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The Wind Singer (Wind on Fire Trilogy) Paperback – 17 Jul 2003


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Egmont Books Ltd; New edition edition (17 July 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405209909
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405209908
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 465,011 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

William Nicholson was born in 1948 and received his early education at Downside School, a Roman Catholic monastic school, set in the countryside near Bath.

He went on to study English Literature at Christ's College, Cambridge, graduating with a double First Class degree in 1970. After leaving university, William joined BBC television, where he worked as a documentary film maker. It was not long before William's talent was channelled into writing for television dramas and his professional writing career took off.

William is perhaps best known as an acclaimed Hollywood screenwriter, whose work includes Elizabeth: The Golden Age, the Bafta award-winning Shadowlands, and Oscar-winning Gladiator.

He has written several screenplays for films due for future release, including Long Walk to Freedom, an adaptation of Nelson Mandela's autobiography.

Nicholson's first trilogy for young readers, The Wind on Fire, met with universal acclaim. Winner of the Smarties Gold Award and the Blue Peter Book Award. Nicholson's latest trilogy the Noble Warriors has also been enthusiastically received. The final book Noman is published on 4th September 2007:

'The events rip along, but the real strength of Nicholson's novel lies in its wonderful characters: Morning Star, drowning in the power of her love for Wildman, and Echo Kittle, captured by the enemy of Orlans' Daily Telegraph

His latest book, the highly anticipated Rich and Mad is a compelling and beautifully written novel about first love, first sex, and everything in-between.

Nicholson has been cited as one of the most gifted and imaginative writers alive in the world today. His adult titles include The Trial of True Love and The Society of Others.

William lives in Sussex with his wife Virginia, and their three children.

Product Description

Review

“a gripping read…a beautifully narrated, warm thriller of a book, full of inventiveness, action and passion” The Guardian

“In terms of imagination and sheer scale, it’s as ambitious as books get…think Star Wars and then some” Daily Telegraph

“Positively surreal imagery, a fast-moving adventure and a cutting satire all in one. An original and striking read.” Melvin Burgess

“An accessible, rebellious and fast-paced adventure and, as you would expect from the author of Shadowlands, a heart-wringing celebration of love.” The Sunday Times

From the Back Cover

“I hate school! I hate ratings! I won’t reach higher! I won’t strive harder! I won’t make tomorrow better than today!”

In the walled city of Aramanth, exams are everything – not only for children, but for whole families. When Kestrel Hath dares to rebel, the Chief Examiner humiliates her father and sentences the family to the harshest punishment.

Desperate to save them, Kestrel discovers that life in Aramanth was once different – and if she can find the secret of the Wind Singer, maybe life can change for the better once more. So she and her twin brother, Bowman, set out on a terrifying journey – to the true source of the evil that grips Aramanth…

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 Mar 2005
Format: Paperback
This well crafted fantasy adventure story begins in the city of Aramanth where everything is based upon exams and family ratings. So to end this hated lifestyle Kestrel, Bowman and the hilarious Mumpo must find the voice of the wind singer, so the city will finally be free of the morah and the invincible army of zars.
I enjoyed reading the wind singer because the characters were well thought and they developed their own individual characteristics throughout the story. The author uses very descriptive language and gripping words that help you to visualise and make you feel like your actually there.
However, in my opinion when you look at how much time the author had spent writing the beggining and middle of the book (which is evident when you read them), the ending does seem rather rushed. BUT don't let this put you off buying the book.
Overall, the Wind Singer is worth reading due to the great story structure and interesting plot, and once you've started to read the wind singer you won't be able to put it down again. I highly recommend this book to others.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on 19 Nov 2002
Format: Audio Cassette
...I've read most of Philip Pullman's books, the Harry Potters and several others, but there is something about the writing style of this book (and the sequel) that sets it apart - it has that undefinable quality of picking the exact words to fit a situation, thus rendering long descriptive passages unnecessary; it has fast-paced excitement and best of all, it is not predictable.
On the face of it, some of the characters seem very one-dimensional - intentionally so, as we then explore why they are like that and see them develop into more rounded characters; OK, there is a slight moralising influence here, but certainly no more than C.S. Lewis, or Tolkein for that matter.
This is one of those few books that transport you into a different world, completely visualised in your mind's eye, knowing exactly what the characters look like (probably different for each reader!) and almost compelling your interaction with the personalities of the characters.
Thoroughly recommended!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By crazy on 5 Oct 2006
Format: Paperback
The book is about a girl called Kestrel and her brother Bowman. They are in the middle of school term and they are sick of it and having to obey everyone! Kestrel leaves her class and gets her and her family in big trouble. The powerful chief examiner humiliates her father. Then Kestrel finds out about the mystical Wind Singer, the evil Morah and the Emperor. With the help of a map, Kestrel and Bowman head north to save Aramanth from danger.

I thought the book was filled with fantasy and action. The ending was as tight a battle for saving Aramanth as it could possibly be. My favorite parts of the book are the old tiny people, the ending of the book and when Kestrel rebelled. I thought the author brought you into the book perfectly.[...] My favorite character was Mumpo[...] I would recommend this book to anyone as it is a great read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By grr on 21 April 2008
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most original childrens books I have ever read. Truly different and utterly brilliant! Nicholson is an Oscar winning screenwriter and his foray into kids books is fab! If you hate exams and the current culture of examining and testing everyone from a young age, this book is for you. Not like the derivative Potter books at all. Pongo to that! The city of Aramanth is divided into sections, and it depends on how well the entire family, even toddlers, perform in citywide tests to designate where you live and what social status you are. In the middle of the city is the mysterious Wind Singer...protecting everyone from the Zars.... Kestrel Hath is quite rightly fed up with all the constant tests and judgements and rankings, so she rebels and gets everyone in her family punished. Kestrel and her twin Bowman end up on a quest for the nutty emperor, locked in his tower. Along with their odd friend Mumpo they have some serious adventures and face terrible dangers! All for their close family. But this is just the start of something bigger, and more epic..... This is great, read the full trilogy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ossian on 26 Mar 2008
Format: Paperback
I loved this book when I was younger. I read it in the space of two days at the age of 11. However, i agree with Bill of Norwich that this is a kids book and is unlikely to captivate older teenagers or adults.

The novel delivers for its target audience though- its main charcter is a child who rebels against the rigid society in a fantasy city. Definately a winning formula for a kids book. The Wind singer is not without depth as it satirises bureaucracy, the class structure and modern society's tendency to put academic qualifications above all else. These are unusual themes in the fantasy genre, let alone children's fantasy.

Other parts of the story annoyed me as I found them unneccessary. The underground mud people and the sail-powered moving cities who went to war without a single casualty just seemed to be there to add spectacle and fantasy to the book, rather than move the plot along. The unstoppable army which threatened the city of Aramanth was laughable and not scary- how could they be with a name like the Zars?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Book Worm on 18 Dec 2007
Format: Paperback
This story starts off very imaginatively, with loads of clues thrown out and a lot of mystery, some of which is developed later in the book and some of which is never explained. The three children at the centre of the story evidently have a zest for life and refuse to live in the norm of the society, which is great. I wasn't enthralled by the long section involving life in a sort of below-city sewerland (too much detail) but the cities which fought across the plains in wind-propelled boats and without anyone being killed was very well imagined. The journey continues and gets rather involved and a lot darker - some of the images are very bleak, but it all ends happily in the fantastic predictable fashion of a fairy story. It would have been nice to have had a final twist to complete the story. However I think I shall read the next in the series, because the characters and their development over time is so well developed.
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