Book Review: The Night-Bird’s Feather
Reviewed by Manik Chaturmutha
A magical story of witches, dreams and self-discovery
Jenna Katerin Moran’s The Night-Bird’s Feather spans generations with the magical prowess of the Sosunov family. The book tells eight broad stories, all interlinked in some way or the other.
The first story introduces Valentina, the book’s protagonist. It describes her journey to defeat the heron-witch after the latter turned the entire Sosunov family into corpses.
In the following tale, Valentina takes on the Headmaster of Bleak Academy, ‘he the Lord of Death’s Dominion he.’ The next story shifts focus to a different household, where a little girl Evdeniya seeks Valentina’s help—first to bring back her parents who had ventured into the unknown and second when a dark creature Pjatvchet takes over her house.
The following stories see Valentina falling in love with a vampire and going to extreme lengths to win him. She also does all she can to protect her hometown, a place called Fortitude.
On the other hand, Aprosinya, Valentina’s great-great-granddaughter, also befalls the clutches of the evil heron-witch. The story comes full circle with little Aprosinya battling her. With its magical creatures and profound deliberations, The Night-Bird’s Feather takes readers on a roller-coaster ride of emotions.
Author Jenna Katerin Moran establishes the settings in all eight of these stories with strong descriptive language. We are seamlessly transported to an unknown, eerie world. The author also uses natural dialogue and includes humorous moments too, like the banter between Valentina and the vampire Czcibor in the fourth story.
Moran has really outdone herself with the strength and depths of these characters. All of them have intricate backstories, but it’s Valentina who I love the most. She faces a number of trials and tribulations along the way, and Moran does a great job of including her resounding successes as well as her abominable failures. We feel equal parts sympathy and pride for her as she seeks access to the True Thing.
The ending does leave me wanting a bit more, but overall, this book excels in almost all else. Armed with a riveting plot, complex characters, and artistic writing, The Night-Bird’s Feather would be an excellent choice for those readers who enjoy fantasy fiction as well as suspense thrillers. It even has some philosophical musings on dreams, so it can leave you pondering.
Genre: Fantasy / Thriller
Print Length: 566 pages
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