From award-winning author G. Willow Wilson, The Bird King is an epic journey set during the reign of the last sultan in the Iberian peninsula at the height of the Spanish Inquisition. G. Willow Wilson's debut novel Alif the Unseen established her as a vital American Muslim literary voice. The Bird King tells the story of Fatima, a concubine in the royal court of Granada, the last emirate of Muslim Spain, and her dearest friend Hassan, the palace mapmaker. Hassan has a secret - he can draw maps of places he's never seen and bend the shape of reality. When representatives of the newly formed Spanish monarchy arrive to negotiate the sultan's surrender, Fatima befriends one of the women, not realising that she will see Hassan's gift as sorcery and a threat to Christian Spanish rule. With their freedoms at stake, what will Fatima risk to save Hassan and escape the palace walls? As Fatima and Hassan traverse Spain to find safety, The Bird King asks us to consider what love is and the price of freedom at a time when the West and the Muslim world were not yet separate.
A gorgeous, ambitious meditation on faith, platonic love, magic and even storytelling itself, with a trio of unforgettable personalities serving as its beating, endlessly vital heart. The Bird King is a triumph . . . Wilson has once again proven that she's one of the best fantasy writers working today, with a book that's just waiting for readers to get happily lost in its pages. * BookPage * Steeped in magical realism . . . [and] enchanting otherworldly trappings, it is primarily a novel of ideas. [The Bird King] grapples with who we are, how we love, [and] why we worship . . . [with] prose so vivid and original that one can only read it with envy. * Tor.com * The Bird King takes a time period that's passed into cliche and makes it new and strange again. In this novel, the real runs alongside the fantastic, one informing the other, G. Willow Wilson's eye for detail and her titanic imagination pumping together like pistons. She's incredible. The Bird King has big things to say about states and souls, and it's going to take you on a rollicking ride while it says them. I was fascinated and riveted and, by the end, deeply moved. -- Robin Sloan, author of SOURDOUGH G. Willow Wilson has a deft hand with myth and with magic, and the kind of smart, honest writing mind that knits together and bridges cultures and people. You should read what she writes. -- Neil Gaiman The Bird King is marvelous in the deepest sense - a treasure-house of a novel, thrilling, tender, funny and achingly gorgeous. I loved it. -- Lev Grossman, author of THE MAGICIANS trilogy Brilliantly imagines the fall of Muslim Granada....A warm, generous spirit underlies the entire novel. * New York Times Book Review *