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Olga loves the stories of the old cartographers and pores over their ancient books and maps, trying to unlock their secrets. Sometimes, she thinks she can even feel through the maps— almost see into them—as if by magic.
But magic is banned in Tsaretsvo, ever since the war with the birds that divided the kingdom, and the powerful magic-wielding Iagas have long been banished. Now, any young girl who shows signs of being an Iaga is whisked away to Bleak Steppe—to a life, so the story goes, of unspeakable punishment.
When the bird army kidnaps Olga’s sister in a surprise attack on the human kingdom, Olga realises she has to venture into the Republic of Birds to bring her back. But first, she must learn to unlock her magical ability. As her journey takes her into the hidden world of the Iagas and the wilds of the Unmappable Blank, Olga discovers the truth about the war with the birds—and learns just how much is at stake.
Inspired by Russian folklore, The Republic of Birds is a rich middle-grade fantasy adventure for readers of Karen Foxlee, Jessica Townsend and Philip Pullman.
INTERVIEWS and REVIEWS
Leanne Hall, Readings
‘I loved this spicy fantasy with its unusual Russian influences and its clever, cartographer heroine.’
‘This book has so many things I love: maps, strange magic, living folklore, talking animals, history books, impossible challenges and a redoubtable heroine who mistakenly regards herself as untalented and unlovely, when she is quite the opposite. I couldn’t have enjoyed reading this more, it’s an absolute joy. Make a note for March next year: read The Republic of Birds.’
‘Oh my goodness, I would have gobbled this up as a kid. The story is just brilliant…I was completely in love from start to finish. What a feast! The world and its moving magical parts was simply wonderful. I loved everything. EVERYTHING.’
‘I loved this strange, magical and captivating story.’
‘A lonely girl, a creepy house, spirit presences and long-ago mysteries—I’m completely in love with this novel.’
‘Readers will be absorbed by Elizabeth and Zenobia’s conversations, the complex and chilling plot.’
‘By the time I reached the end of the book my heart was racing and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough…a simple, good-old-fashioned scary manor mystery.’