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Hawksong: The Kiesha'ra: Volume One (The Keisha'ra) Paperback – May 8, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7-10-In this engaging fantasy, Danica Shardae is an avian shapeshifter. She is a princess of her people who, like the birds they become, is reserved and disciplined, yet full of passion. Her people have been at war with the serpiente, a people who shapeshift into serpent forms, for so many years that no one remembers how it all started. The hatred and bloodshed have taken a heavy toll on both sides, and Danica and Zane Cobriana, a prince among the serpiente, are determined to stop it, at any cost. He is the last of his line as is Danica and so he proposes that the avian and serpiente royalty meet at a neutral place and seek mediation to end the war. The mediator proposal-that Danica and Zane marry-is so crazy and repugnant a plan that both parties leave immediately. The young people, however, consider it in spite of the apparent lunacy, for it would mean an end to the fighting. But can they pull it off? And can they keep the dissenters among them from destroying this shred of a chance for peace? This book takes the Romeo and Juliet angle to new heights and is dealt with in a completely original way. It's a love story and a plea for peace, and an intriguing look at a world that is teeming with tension and danger and beauty. Atwater-Rhodes has created a stunning adventure that draws readers in and leaves them begging for more.
Saleena L. Davidson, South Brunswick Public Library, Monmouth Junction, NJ
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“Teens will relate to these characters and the universal themes of peer pressure, family problems, and the search for identity.”—Starred, VOYA

From the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: The Keisha'ra (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press; Reprint edition (May 8, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385734921
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385734929
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (173 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #989,407 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Amelia Atwater-Rhodes wrote her first novel, In the Forests of the Night, when she was 13 years old. Other books in the Den of Shadows series are Demon in My View, Shattered Mirror, Midnight Predator, all ALA Quick Picks for Young Adults. She has also published the five-volume series The Kiesha'ra: Hawksong, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and VOYA Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror List Selection; Snakecharm; Falcondance; Wolfcry; and Wyvernhail. Visit her online at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on October 24, 2004
Format: Hardcover
In light of the current marketing blitz of young adult authors (ala "Eragon" and "Secret of the Stones") it's useful to remember that the existence of authors barely out of childhood is not a new occurrence. Perhaps the best example of this is the highly readable and talented Amelia Atwater-Rhodes. Born in 1984 (you do the math) her first book was published when she was a mere slip of a lass of thirteen years. With "Hawksong" she's reached the wise old age of nineteen, though you'd never know it from reading the book. Atwater-Rhodes is prone to over-formal sentences, familiar if limited plots, and sometimes stock characters but "Hawksong" withstands these criticisms and remains interesting and (in its way) original reading.

It's like Romeo and Juliet. Only in this case, Romeo hates Juliet, Juliet fears Romeo, and the two are only getting together for political reasons. Danica is the last surviving heir to her people's throne. As an Avian, she and her people have the ability to transform into various winged fowl, sometimes completely and sometimes only by half. They have been at war longer than they know with the Serpiente people. Led by Zane Cobriana, these are the Avians' snake enemies. In a desperate effort to create a new peace in the land, Zane and Danica decide to wed, thereby creating a political marriage between their warring tribes. The trouble is, of course, that these two can't stand one another. Also, it's clear that a centuries-long war isn't about to end just because two optimistic kids decide to dedicate their lives to it. To make the peace survive this new pair must address dissent, learn to appreciate one another, and sniff out the assassins that keep attempting to kill them.

It's nice to read a kind of anti-love story once in a while.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Katherine on August 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I've read all of Amelia Atwater-Rhodes's other books, so I already know that she's able to create her own atmospheres and, in this case, almost her own world. Although there is only scant description of this world dropped into the book, it's enough to feel like you're there and to like the place that you're in.
Danica, the avian shapeshifter who chooses the prince of the serpiente as her partner-for-life (alistair), in an attempt to forge peace between their peoples, is definitely more dimensional than Atwater-Rhodes's past female leads. The same is true for Zane, the serpiente prince, who in turn chooses Danica as his naga, but he still falls under the category of tall, dark, hot, and dangerous.
The whole peace plan seems too easy, too neatly wrapped up, so I was expecting a twist. And there is a twist, but it doesn't come as much of a shock -- more as much of an afterthought, a stray end tied up. Towards the end of the book Atwater-Rhodes succeeds in building tension between her two main characters as the question of trust is asked again and again (and again and again), and it's worth reading the book to find out how that ends.
The only other thing that bothered me was a technical thing. Atwater-Rhodes uses the phrase "wrapped his arm around my waist" about a couple dozen times throughout the relatively short book, and it's usually followed by either a kiss or "pulled me close." It just gets annoying.
I give Hawksong 4 stars because it's the best of her books yet and it's the most worthwhile, but it seems very rushed and I would've liked the other characters to have more time in the limelight.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Nicole Maronn on August 5, 2003
Format: Hardcover
After reading her last effort, the dissapointing Midnight Predator, I had almost lost my faith in Amelia's creditbility as a teen author. But when I found out her next book, Hawksong, was about to be released, I decided to give her one more chance. After picking the book up, I was able to take my time with this book.
Taking a much needed break from the world of witches and vampires, Rhodes treats us to a world ruled by two breeds of shape-shifters (One is avian; the other is serpienten). A war that has been going on for ages leaves the heir to the avain throne, Danica Shardae, to achieve the goal of creating peace between the two lands. With the help (an a forced marriage) to Zane Corbriana, heir to the serpienten throne, they must try to put their differences aside and start the long road to peace.
Hawksong, in case you didn't know, is Book I in a series of four planned by Rhodes. The writing has diffently matured and has become more descriptive since Amelia's first novel, which was the biggest welcomed change. I haven't seen people complain (yet) if Hawksong is a rip-off of an L. J. Smith novel (Midnight Predator) or a knock-off of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Shattered Mirror), but to me this seems to be more orginal than the other four books. I would happen to agree with most reviewers that this is her best offering so far, but we'll just have to wait until the next three are published in order to justify this. Also, she has improved on characticterzation. No more 2D, cookie-cutters here.
But with most of Rhodes' books, she still has flaws. The most common is her tendency to "over-dramitize". While she has lightened up on this through out most of the book, she still has hints of it in some passages. Amelia also has a problem with description. She will often give her readers too little or too much, which will throw you off.
If anyone wants to get into Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, suggest this book!
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