Armory also alludes to the abuse of religious dogma, a theme that is explored so dazzlingly in 'His Dark Materials'. However, I think that The Fledging of Az Gabrielson does have an appeal of its own; the story taps straight into that atavistic human desire to fly and there are some intriguing, ambiguous characters (I loved Mr Mordadson) who are often beautifully named (Ramona Orifielsdaughter Enochson!)' (ACHUKA REVIEWS )
'Amory peppers the ground with an absolutely wonderful cast of characters. All great stuff! Despite the turbulence early in the journey, Amory is a writer with an innate social conscience and a voice that calls to readers of all ages. I look forward to seeing how the story develops in the next volume.' (SF REVU )
"The novels themes of unthinking faith, blind consumerism and segregated society, as well as the problems of the "disabled" young hero must overcome, are perfect for the young adult market. Do buy this for your kids." (SFX )
"One of the greatest fantasy novels that's ever been written by a groundling. You can read this book as an allegory of western civilization and our exploitation of the third world... or you can just enjoy it." (TEEN TITLES )
Only Az has no wings, so in his glorious world of freedom and flight, he is a painful - and isolated - oddity.
And then one day he is picked out for a job. A job below the clouds. The system of massive automated elevators which send up everything the Airborn need to survive, are breaking down - and threatening to take the Airborn society with them. Someone has to go down to the Ground to find out what has happened and Az, with his wingless similarity to the prehistoric Groundlings, looks to be perfect for the task of hunting for answers beneath the clouds.
But on the Ground, in the vast shadows of the cities, Az finds more questions than answers: a benighted people who worship a dim notion of the Airborn and aspire to be like them. A people who fill elevators with tributes to their winged deities. A people who are beginning to think their way of life is part of a very un-natural order of things.
And a girl called Cassie Grubdollar, who's definitely no angel . . .