Happily Ever After Book Nerd Favorite
Hawksong by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
Series: Kiesha’ra #1
Published: July 8, 2003 by Delacorte Press
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Romance
DANICA SHARDAE IS an avian shapeshifter, and the golden hawk’s form in which she takes to the sky is as natural to her as the human one that graces her on land. The only thing more familiar to her is war: It has raged between her people and the serpiente for so long, no one can remember how the fighting began. As heir to the avian throne, she’ll do anything in her power to stop this war—even accept Zane Cobriana, the terrifying leader of her kind’s greatest enemy, as her pair bond and make the two royal families one.
Trust. It is all Zane asks of Danica—and all they ask of their people—but it may be more than she can give.
I first read Hawksong back in high school and it’s stuck with me all these years as one of my favorite reads. I’ve always loved books about shifters but there’s something unique and different about what Amelia Atwater-Rhodes has created. While the writing does have a very formal feel, it still pulled me in from the very beginning and I became invested in the peace these at war groups were seeking. Both Danica and Zane are willing to sacrifice everything to stop the killing and protect their people and this desire clearly comes through in their actions and words. They do not have an easy start, especially Danica, who has known nothing but hate and fear for the serpiente and the royal family in particular. While Zane does not care for the avians either, he’s had a few opportunities over the years to see Danica’s compassion and realize she might be more then she appears.
It takes a while for Danica and Zane to learn to trust each other and begin to understand the other’s culture. While the main characters are older, 19 to 20, this is still a young adult novel and the steam is very low. However, they still had great chemistry and the pace of their relationship made perfect sense considering they’ve been mortal enemies up to this point.
In addition to loving the world and the story, I also adored Danica and Zane as individual characters and as a couple. Hawksong is told completely from Danica’s point of view and I enjoyed her as a narrator. Danica was the perfect mix of gentle and compassionate alongside strong and brave. She was born to lead her people but that doens’t mean she isn’t afraid she’ll make mistakes. Danica is also conflicted on choosing her alastair, or pair bond, because her chosen alastair was killed several years before and she doesn’t want to put anyone else at risk. On the outside Danica’s the perfect avian lady, reserved calm and always in control but on the inside you can tell she yearns for more. In contrast, the serpiente are loud, fiery, and passionate and Zane is no exception as their ruler. As a sweet and innocent 14 year old first reading Hawksong Zane was my first bad boy crush and he’ll always hold that special spot in my heart. There’s no doubt that Zane is an alpha male used to leading but he also wears his heart on his sleeve a lot of time. Zane might be quick to anger but he’s also honorable, loyal, and genuine. I loved the edge of danger that Zane always had, even when he was trying to hide it behind his more charming side.
Hawksong will always be one of my favorites that I find myself rereading over and over again. Danica and Zane’s forbidden romance is filled with tension and slow burn that always keeps me engaged from the first page to the last.
5 stars – loved it!
Click on a cover to see the review