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Publisher's Summary

A sweeping and tragic debut novel perfect for fans of The Wrath and the Dawn and Megan Whalen Turner.

The Bird and the Blade is a lush, powerful story of life and death, battles and riddles, lies and secrets from author Megan Bannen.

Enslaved in Kipchak Khanate, Jinghua has lost everything: her home, her family, her freedom...until the kingdom is conquered by enemy forces and she finds herself an unlikely conspirator in the escape of Prince Khalaf and his irascible father across the vast Mongol Empire.

On the run, with adversaries on all sides and an endless journey ahead, Jinghua hatches a scheme to use the Kipchaks’ exile to return home, a plan that becomes increasingly fraught as her feelings for Khalaf evolve into an impossible love.

Jinghua’s already dicey prospects take a downward turn when Khalaf seeks to restore his kingdom by forging a marriage alliance with Turandokht, the daughter of the Great Khan. As beautiful as she is cunning, Turandokht requires all potential suitors to solve three impossible riddles to win her hand - and if they fail, they die.

Jinghua has kept her own counsel well, but with Khalaf’s kingdom - and his very life - on the line, she must reconcile the hard truth of her past with her love for a boy who has no idea what she’s capable of...even if it means losing him to the girl who’d sooner take his life than his heart.

©2018 Megan Bannen (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about The Bird and the Blade

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Beautifully written retelling of a world renowned opera

Overall: 4.5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
Steam: 💋 only
Feels: 😔💗😫😭
Tear jerker: ✅
Paranormal/Fantasy: ❌
Location: Various; China, Mongolia - Kipchak Khanate and several others
Character age range: Late teens
Lead: Jinghua
Love interest(s): Khalaf
HEA: ❌
...
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~QD Book Info📚~
Kindle Unlimited: ❌
Audible: ✅ - narrated by Emily Woo Zeller
Series: ❌ - stand alone
...
...
~QD🔥~
Sex/kink type: None - 💋 only
Possible triggers: violence/gore, homicide, slavery, kidnapping, torture, self-harm
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~Review🖋~
This book was a beautifully written retelling of a famous (and tragic) opera. The author writes in a lyrical prose that transports the reader into a picturesque world so vivid I thought I might be able to reach out and touch it. The dialogue is endearingly honest; I was a pendulum swinging between feeling anguished and laughing at Jinghua’s inner-monologue. The end is as tragic as it was in the opera, if not even more so, and despite knowing the ending, I sat there sobbing nonetheless. Brava, on an impressive debut novel!
✨About the Audible version: The audio book is amazing. I alternated between reading and listening. Emily Woo Zeller narrates the hell out of this book. It was such a joy listening to her!

4 people found this helpful

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Sweet book

Such a neat book and such a riveting ending. Can’t lie I don’t usually prefer books ended the way this one did but the author took care of the reader and carries you through. Totally worth a read a bit melodramatic soap opera at times. I’d say in this case it worked if you want a light sappy book filled with a main character who manages to be one of the most vulnerable yet fierce main characters I have read. Wish the author had more book in this genera for me to read because I loved that the relationship in the book stayed clean and didn’t get all vulgar. Maybe one slight exception to that but it wasn’t detailed at all... any way read the book you won’t regret it. You’ll just regret it’s over.

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wonderful!

This was fun book! It had you laughing and crying. Then it had you sitting in contemplation. I would recommend this book!

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Absolutely wonderful

A brilliant performance of a spectacular story. Brought me to tears! I would recommend to anyone who loves heartbreaking romance, vivid characters, and incredible world building.

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I need tissues

This was one of the best audiobooks I've ever listened to! it felt like a full cast, gosh the narrator is so good!
the story itself wasn't that great honestly, nothing special, it's the narrator who made it so good. although that ending got me 😭

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Enjoyed this a lot

I bought this on Kindle but only made it 20 or so pages in but Emily Woo Zeller completely makes the characters come alive & I absolutely loved this book. Audiobooks are really making me enjoy the fantasy genre in completely new ways & I’m really grateful because it’s provided a much needed easy escape & way to cope with medical conditions I’ve not had before the last couple of years.

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So Many Twists

I love this book. It had tons of great twists. When I thought I had it all figured out I was wrong. The world was easy to understand and get lost in. The cast is small but somehow the world feels very big.

The narrator does a great job distinguishing between characters.

My only -highly subjective- issue is that sometimes the main character’s internal contemplation of her love is overbearing and sappy.

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Wow!

I didn’t think I would like this book, but I instead loved it! The plot and historical setting were both really gripping. The characters felt very real and deep. The ending... THE ENDING had Me ugly crying. However, even that was beautiful done, so I can’t be mad at all. I definitely recommend this one!