Friday, October 29, 2010

Kestrel's Midnight Song -- Review

I know it's been awhile since I've posted anything truly meaningful, so please bear with me.  First off, I would like to remind everyone that the voting polls for The Amazing First Chapter Contest are now up! :)  We've had a few votes already, but I would love to see a flurry of activity hit the polls!  Remember, they close on Nov. 15, which isn't very far away.

Yes, yes... I know.  I should be finishing up  "The Skin Map" for the CSFF blog tour coming up on the 1rst.  But in my defense, I just couldn't help myself!  I was already past the middle of KMS when I received the book for the blog tour.  But not to worry!  I'v made much more than a dent in my reading of "The Skin Map", so there will definitely be reviews and such for the tour. :D

Now, I admit, when I picked up this book my excitement was well stoked.  A multitude of wonderful reviews had just been plastered across most of my favorite blogs, and the more news I heard of it, the more I wanted to read it.  My excitement grew to epic proportions when I received the book, not from an online order, but from the author himself: and he signed it for me!  I’m sure my heart sang that day… I could hardly wait to dive into its pages and relinquish my free hours to the world of Gable.

I was certainly not disappointed. 

The land of Gable is renowned for its birds and revered for its legends and secrets.  It is home to the grandest castle in the world, and in the top of this castle, the renowned Marauder known as James Kestrel awaits his execution.  Word has spread throughout the kingdom: people are traveling from all over the land to see the feared Legend be hanged for his evil crimes.

But throughout the anticipation, rumors have seeped out that the Marauders will come back out of hiding to free their captain, who guards a dark and dangerous secret.  Yet the only people who know the truth behind these rumors are a slave girl pretending to be an innkeeper, and her kindly giant guardian.  The only way to save the kingdom of Gable will be to warn the king, but who will listen to a Giant Sailor and a slave girl?

Meanwhile, a shepherd boy named Micah is chosen to take his sheep to the castle for the King’s Royal Wool-Spinner.  But on his way, things start happening which make him question the real reason behind his journey: what is this mysterious marking that suddenly showed up under the wool of his sheep, and who is this giant simpleton – bearing the same marking as his sheep – who seems to know the palace so well?  And then there are other rumors… rumors of a strange device able to communicate with birds, and the Marauders will do anything to get their hands on it.

The fate of the world may rest on Michah’s shoulders… and he doesn’t even know it!

Jacob Parker was 15 when he started writing the first draft of “Kestrel’s Midnight Song” and 17 when he finished it, and he sent it off to the publisher soon after that.  He has lived in Idaho his whole life.  You can find out more about him at

Pros:  “Kestrel’s Midnight Song” is a well rounded book full of excitement.  It is obvious that Parker took time to study his craft, and his scenes are excellent.  The story in its self is a variable maze of excitement and intrigue: you never know for sure what is going to happen next, and even your guesses are usually (and pleasantly) off the mark.  Especially towards the end when everything starts happening at once… I couldn’t put it down!  Even when I had to, so as to continue life, I regretted it.  The characters are compelling and vivid, though I must say my favorites were split between Micah and Ganthorn.  Parker makes no attempt to hide the allegory in his work, yet it never feels overwhelming or forced.  The Ending was absolutely exemplary!  But contrary to popular belief, I don’t feel the book ended on a large cliff-hanger at all.  There certainly could be a second, and even a third book – I, for one, would be eager to get my hands on any sequels! – but I felt that this book stood well on its own, which is a good mark for a first novel.

Cons:  Towards the beginning of the book there is a lot of word repetition.  There’s not so much towards the end, but I found it a bit distracting at first.  There’s also a slight font-size change towards the end of the book that gave me pause. 
Other than that, this is a solid read.  I definitely recommend it to fantasy lovers everywhere.


Jake said...

"Contrary to popular belief..."

Where might this popular belief be found? ;)

Star-Dreamer said...

Jake: It just seems like every review I read says it ended on a cliff hanger... I mean every one... :) Yes, there could certainly be more books, but I didn't find anything "hanging" at the end. And that's good. As much as I like series and what-not, I also enjoy a good, solid, rounded book with a good solid ending that doesn't leave you hanging... I think everyone does. :D

But... perhaps I'm wrong. Anway... *shrugs* it was just my thoughts on the matter....

Galadriel said...

I really enjoyed it as well.

Jake said...

Did you read my review? ;) LOL.

Star-Dreamer said...

lol! I don't remember! I thought I did, but then again... :D

Jaleh D said...

That sounds like fun. Even if you do give me another book to drop on my growing to-read pile.

Adele Treskillard said...

Nichole, your link to Jacob's blog doesn't show up, it is in black. Great review! Yeah, I think the book stands nicely on its own, too. An unusual trait.

~Adele :)

Star-Dreamer said...

Weird... thanks for pointing that out. I know I've been having trouble with links lately: I'll see if I can't go fix it.

Yes, it is an unusual trait, and I'm really glad the book has it. Nice ending. :D

Star-Dreamer said...

There. :) Fixed it.

Jacob R Parker said...

Thanks for the review! You're the second person to mention the font size thing. My publisher and I can't find it anywhere. :P Glad you enjoyed it!

Star-Dreamer said...

lol! It was a really good book.

If you want, I can find the page where it flipped. It was only for a couple of paragraphs, but it just made me pause a couple seconds like, "what?" :D I'll look it up for you.