Cuckoo’s Flight Reviews

School Library Journal

Title: Cuckoo's Flight Author: Wendy Orr Publisher: Pajama Press“Orr mixes prose and poetry masterfully throughout the tale. The story is fast paced but has moments of contemplation, and Orr’s skill as a writer show, especially in her poetry….Although sometimes heartrending, the story ends on a hopeful note of change and enlightenment. This Bronze Age historical fiction is a follow-up to Orr’s Swallow’s Dance and revisits the main character Leira, now a grandmother hoping to save her granddaughter. While it’s not necessary to have read the first book, those who have will enjoy reuniting with familiar characters. VERDICT Fans of historical fiction, or even horse stories, will appreciate this fast-paced tale.”
–Ellen Conlin, Naperville P.L., IL

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Kirkus Reviews

“Told mostly from Clio’s point of view, the novel slides effortlessly between prose and poetry. It may take readers a few pages to enter the unfamiliar world, but the engaging storyline and characters make it worth their while. Most impressive is Orr’s ability to translate a worldview vastly different from our own. Memorable.”

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Canadian Review of Materials

“Wendy Orr’s Cuckoo’s Flight is the final installment in a trilogy that included the award-winning Dragonfly Song and Swallow’s Dance. Set in Crete during the Bronze Age, Cuckoo’s Flight can be saved for last or read as a stand-alone story….

Cuckoo’s Flight is an action-packed, edge-of-your-seat, epic tale while still incorporating the beautiful poetry of Orr’s first two books. Clio is a unique heroine fighting physical and emotional challenges, and proving that perseverance, bravery and ingenuity will always save the day. While this book demonstrates that girls are just as capable as boys (even in Bronze Age Greece!), the historical setting, and suspenseful drama will hook all readers, both young and old. Orr has done it again, and fans of Dragonfly Song and Swallow’s Dance will be pleased with how this final book wraps up the series.

Highly Recommended.”
Cate Carlyle, an author, librarian and former elementary teacher, currently resides in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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Youth Services Book Review

“Orr’s signature combination of prose interspersed with poetic passages allows the reader to feel intensely what Clio feels. The setting of ancient Crete vibrantly resonates with the acute senses of a young girl coming of age in a turbulent time. Allusions to history and mythology are juxtaposed with the daily challenges and indignities of living with a disability. There is genuine suspense, as internecine fighting and fear of the coming invasion accelerate. This is #3 in the Minoan Wings series, and is a wonderful, immersive experience of coming of age in an ancient civilization. It can be enjoyed without having read the previous titles.”—Youth Services Book Review

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Fresh Fiction

“This dynamic adventure is totally immersive. We smell the stink of rotting murex snails, in the purple-works where slaves produce dye. We hear the whistle of the herder’s pipes, and the crash of waves on the shore. We can taste the dry barley cakes and slippery olive oil. Left to the vagaries of the weather and fortune, the people make promises and offerings to placate any gods that might be listening. They know the barbarian raiders with their black ships care nothing for such sacrifice.

If you want to explore the Bronze Age, let Wendy Orr be your guide. She has previously written Dragonfly Song and Swallow’s Dance in this setting, and Young Adult readers will learn a great deal not just about this period, but about resilience and resourcefulness. I suggest anyone from eight to fifteen would be the ideal readers. Especially if they love horses. Wendy Orr, author of Nim’s Island, was born in Canada but now lives in Australia. I’m mightily impressed by Cuckoo’s Flight and I’ll be reading more of her work”

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The Canadian Children’s Book Centre

“Wendy Orr skillfully weaves a story that teaches as well as entertains: comprehensive historical information demonstrates how the villagers’ professions were intertwined, resulting in communities that were largely self-sufficient. In addition, the close association between the changing seasons and village tasks illustrates a relationship with nature less obvious in present times. The detailed descriptions of the environment allow readers to immerse themselves fully in the story’s setting.

Cuckoo’s Flight employs a writing style which alternates prose and narrative poetry. As such, it would be an excellent method of introducing diversity in narrative techniques. The title is highly recommended for readers who are entertained by historical fiction and adventure stories with unexpected endings.”

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Historical Novel Society

“Set in a convincingly rendered Bronze Age, a setting beautifully woven into the story (pointing out, for instance, that at that time, in that location, fifty people was a large number to be attacking your village!), this is a fine addition to any historical fiction fan’s bookshelf. A story of family, faith, and friendship told in elegant, jewel-bright prose with neither a wasted word nor yet too few, Cuckoo’s Flight is excellent. It led me to the author’s other novels, which are also a delight to read.”

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Georgia H. (NetGalley)

“This is a beautifully written story, the words just flow magically across the page and before you know it you’ve finished the book.

I enjoyed the setting, a bronze age island, which is described perfectly.

I loved the bond between the girls and their horses and how that was so crucial to the ending.”

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