The Republic of Birds by Jessica Miller

Jessica Miller’s Elizabeth and Zenobia was shortlisted for the Readings Children’s Book Prize and her latest work, The Republic of Birds, is a wonderful magical adventure story certain to attract great success.

This is a story about sisterly rivalry and the shame that befalls a family as they are made political exiles and are banished to a remote outpost far removed from respectable society. Under the false guise of a promotion, Olga’s father is given a posting to take charge of the growing unease and tension between the humans and their warring adversaries, human-sized birds. Olga’s family are keen to prove themselves and earn their way back to the main capital – all except Olga, who prefers the strange and unorthodox company of their new neighbours.

But not all is well, and Olga is disconcerted by the growing evidence of her own magical ability, a change that, if discovered, would most definitely brand her an outcast and see her shunned even by her family. Nerves are frayed and the greatest tension affecting all is the menacing presence of the birds that keep silent watch over the humans. When an abduction sees Olga’s younger sister taken deep into hostile bird territory, war is inevitable.

This is a defining moment for Olga, as she draws on sisterly love and courage and embarks on a hero’s journey into dangerous, uncharted territory to rescue her sister. It’s an undertaking that will test her endurance and skill, and will also require a punishing sacrifice. Readers will be awestruck by Olga’s daring and her bold, adventurous heart and will rally behind her.

Natalie Platten is the assistant manager and children’s book buyer at Readings Doncaster.

Cover image for The Republic Of Birds

The Republic Of Birds

Jessica Miller

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