I remember reading this great trilogy series about 10-15 years ago. It's about a family living in a dystopian walled city where people are sorted and classed by their intelligence.

The protagonists are twins, a boy and girl. They defy the system and are exiled from the city, along with another boy. They journey across a desert and have many adventures etc. This is only in the first book.

I remember the cover being a big 'S' shaped symbol. It had something to do with a wind chime that was central to the plot.

Edit: There is already another question with the same answer here. I did do a search on stackoverflow before I posted this question of course, but I feel I would never have know it's the same question just looking at the title. It's up to the community to close this question as a duplicate.

  • Twins, Basil! Twins! – Peter Jul 26 '16 at 20:50
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    Don't be offended by the fact that your question was closed as a dupe; it's still a good question. We just have a policy that story-ID questions are always dupe-closed if both questions have the same accepted answer. – Rand al'Thor Jul 27 '16 at 21:22
  • I agree with the policy, and I'm not offended. I hope my question would be able to help others with the same question, but that are not able to find the original one. – Niel Jul 27 '16 at 21:26
  • Yup. And that's how it works and why we encourage people to post answers even if they think that the question might be a duplicate, or that there's already a highly voted or even accepted answer, because someone later on might do a search and find the book they're looking for. You'll still get upvotes as people find the question. – FuzzyBoots Jul 27 '16 at 22:39

The Wind Singer

Book cover with symbol

(Emphasis is mine)

The Wind Singer is a young adult novel written by William Nicholson. It is the first book of the Wind On Fire Trilogy. It follows the quest of twins Kestrel and Bowman Hath, and their friend Mumpo to restore the "Voice of the Wind Singer" to their city and bring happiness to their cruel society.


The book begins in the walled city of Aramanth, an extreme meritocracy where endless exams and ratings are the only way to move forward to improved life stations; to be unsuccessful in this is seen as a great source of shame.


Using an archaic map given to her by the Emperor [Kestrel] sets off, joined by her twin brother, Bowman, and their brave but pitiful new friend, Mumpo, who has an unshakeable affection for Kestrel. They meet a variety of tribes and individuals including the fearsome nomadic clans of Ombaraka and Omchaka.

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  • That's it! Thank you! It's been on the tip of my tongue for so long. – Niel Jul 26 '16 at 18:19
  • It took a few iterations of Google searches before I saw courses.wcupa.edu/johnson/220novels-new.htm and noted the title mentioned twins, wind, and a repressive city, so I looked up more details and found a match. :) – FuzzyBoots Jul 26 '16 at 18:20
  • Thanks, I did try google, but clearly I didn't search hard enough – Niel Jul 26 '16 at 18:21
  • It's often a matter of finding just the right set of terms. :) Biggest trick is finding ways to exclude the wrong results and the "TOP 1000 S-F BOOKS YOU MUST READ B4 U DIE!!!111!!!" lists. – FuzzyBoots Jul 26 '16 at 18:23

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