Empire of War and Wngs, #1
Sarah K. L. Wilson
Guest review by Constance Lopez
Sting Magic is a YA nobledark fantasy story full of passion and pain.
Aella is from the outer edges of the deceptively peaceful Winged Empire—a world where birds are paramount to the culture, faith, and magic. To everything. When the Wings(magic users) come to her village to seek out new Wings, she Hatches—but not a spirit bird. No, she Hatches bees. Blasphemy.
The world in Sting Magic is utterly unique. The way Wilson has woven birds into everything is really… well, it’s just really cool. It feels perfectly natural and seamless. There’s plenty of mysteries about this world I want to learn about, but because it’s interesting, not because it ever felt lacking.
The magic is awesome and unique and a little strange. I love it! I love love LOVE Aella’s little bees. So cute and terrifying. And the spirit birds sound majestic. The magic has so many aspects to it and it’s one of the most unique magic systems I’ve seen in a while. I want to know everything.
Every single character feels unique and real in their own right. They’re flawed, but those flaws just make them, and therefore the story, richer. Their emotions shine through, and the suffering and longing they experience spoke to my very heart. Wilson certainly knows how to put her characters in impossible situations, and she does so. Immediately. And it doesn’t stop. THE STRESS OF IT. The romance was slowburn and subtle—very much so, and very well done.
This book was almost 350 pages, which feels slightly shorter for a fantasy novel, but it didn’t feel too short. I sped through it, and I can’t wait to read the next one.
Constance Lopez knows magic is real. Dragons, faeries… and don’t even get her started on unicorns. She grew up having epic duels in the woods with her siblings, and nature is still one of her favorite places to be. If she isn’t out there working on her stories, she’s dragging her children and husband on adventures (they always enjoy it once they’re outside). Except in summer. For those months she hides inside, because Texas heat is real and it hates her.
Books have always been her haven and inspiration, and now she writes her own noblebright stories, hoping to pass those feelings along to others. Fantasy, of course. Because everything is better with magic.