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The land of Gable--renowned for its birds, revered for its legends and secrets--is home to the grandest castle in the known world.
Inside this castle, in a narrow cell atop the dungeon tower, the legendary Marauder known as James Kestrel awaits his hanging.
Amidst the anticipation and speculation surrounding his execution, rumors are spreading that the Marauders will come out of hiding for the first time in seven years to free Kestrel in order to find the Caelum Flute, an instrument with the power to control the birds, and therefore the world. But only a wandering giant and a slave girl masquerading as an innkeeper know the truth. And everything will fall to the shoulders of a traveling shepherd boy-charged with delivering wool to his king-with no knowledge that his treacherous journey will decide the pending fate of the world. (Description taken from Amazon.com)
If I could sum this book up in a single sentence, I would say, "I can't sum this up in a single sentence."
In matters of plot, this book is superb. A Marauder jail-break? A mad rush for one Caelum Flute? One of the most unique plots I've read in a long time. I really liked the plot--a lot. :) Parker did a great job here. It twists up and down. And then it goes sideways. There was one twist especially that I'll remember for a long time.
The description; as one endorsement said, "Parker is descriptive without being wordy." I could literally picture the entire scene in my head. You've got a thumbs up here.
And the Christian themes? Unmistakable, of course--Parker makes no attempt to disguise the allegory. The redemption theme with one of the characters was amazing and uplifting, and the themes I detected throughout the book were well done.
One thing that led me to read this book was this; Parker is a teenaged Christian fantasy author. Much like what I would like to be--if I could imitate an author within the next couple of years, it would be him.
First, there were several font and grammar related things that irritated me. In my copy (I don't know if it was the same in all of the others) there were several lines near the end that suddenly shifted into a smaller, different font. There was once place I noticed where 'sheer' was spelled 'shear'.
Second, the character development could've been a little better. The minor characters were done well (I especially liked Bart, lol), but I didn't exactly connect with the major characters.
And last (though this is rather a personal quibble) I really wish it had been longer. It was rather short--but Parker did this one thing right; he made me wish just for one more chapter. Just one more paragraph, even.
All in all? Kestrel's Midnight Song is a great Christian Fantasy book by a teenaged author, lanced with Marauders, mystery, and intrigue. He's got me pining away for another book. If he doesn't make one, well...things may take a turn for the worse. ;)
Rated 9.0 out of 10. It's well worth your money. :)