The Thief who Sang Storms

Publisher: Usborne

Linnet and her father Nightingale are alkonosts: bird people who live on the floating island of Morovia. Alkonosts and humans used to live in harmony, but everything changed when a tidal wave devasted the island and killed the two Morovian queens, along with many of the islanders. Amidst the grief, there is also anger, fuelled by ruthless Captain Ilya, who claims that the alkonosts’ singing magic caused the tragedy. Sowing suspicion and fear, he banishes the bird people to the swampland and bans them from using magic. Linnet and Nightingale must keep moving to stay safe and are forced to steal from wealthy humans to survive.

When Nightingale is captured by Captain Ilya’s guards, Linnet embarks on a dangerous quest to rescue him. She reaches out to friends, old and new, for help but is unsure who she can trust. With no magic of her own, she must draw on other skills, such as kindness and determination, if she is to succeed.

This beautifully written tale of a divided nation is loosely based on characters from a Russian folksong. It explores bereavement and persecution, but ultimately celebrates the power of friendship, trust and hope to reunify enemies and establish peace.

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