The Floating Islands
Author: Rachel Neumeier
Publisher: Random House
Rating: three and a half stars
They flew as geese fly in the fall, in a formation like a spear point. At first the shape the winged men made was stark as a rune against the empty sky, but as they approached the ship, they broke their formation, wheeled, and circled low. The morning light caught in the feathers of their glorious wings, crimson as blood, except for one man whose wings were black as grief.
Trei had just lost his family in a terrible disaster and had to seek for a new place in The Floating Islands when he saw the Kajurai, the flying men swam at the air. Trei knew that's the one thing he ever wanted to be. The only person who understood his feeling is Arenai, his newly-found cousin. Being a woman in The Floating Islands meant you have to prepare to be a good wife and that's it. But that's not what Araene wanted. Both of them tried hard to be what they wanted but danger lurked in when Trei's old country decided to attack The Floating Islands. Will they able to be what they wanted to be? And where would Trei's loyalty lies?
The Floating Islands is a very interesting story; I enjoy reading it. Not only that but I also like Trei and Araene for being bold and fearless in pursuing what they wanted. However the other characters aren't so interesting. I guess on of my problems with this book is the conflicts aren't deep enough. Most of the characters are very good and helpful. Trei managed to fit in with the other kajurai apprentices without much problem (I would love to see a bit of clash in there), and the same thing also happened to Araene. Most of the characters are good and they rarely showed their bad side, which I would prefer to see more instead of the good-goody two shoes kind of characters. So for me it's lack of deep conflicts, either between characters or in plot, but overall it's pretty good.
I would recommend it for fantasy and middle-grade lovers.