Friday, November 26, 2010

Wildwing by Emily Whitman

In Wildwing by Emily Whitman (HarperCollins - Greenwillow), Addy can, at best, hope to be a household servant in 1913 (presumably British) society. Her mother is unmarried, and Addy’s social standing puts her in the path of bullies--and really, she needs to quit school to go to work. Her new position with Mr. Greenwood is tedious and depressing, and when he catches Addy with a volume of Shakespeare that she stole from his library, Addy can only expect the worst. 

But better happens: Mr. Greenwood enjoys her company, and this life might not be so bad. Still, when Addy discovers a strange elevator in a disused room, and that it takes her back to medieval times, she sees the opportunity to take on a new persona: a highborn lady.

Mistaken for a drowned aristocrat, Addy becomes Lady Matilda, and eases into her new life while at the same time, pushing against the restrictions placed upon women of the age. Her best refuge is in falconry and her blossoming relationship with the falconer’s son.  Once she learns his secret, can she stand to tie him in jesses, or should she let him be free?

Wildwing is a charming love story with not one, but two great historical settings.

I read this book as a first-round judge for the Cybils Awards, which means that I may have received a review copy from the publisher (or not; I own a lot of the books in this category). I read some books nominated for the YA fantasy and science fiction category in 2010 before the nomination period, and may have already reviewed them or declined to make a public review; these books might not have a Cybils post tag. As a first-round judge, I was tasked with helping create a shortlist of books. My personal reviews do not reflect any actions or discussions of the judging committe

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