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Review & Ramblings: The Good Hawk by Joseph Elliott

Published February 1, 2020. By Walker Books.

Already I am enjoying the simplicity of the language, it fits the feel of the book so well. Agatha speaks as an 11 year old girl fast and full of tangents and short sentences. It feels authentic, not like an adult trying to write as a child would speak.

I’m excited to learn more about how the Island of Skye works, how the children are sorted into their work details, how the clans work. But most of all, I want to know more about Agatha, about the way she was born, about her amazing affinity with animals. She seems like such a fantastic character already.

The alternating points of view are easy to read and are great for giving a fuller perspective of life on Skye. I love how with the change of perspective, the speakers voice changes too. The pacing changes, the way they talk changes. It makes it a joy to read.

Straight away, we are thrown into action and this battle is brutal. I am getting some viking vibes from this book, it feels like that type of setting in time. I am for it, it is brutal, laced with folklore and endless beliefs. But it also has the addition of fantasy worked in to it as well, of nomadic cattle tribes, of spirits and shadows.

The brutality in this book is enhanced when you remember that the protagonists are children. That the youngest is nine and the eldest, fifteen. What they have to endure and do to survive is unfathomable these days. They are strong and smart and quick thinkers.

Agatha’s innocence breaks my heart. No one wants her around, her help, her frienship. But at the centre of her being, she just wants to be doing something important, to help.

The Good Hawk is so easy to read, the pages almost turn themselves. I absolutely adore Agatha, she is so special, not because she has some kind of disability, but because she doesn’t let it define her or stop her from doing what she wants to do. She is so strong and has an amazing gift, a gift I wish I had too. She is brave and courageous and as she will tell you, has pretty hair.

The Good Hawk sees it’s motley crew of farmers, anglers, fighters and hawks, crossing oceans and continents. It is a surreal and incredible journey, not only in the travel itself, but for our characters. We slowly see them accepting Agatha for who she is, seeing that she isn’t weak or stupid or a child. That she just needs things explaining in a different way, that it takes her a little longer to understand what is happening. And the fact that they are recognizing her abilities and seeing past her condition, is heart warming.

There is something about Agatha that makes everyone around her, trust her. She is the glue holding this crew together, giving them purpose and drive. Yes, Jaime wants to save his family, but it is Agatha who is reminding him just what that family is worth.

The ending to this epic journey is bittersweet. The loss of a dear friend takes away from the joy of being reunited with family. But it adds a layer of emotion to the way that the journey ended. There are still so many questions that need answers, I am so glad that there are more books coming!

The Good Hawk is such a special book. It shows us the power of being true to yourself, of standing up for what you believe in and of friendship. It is well written, so much so, that the pages turn so fast that the book is finished before you realise it. The character’s are phenomenal, I can’t wait to see what Agatha does now she has the respect she deserves. But I am also instrigued by Aileen. I hope there is more of her in the next book.

Thank you so much to Walker Books Australia, for sending me out a review copy. This book was a joy to read and I can’t wait for the next installment, The Broken Raven!

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