22

I'm trying to find the name of a book series I read about 10 years ago. It might be a children/young-adult series since I was fairly young. There is also a small chance it was written by a french author, as I read it in french. The series is composed of at least three books, maybe more. Here is what I remember :

  • The main character is a poor girl/young woman, but there are several point of view characters

  • At the beginning of the first book the plot is set in a city where rich people live in the city center and the further you go from the center the poorest people are. Moreover, the houses are painted according to the wealth of the owner. It was something like : the richer had red houses, the poorer blue houses, and the moderately wealthy purple (it was not those colors in particular but it was something like that)

  • At the end of one of the book there is some kind of uprising and the people paint all the houses in multiple colorful shades (to symbolize the new found equality between the citizen)

  • At some point the main character and other peoples of the city get captured (maybe after some kind of war the city was involved in), separated and sold to slavery

  • One of them, an older boy, become a soldier and learn a special fighting technique that looks like dancing (and he grows to like it)

  • Another of the captives, a young girl (the sister of the main character if I recall correctly) get marked with a fire-heated mark to show her condition of slave

That is all I remember, I have no clue about the time or geographic setting nor the story details.

I know it's not much to go by, any help would be greatly appreciated, as I would like to find these books and read them again.

3
  • What made it sci-fi / fantasy? Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 12:06
  • I didn't mention that some kind of magic was involved, as well as an evil entity, because I didn't remember how exactly.
    – Panta
    Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 12:24
  • OK, I was thinking it might help to identify the title (and checking it's on topic!) Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 12:29

1 Answer 1

30

Could you be thinking of the Wind on Fire series by William Nicholson? There are three books, The Wind Singer, Slaves of the Mastery & Firesong, and they are centered around the lives of brother and sister Kestrel and Bowman Hath. I read them as a kid too!

Order and control play a major role in the trilogy. They symbolize that which is at the heart of evil, and the Haths (especially Kestrel and Ira) symbolize freedom, and individuality. At the beginning of "The Wind Singer", Aramanth and its inhabitants are subject to a strict system, and when someone like Kestrel defies the system they are severely reprimanded, showing the grip that the Morah has on the city. The High Examiner is so bent on control that he acts almost insanely when he is crossed. He displays utter disbelief that anyone could undermine or dislike the examination system. The control is illustrated by the rules such as having everyone wear colours to define their place in society, which promotes a sense of having to conform to the group.

....

Kestrel Hath: The main character in the trilogy. Kestrel, known as Kess to those close to her, has an extremely strong personality that does not submit to repression of any kind. This often leads her to rash, instinctive action rather than first thinking things through. At the age of 10, Kestrel, along with her brother Bowman and her friend Mumpo, return the voice of the wind singer to their hometown of Aramanth in order to release the evil Morah's hold on the city. Five years later, when Aramanth is burned by the Mastery, Kestrel is separated from her people, but is reunited with them through the marriage of the Johdila Sirharasi of Gang to Marius Semeon Ortiz, adoptive son of the Master. After the fall of the Mastery, Kestrel accompanies the Manth people part of their way to the "homeland", but is taken by the Singer people as the child of the prophet Ira Manth to help them destroy the Morah. Kestrel "dies" in the process of this, but her spirit remains a part of Bowman's mind. Kestrel shares a deep emotional bond with her twin brother Bowman which allows them to communicate telepathically.

Bowman Hath: Kestrel's twin brother. He is somewhat empathetic, and can 'read' hearts and minds. As a person, Bowman is much quieter, less outspoken and less rash than his sister. A phrase often used to describe the two is "He is the one who feels, and she is the one who does". Bowman assists Kestrel and Mumpo in the retrieval of the wind singer's voice, is taken as a slave to the Mastery and later helps the Manth people to find their homeland. He also falls in love with the Johdila Sirharasi ("Sisi"), a princess of the land of Gang. Although he at first does not pursue their relationship, believing he had to die in order to defeat the Morah, it turns out that Kestrel must die instead of him. Bowman marries Sisi, becomes the ruler of Gang and has three children: Sirharani, Falcon and Ira.

2
  • I just read the plot summary and that is exactly the books series I was searching for. Thank you very much for your help !
    – Panta
    Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 12:25
  • I read this and instantly recognised the final book from the Wind on fire; makes for a great read!
    – Mikasa
    Commented Aug 17, 2016 at 16:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.