The Feverbird's Claw

The Feverbird's Claw

3.0 1
by Jane Kurtz

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Twice, on the last day of her childhood, Moralin sees death coming straight at her. The first time, in the fighting yard, she saves herself. But the second time, outside the city walls . . .

Moralin is captured by the Arkera, age-old enemies of her people. They dress in rough clothes and use a language Moralin can't understand. Why have they kidnapped her?


Twice, on the last day of her childhood, Moralin sees death coming straight at her. The first time, in the fighting yard, she saves herself. But the second time, outside the city walls . . .

Moralin is captured by the Arkera, age-old enemies of her people. They dress in rough clothes and use a language Moralin can't understand. Why have they kidnapped her? Why are they taking her with them into the heart of the red forest, where the fire-breathing skulkuk lives? And if Moralin can escape, can she survive the skulkuk and the other perils of the wilderness?

Moralin is about to face death again. She is also about to uncover secrets—secrets about the Arkera, her own people, and herself.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Moralin, a highborn Delagua woman, secretly learns the art of combat. As females are not permitted on the fighting grounds, this secret is closely guarded. On the eve of the ceremony for her to move into womanhood she and three other girls leave the protective walls of their city. They enter into an unknown, dangerous world where they are captured by the Arkera people. Afraid, but determined, Moralin draws on the wisdom she had been taught by Old Tamlin and pretends to go along with the Arkers while planning her escape. The Arkera people assign Figt to watch her, and over time the two girls become good friends. As the story progresses, Moralin faces many choices and ultimately both she and Figt must face death for one another. This book is an excellent fantasy and has all the elements to make it extremely popular with young adults, especially girls. It is fast paced, with an intricate plot, and excellent character development. The characters in this book are strong and the underlying theme is how greed and selfishness can destroy. Moralin learns about herself, her people, and others by opening her mind and using the wisdom she had been taught. I highly recommend this book for young adults and it should be added to a classroom library. Girls, if you haven't ever read a book of fantasy, this would be a good one to start with. 2004, Greenwillow Books, Ages 11 to 14.
—Kathie M. Josephs
At the encouragement of her wise grandfather, Old Tamlin, wealthy and privileged Moralin has secretly been defying tradition by dressing as a boy to train as a fighter. While sneaking out beyond the city walls of Delagua on a dare the afternoon before an initiation ceremony that marks the beginning of her transition to womanhood, Moralin is kidnapped. In spite of her honed battle skills, she and her friends are overpowered and stolen away by the very people her society looks down on: the primitive Arkera. As Moralin bides her time until the inevitable moment of escape, she makes friends with her jailer, her translator, and a dog-like beastie. During the difficult journey home, Moralin discovers friendship and interdependence and arrives in time to fulfill a prophecy and save her city from its narrow-minded way of life. As Moralin's disgust of the Arkera shifts to an understanding that these people are more similar to her than different, her character development is convincing if predictable. Other characters, even those offstage such as Old Tamlin, have a fleshed-out feeling. Although the writing is straightforward, Kurtz immediately immerses the reader in the action-packed story and keeps up the dramatic pace to the end. She creates a fantasy world that includes a mythology of visions and prayer, a complex caste system, and a significant trade economy. Themes of feminism, acceptance, and faith are subtly present in this novel that is recommended for fans of Lois Lowry's fantasy novels. VOYA Codes 3Q 2P M J S (Readable without serious defects; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High,defined as grades 10 to 12). 2004, Greenwillow, 304p., and PLB Ages 11 to 18.
—Beth Gallaway
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-Kurtz has created an elaborate fantasy world filled with danger, beauty, and conflict. The story's underlying adventure focuses on Moralin, who has been secretly trained in the art of combat by her grandfather, Old Tamlin. Moralin is one of the highborn Delagua people who live securely in a walled city. Her need for friendship makes her join three other girls on a forbidden journey beyond the city walls on the eve of their entry into temple service, a transition into womanhood. This decision catapults her into life-threatening adventures. Once outside the safety of the city walls, the girls are captured by the Arkera, the enemies of the Delagua. Kurtz spins an intricate yarn with one danger leading to another. Old Tamlin's wise teachings bolster Moralin's courage as she pretends to cooperate while planning her escape. She forms an alliance with Figt, a girl charged with watching over her, and the two eventually become true friends, willing to risk their lives for one another. Philosophical underpinnings show the selfish goals of each society without regard to the world as a whole. As Moralin's spiritual guardian, Cora Linga, has said in a dream, "humans hardly ever get it right." Though often confusing and with emphasis on plot over rich character development, this intriguing story with its strong heroine will appeal to fantasy fans.-Renee Steinberg, formerly at Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A gripping prehistoric adventure fantasy channels a timely message about tolerance and social justice. Moralin, a highborn maiden of sophisticated, stratified, silk-trading Delagua, has to abandon her secret warrior training as she enters adolescence and cloistered temple service. But when captured by a barbaric enemy tribe, Moralin must draw on her forbidden skills, and rely on her heritage and her goddess's guidance. For the outside world is both dangerous and marvelous, and the alien peoples are not as despicable as she had always believed; even the goddess's voice can be ambiguous. From the riveting first sentence to the exultant final exclamation, Kurtz interweaves meticulous world-building, thrilling exploits, and moments of transcendent wonder. Moralin is an utterly convincing heroine: proud, resilient, and unflinchingly honest. While her smug conviction of Delaguan superiority grates, it makes her dawning social awareness even more poignant. Unfortunately, the tight reliance on such a xenophobic viewpoint leaves the remaining characters (and their cultures) tantalizingly vague. Readers will ache to learn more about her world and her future-just like Moralin herself. (Fiction. 10+)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
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File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Jane Kurtz knows a lot about moving. She was born in Portland, Oregon, but when she was two years old her parents moved their family to Ethiopia to work for the Presbyterian Church there. Jane Kurtz is the author of novels, picture books, and chapter books. After living in North Dakota (where she survived a natural disaster), Colorado, Illinois, and Kansas, she moved back to Portland, Oregon, where she now lives with her husband, the Reverend Leonard L. Goering, H.R.

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Feverbird's Claw 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago