Rainbird by Rabia Gale
Published October 10th 2012
Amazon | Goodreads
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Summary: She’s a halfbreed in hiding.
Rainbird never belonged. To one race, she’s chattel. To the other, she’s an abomination that should never have existed.She lives on the sunway.High above the ground, Rainbird is safe, as long as she does her job, keeps her head down, and never ever draws attention to herself.But one act of sabotage is about to change everything.For Rainbird. And for her world.
There is a thing about this novella that tickled every fantasy nerve in my body.
The setting, I can safely say, is unlike any I have seen, and I applaud the author for this awe-inspiring vision. She decided to set her novella in a civilization built on remnants of a giant dragon! Yes, you got that right. People are living in and on it (and living off it). At first it was hard to imagine and I struggled for the first dozen of pages simply because it is not something to visualize easily. But the author does a wonderful job building the world and everything comes naturally. I grew to love the dragon-and there's more left of it than you would think. I never experienced that with a book before. The setting becomes a character that I developed so much empathy for. Therefore, the ending made me all mushy and teary.
Rainbird was a lovable character. As the synopsis says, she is a half-breed, belonging exactly nowhere, and always on the run due to something that occurred during her childhood. I admired her deep loyalty and courage, and the connection that she made with the dragon.
This is a novella of around 31 000 words, and I can't help but wishing that it were longer (I wouldn't mind a trilogy, wink wink). I felt that some aspects weren't explored deeply enough. I would love to know more about the history, about Rainbird's childhood and especially about the Eirees who have an important role in the world that Rabia Gale builds, but there is little that we learn about them. Some characters who feature quite prominently in the story don't get a proper closure. While I was more than happy with how the author wraps up the story for Rainbird (leaving open great possibilities for a sequel), some aspects of the story felt unfinished.
I enjoyed the writing and the easy flow of the story. Rainbird reads almost like a fable with a simple, yet beautiful moral thread that unfolds slowly, unobtrusively and unpretentiously. The author impressed me with the worldbuilding. It's clear that Rabia Gale has an admirable capacity of imagination and is capable of writing mind-blowing fantasies. Have you ever wished you could hug an author simply for the way their mind works? Yeah, that.
(Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)