Danica, the heir to the avian kingdom as their Tuuli Thea (Queen), is at a crossroads. Her people’s welfare and safety are what she cares about most, but they’re impossible to guarantee as the avian people are engaged in a war with the serpiente that has gone on for so long, no one remembers how it started.

Soon after yet one more skirmish where royal blood is spilled, the serpiente rulers extend a token of peace to the avian court. They want to stop the fighting, as does Danica, who will become Tuuli Thea in three days at this point.

Enter Zane, the Diente (King) of the serpiente. He and Danica agree that they’ll do anything to end the war, including marry each other as a show of faith and trust in order to bring peace.

Everyone thinks they’re insane for doing this, including both of their mothers. And as you can imagine, not everyone in both kingdoms want to stop fighting.

Then there’s Danica and Zane. How do you go against every instinct you possess and trust a person who has been the enemy your entire life? Like it or not, they must work through their issues, if only to keep the peace between their people.

The idea of using arranged marriage as a way to throw two people together is not a new one in adult literature, especially to those of us who read historical romance novels. Seeing it in a YA book, however, was a new experience.

I rather enjoyed this book and the complex emotions Amelia Atwater-Rhodes has her characters wade through in order to bring resolution to this war. It’s a bit on the light side at under 200 pages, but the plot moves along at a believable pace without too much information thrown at you. It’s hard to believe Amelia wrote this when she was a teenager. I would have never guessed, considering the level of maturity both Danica and Zane exhibit when working through their problems with each other and dealing with the threats toward them.

This is a fantasy book, if you haven’t guessed already, so the laws of physics need to be tossed aside while reading. The avian people can shapeshift into different birds (there’s a hierarchy of bird classes) and the hawks rule. Usually a woman is head of the court. The serpiente shift into snakes and the royals become Cobras. Usually a male is head of the court. There’s also fleeting mentions of falcons, tigers and wolves, but those are shown more in later books.

While this is the first of a series, only this and the next book, Snakecharm, follow Danica and Zane (Hawksong is from Danica’s point of view, while Snakecharm is from Zane’s). After that the books follow later generations, which has never appealed to me, so I haven’t read them. But that doesn’t mean they’re not worth reading.

Regardless of whether you want to start a new series, or only have a few hours to lose yourself in a new world, I invite you to read Hawksong and thank your lucky stars that you don’t have to marry your enemy in order to end a war.

…Unless you do. In which case, you can treat this as a ‘How-To’ guide.

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