvern’s Court, despite his loyalty to Oliza Shardae Cobriana, the heir to both thrones. He is a falcon, the son of two exiles from Anhmik–and images of this distant island have always haunted his dreams. But when Nicias’s visions become more like reality, his parents have no choice but to send him back to the homeland–and a royal falcon–they’ve tried their best to forget.
If Araceli won’t bind Nicias’s newfound magic, it could destroy him. In a place where everyone is a pawn, only one other woman has the potential to save Nicias. But she holds the keys to a dangerous power struggle that will force Nicias to choose between his duty–and his destiny.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Falcondance by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes opens with a "blade dance" performed by Oliza, daughter of Zane, a serpiente, and Danica, an avian, who mated in order to make peace between their clans in the Kiesha'ra series launch title, Hawksong (about which PW wrote, "readers are likely to be caught up in the details of the avian Hawk's Keep and the serpiente palace"). The novel's main focus is on Nicias, son of two exiled falcons, who is loyal to Oliza (the heir to both clans' thrones) but is haunted by his visions and must make a terrible choice; a tantalizing ending suggests more to come. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
KLIATT
Fans of young writer Amelia Atwater-Rhodes will enjoy this third tale about serpent and bird shapeshifters. In this novel, Nicias Silvermead, son of Kel and Sebastian of Ahnmik, is an honor guard in the Wyvern's Court, sworn to protect Oliza, daughter of the hawk Danika and the cobra Zane and heir to the combined realm of serpents and birds. However, Nicias is himself of royal blood, a falcon with the magic of Ahnmik; he is the grandson of Araceli, the powerful queen who rules Ahnmik. As his magic manifests itself, he is lured back to Ahnmik, the realm his parents have long since fled. He is befriended by two falcons, and the stories he hears from them are quite different. He is uncertain about the truth of the white city of Ahnmik and the influence it might have on Oliza. The story is told by Nicias, whose voice conveys the confusion and uncertainty of his growing falcon magic. The magic takes him to his darkest fears and tempts him to avoid conflict altogether. That conflict threatens Oliza and the fragile truce between shapeshifters over which she will reign. In the end, Nicias steps up to his calling and becomes the fragile link between the realms of Ahnmik and Oliza. The story is detailed and intertwined with the myth and legends of Ahnmik, Ecl and Anhamirak, goddesses and keepers of the magic. The story concludes with the ambiguity necessary for the next volume in the series. (The Kiesha'ra Series, Vol. 3). KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2005, Random House, Delacorte, 224p., Ages 12 to 18.
—Janis Flint-Ferguson
School Library Journal
Gr 7-10-The intricate power struggles between various breeds of avian shapeshifters continue in this third book in the series. Nicias, 19, son of Kel and Sebastian, falcons who were stripped of their falcon magic and exiled from their homeland of Ahnmik, is one of the personal guards to Oliza, heir to the avian and serpiente thrones. He is loyal to her despite never having felt at home in Wyvern's Court. He has inherited his parents' magic and it will destroy him unless he can learn to control it. His parents reluctantly send him to Ahnmik to be taught to bind it by his grandmother, the Empress, and her heir, Lady Araceli. Nicias finds himself torn between his duty to Oliza and the political manipulation and newfound power he discovers as a royal heir on Ahnmik. His only ally is Darien, an exiled member of the Empress's royal guard. Despite the many characters in the series (a family tree is included), the personalities are uniquely drawn and the mythological avian world is vividly described. Characters from Hawksong (2003) and Snakecharm (2004, both Delacorte) return briefly and events from those books are recapped. This title lacks the compelling romance found in Hawksong, and focuses more on the history of the avian conflicts.-Sharon Rawlins, Piscataway Public Library, NJ Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440238850
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 5/8/2007
  • Series: Kiesha'ra Series , #3
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 292,747
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.99 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Amelia Atwater-Rhodes wrote her first novel, In the Forests of the Night, when she was 13 years old. She has since published Demon in My View, Shattered Mirror, Midnight Predator, all ALA Quick Picks for Young Adults, Hawksong, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and VOYA Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror List Selection, and Snakecharm. She lives in Massachusetts.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

My breath stilled for an instant as I watched the blade slice a hairsbreadth from the fair skin of Oliza Shardae Cobriana, nineteen-year-old princess of Wyvern's Court.

"Relax." The reassurance came from the cobra beside me, Oliza's only cousin, Salem Cobriana. "I've seen her perform this blade dance a hundred times in the nest." He shot me an amused look as he added,
"With dulled blades."

The dagger went up once more as Oliza sank to the ground, closing her eyes and bowing her head before clapping her hands behind her back to catch the weapon one final time.

Members of the audience approached the dais, where Oliza remained perfectly poised as her fans placed flowers and small gifts in front of her. This had by no means been her debut, but it had been her first time performing the jaes'falnas--the blade dances that her parents had almost forbidden her to learn.
After seeing her perform, and seeing just how sharp the performance blades were, part of me wished they had.

A serpiente dancer could, and often did, risk her life in pursuit of her trade. Oliza Shardae Cobriana, however, was not just a dancer, but heir to two thrones. Her mother, Danica Shardae, was the avian Tuuli Thea, and her father, Zane Cobriana, was Diente to the serpiente. Oliza's reign would mean the merging of two monarchies that had, until our parents' generation, been at war for thousands of years. But first Oliza had to choose her king, a decision for which all of Wyvern's Court waited anxiously, and one that had led many a young man to try to court her.

Oliza smiled at me, meeting my gaze just long enough to express her exhilaration before a petite golden-haired girl managed to slip through the crowd to stand next to me. Surprise washed over Oliza's face when she saw the unexpected guest, and she quickly came toward us.

"I can see why your parents objected to your studying these dances," Sive Shardae remarked, admiration clear in her voice despite her chastising words. "My mother would never have allowed it." Sive was three years younger than Oliza, but was the younger sister of Oliza's mother. Though still very avian in her mannerisms, she had made a point of stepping away from her avian tutors and spending more and more time with the serpiente in the past few years, learning their ways. She had not bridged the gap between the two cultures as completely as Oliza had, but that she was here at all spoke volumes. Twenty years earlier, a young avian woman would not have been permitted to walk alone through the market--much less watch the "scandalous" dances of the serpiente.

She's not quite alone, I thought as I scanned the crowd. Sive's alistair, Prentice, was standing just beyond the edge of Oliza's audience, his gaze never leaving his charge. I watched him carefully, for out of this group, he was always the most likely to cause a disturbance.

The raven had made his distrust of serpents very clear, and he became especially irritable when Sive insisted on spending time with the dancers. Serpiente hugged and flirted casually with almost everyone, but Sive's alistair bristled at having to tolerate that kind of attention being paid to his pair bond.
Salem, leaving on his way back to the dancers' nest, greeted the raven politely. Prentice nodded curtly at the serpiente. He had argued with Salem in the past, but that day they managed to walk by each other without raised voices.

Progress, at least.

"Ridiculous," Oliza said to Sive, oblivious to the frosty moment between the two men. "No one has died performing a blade dance in sixty years."

Sive looked at me as if seeking reason, before realizing that Oliza was teasing her. Sive's scandalized expression made her appear even younger than her seventeen years.

It made me think back to when I had been a child and my parents had first brought me to see Wyvern's Court. I remembered the day fifteen years before as vividly as if it was playing before me that moment.

I stood beside my parents, trying to mimic their careful attention as they watched Oliza and her family. My mother, Kel Silvermead, was captain of the Royal Flight, one of the elite guards who protected Oliza's mother, the Tuuli Thea; my father was her second-in-command. Their attention never strayed from their charges, but mine shifted momentarily to the rolling hills and gentle valley where architects had been laboring for years.

Oliza's grandmother, Nacola Shardae, was there, with a nurse next to her holding the sleepy infant Sive. Salem, exactly twenty months older than Oliza, suddenly pulled away from his mother and father to whisper something in the princess's ear.

Without warning, both royal children took off down the hill. Adults tried to follow, but Oliza and Salem thought it was a great game to hide in the empty market stalls from their parents and guards, deaf to all the worried shouts.

Oliza touched my arm, startling me from my memories.

"You look skies away," she said softly. I realized suddenly that the crowd had dispersed.

"I was thinking about our first day here," I said, though I knew that wasn't enough of an explanation. It was not my habit to let my mind wander--not when I was with Oliza. I looked around uneasily and tried to account for the missing minutes.

"I hardly remember it," Oliza admitted, not noticing my disquiet as she led us from the market. This was our ritual; we walked and talked until we reached the woods, and then, beyond the edges of the court,
we changed shape and spread wing. "We were so young. I just remember you finding me, after I got lost in the woods. No matter what kind of trouble I got into, it seemed you were always there."

From the Hardcover edition.

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Table of Contents

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Foreword

1. In Falcondance, the avians and serpiente in Wyvern’s Court struggle to live peacefully together. Why are they mistrustful of each other? How do they feel about the falcons? What are the differences and similarities between these groups? Do you think the tension between them is a form of prejudice? How do you see the shapeshifters’ conflict as relating to the world in which we live?

2. What do Nicias and Oliza have in common? Why will Nicias always be her friend, and not a suitor? Have you ever felt like an outsider? What were the circumstances?

3. Nicias’s parents are very concerned when he discovers his magic (page 23). What do they see as the dangers if Nicias goes to the falcon island of Ahnmik? What is the alternative? Why does Nicias find it so difficult to keep his father’s warnings in mind once he leaves?

4. What does Nicias immediately dislike about Ahnmik when he arrives? What does he find appealing? How does Araceli convince Nicias not to have his power bound right away in chapter six? Why is flying so important to Nicias? Is he foolish to try to look at life on Ahnmik with an “open mind” (page 61)?

5. Araceli tells Nicias that his mother committed a crime when she fled from Ahnmik (page 59). Were Nicias’s parents as irresponsible as he fears (page 90)? Why did Kel really leave? Do you think Nicias respects their decision by the end? What role did the falcons play in creating the war between the avians and the serpiente? Can you think of events in our own world history in which fear has led to violence?

6. Should Nicias have tried to confront Araceli right away as Darien wants him to inchapter thirteen? What makes him return to Ahnmik later on? Cjarsa asks Nicias to understand the “necessity of what was done” (page 173) to the avians and the serpiente. Do you think the ends justify the means? How much or little should Nicias tell Oliza about what he learned on Ahnmik? What would you do if you were Oliza?

7. When Lily says she has sworn her loyalty to the white Lady (page 81), who is she referring to? Why does Nicias initially trust Araceli and Lily more than Darien? How does seeing his mother’s possessions in chapter twelve change Nicias’s mind about Darien? How does this serve Syfka’s interests?

8. Darien warns Nicias that “everyone on this island is a pawn” (page 83). What does Darien want from Nicias? How does that differ from what Lily wants? What about Araceli? What are some of the many ways in which Lily and Araceli manipulated him during his stay? Do you think Lily’s feelings for Nicias were “all an act” (page 113)?

9. Why is Nicias drawn to Hai (page 66)? What makes him try to save her? How does he escape from Ecl, the void, in chapter thirteen? Do you trust Hai? Should he have woken her? Why or why not?

10. Duty, loyalty, and honor are important themes in this book. In what ways does Nicias act (or not act) honorably during the story? Who else in this book adheres to these values? Have you ever felt torn between your loyalty or responsibility to different people? Why does Nicias, ultimately, feel more connected to the people of Wyvern’s Court than to the falcons?

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Reading Group Guide

1. In Falcondance, the avians and serpiente in Wyvern’s Court struggle to live peacefully together. Why are they mistrustful of each other? How do they feel about the falcons? What are the differences and similarities between these groups? Do you think the tension between them is a form of prejudice? How do you see the shapeshifters’ conflict as relating to the world in which we live?

2. What do Nicias and Oliza have in common? Why will Nicias always be her friend, and not a suitor? Have you ever felt like an outsider? What were the circumstances?

3. Nicias’s parents are very concerned when he discovers his magic (page 23). What do they see as the dangers if Nicias goes to the falcon island of Ahnmik? What is the alternative? Why does Nicias find it so difficult to keep his father’s warnings in mind once he leaves?

4. What does Nicias immediately dislike about Ahnmik when he arrives? What does he find appealing? How does Araceli convince Nicias not to have his power bound right away in chapter six? Why is flying so important to Nicias? Is he foolish to try to look at life on Ahnmik with an “open mind” (page 61)?

5. Araceli tells Nicias that his mother committed a crime when she fled from Ahnmik (page 59). Were Nicias’s parents as irresponsible as he fears (page 90)? Why did Kel really leave? Do you think Nicias respects their decision by the end? What role did the falcons play in creating the war between the avians and the serpiente? Can you think of events in our own world history in which fear has led to violence?

6. Should Nicias have tried to confront Araceli right away as Darien wants him to in chapter thirteen? What makes him return to Ahnmik later on? Cjarsa asks Nicias to understand the “necessity of what was done” (page 173) to the avians and the serpiente. Do you think the ends justify the means? How much or little should Nicias tell Oliza about what he learned on Ahnmik? What would you do if you were Oliza?

7. When Lily says she has sworn her loyalty to the white Lady (page 81), who is she referring to? Why does Nicias initially trust Araceli and Lily more than Darien? How does seeing his mother’s possessions in chapter twelve change Nicias’s mind about Darien? How does this serve Syfka’s interests?

8. Darien warns Nicias that “everyone on this island is a pawn” (page 83). What does Darien want from Nicias? How does that differ from what Lily wants? What about Araceli? What are some of the many ways in which Lily and Araceli manipulated him during his stay? Do you think Lily’s feelings for Nicias were “all an act” (page 113)?

9. Why is Nicias drawn to Hai (page 66)? What makes him try to save her? How does he escape from Ecl, the void, in chapter thirteen? Do you trust Hai? Should he have woken her? Why or why not?

10. Duty, loyalty, and honor are important themes in this book. In what ways does Nicias act (or not act) honorably during the story? Who else in this book adheres to these values? Have you ever felt torn between your loyalty or responsibility to different people? Why does Nicias, ultimately, feel more connected to the people of Wyvern’s Court than to the falcons?

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 79 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(41)

4 Star

(23)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 79 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 22, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This was a little confusing. The covers were good.

    This was a little confusing. The covers were good.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2012

    Yt

    Hfc

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2012

    It was ok

    Ok

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2012

    Great book

    I like this whold series. Each book is in a different perspective, and that comes with some positives and negatives. The negative aspect is that each character is so likeable that I want to read nearly every book from their perspective. The positive aspect is that with many characters having a book, the story is given more depth. Overall, great book, and great series.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2011

    Love thiss book!!!!! :):)

    Very nice book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2011

    It is an ok book

    I thought this book was good.Nicias has to learn about his past heritage and possibally his future. In this story he is having the same dream over and over of how everything he knows and loves is commoing to an end. In this book nicias will have to leave the one place he feels the most confussion about Wyvern's Court and go to the one he has been raised to fear the most Anhmik. To learn what these dreams mean and possibally give up his magic for ever

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Interesting

    It strays away from the main characters of the series, but it is very moving. The story is magical and is the last book in the series to be exciting in my opinion.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2008

    The saga continues!

    This time, this series goes to the forbidden and elegant falcon land. The main character decides to seek out his heritage, and the deceit and power hungry of the royal falcon guard shocks him. This really shows that if you finally see where you come from, sometimes its not always pretty...

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2007

    alex is amazing!

    iv never read this book, but it sounds good. i actually just wanted to get my name on one of these thingys, and i like to be #1. =D

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2006

    Falcondance was another great installment

    This was another great instalment and very shocking, there are more secrets revealed from the past that was not meant for anyone to find out until Nicias goes to Anhmik. Forced to go to Anhmik because of his magic awakening, he's the protector of Oliza, daughter of Danica and Zane. This was a real good book, I did want to hear from Danica and Zane, but it is still really good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2006

    Somewhat- so

    It was interesting. You learned some new things about a different race and seemed pretty I entranced by thier culture. Falcons are the main focus in this book and all in all it all seems alluring and colorful. The only not so great part is the lack of the main charcter's apperance and the support from them (Danica, Zane, Rei, etc.) ALso it has twists and turns to make your head spin..Its pretty much ok. I had mixed feelings.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2006

    Falcondance vol. 3

    After snakecharm, we find a new character and clan amongst the series called the falcon. Here we meet the son of both exiled falcons of a kingdom. The son is discovering his inherit powers and must be sent to his grandmother who teaches him how to become one with his new found abilities and also we meet danica and zane's daughter oliza. Sadly for this Danica and Zane are mentioned but not shown.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2006

    Falcondance

    This third insert in the series is definetly the best so far. It is the story of the new Wyvern Palace and its inhabitants. It follows the narrator to the falcon city, where his parents were born. He is trying to find himself to save his own life but in the end saves both the serpent and hawk kingdoms. He also unleashes a new enemy who is a threat to the throne of the hawk kingdom. Gripping, thrilling, and unpredictable to the last page, this book is brilliant.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2006

    Good, but lacking the feel of the original

    I must be somewhere out of the loop here, because I've checked everyone's reviews for Snakecharm and they all seem so-so, whereas Falcondance has apparently been praised. I did enjoy this book as I have always enjoyed Atwater-Rhodes books. However, maybe it was because the focus was taken completely away from Danica and Zane and instead given to the son of Rei and Kel that I found it at times difficult to stay interested. I enjoyed the first two books because of the focus on the unusual but loving relationship between Danica and Zane, and I'm sorry to say I was a little disappointed when I began reading this book and realized that Amelia Atwater-Rhodes jumped several years, skipping over to the next generation. It was still a good book, but I found it difficult to stay interested and was, quite frankly, extremely disappointed in the ending. It was like there was no actual conclusion, like the book 'just ended' (kinda like this review)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2006

    Intriguing

    Falcondance is narrated by Nicias Silvermead, son of the two exiled falcons. While he is guard to the Wyveran Princess, he never felt like he belonged. When he traveles back to the falcon city to control his magic, you learn how the Avian-Serpiente war started, and why Kel left the city. What I didn't like was Hai, and I won't tell you exactly why because you have to read the book, but she really didn't need to be in the book, it just creates more confusing plot twist, and so far what i've read about Wolfcry(4th Kiesh'ra), the Wyveran Princess and Hai don't seem to have the conflict that they should have. Sounds confusing, but you'll know what i'm talking about once you read it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2006

    THE BEST

    To me, Falcondance was easily the best in the whole Kiesha'ra series! I think Nicias was the best narrator and is probably my favorite character. No complaints, nothing should be changed. And I love the way Amelia Atwater-Rhodes ends these books, with those little bits at the end. FANTASTIC!!! AWESOME BOOK, CANNOT WAIT FOR WOLFCRY TO COME OUT!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2005

    Wonderful

    Falcondance is an amazing book. I was a little disappointed by Snakecharm, though it showed the important steps of combining the two very different cultures. Falcondance gives you a look at the mysterious Falcons, their culture, and their royal family. I was rather disappointed how little Zane and Danica were mentioned, though I imagine Wolfcry will give us the view of them as parents. The twist of how the avians came about was a complete shock and it answers some questions left over from Snakecharm. I can¿t wait to read Wolfcry, and find out the future of the avian-serpiente - or is it wyvern now? ¿ race.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2006

    well-planned, but uninteresting

    I didn't like this volume as much as the previous two. The names are getting ridiculous and hard to keep track of. It did answer some questions, though, and when I re-read the first two books I was surprised at all the foreshadowing I hadn't picked up on. I applaud Atwater-Rhodes for planning out her series so well ahead of time, but I hope the next installment is more entertaining.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2006

    The Best so Far?

    I think this book was the best in series so far (or maybe I've just read Hawksong so much that I've worn out the story?). The story in this one was amazing, plus the information revelead was shocking as well as vital to the series. I think the change of perspective from Zane and Danica was a good thing because that storyline seemed to be getting a little thin (if Snakecharm is any indication). The voice of the story is as marvelously captivating as Hawksong's and I found that, yet again, I could not put this book down (a quality that was slightly lessened in Snakecharm)! In short, Amelia Atwater-Rhodes has an amazing style not seen anywhere else!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2005

    NOT AS GOOD AS KIESHA'RA #1, BUT BETTER THAN #2 BY A *LOT*

    Though it's still no comparison to Hawksong, book 1 in the Kiesha'ra series, Falcondance is a big step up from Snakecharm. Set in the generation after the previous two books and narrated by the son of two well-known characters, Falcondance is set in the magical White City, in a land of intrigue and suspense only alluded to in books 1 and 2. The narrator, Nicias Silvermead, is pure-blooded falcon even though his parents are now fully avian (see book 2). He gets a big shock one day when his dormant magic suddenly rears to life, so his parents send him off to Ahnmik, island of the falcons. There he meets his grandmother, heir to the falcon empress, and many other exciting characters including Hai, a falcon locked inside Ecl, and Darien, Hai's mother, who does everything she can to turn Nicias against the royal family. Full of suspicious characters and suspenseful scenes, with good description of both set and characters, Falcondance ends with a twist --- a revelation that could shake loose the very beliefs upon which the twin avian and serpiente societies are founded, and that perfectly sets the stage for the follow-up, Wolfcry, book 4 in the Kiesha'ra (to be narrated by Oliza, the mixed-blood princess of Wyvern's Court).

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