Cover Image: The Republic of Birds

The Republic of Birds

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Member Reviews

Exiled to Tsarestvo, a cold outpost, Olga and her family’s new home borders The Republic of Birds. Due to past civil wars and strife, the two kingdoms don’t get along. Jealous of her sister Mira and her dancing abilities, Olga tries to connect to her stepmother and stepsister. When Mira gets kidnapped by the bird, Olga must use her magic to rescue her. To make matters worse, magic is banned in her kingdom and if she gets caught, Olga will get sent to the boarding school of no return. Will she succeed? The world building is well done. The theme of empowerment and strong female characters are mixed into the book well. Characters are engaging and likable. Fans of fantasy and adventure will enjoy reading this book. 
Please note: This was a review copy given to us by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No financial compensation was received.
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This was a really unique Middle Grade book! I liked how different it was, and would definitely recommend this to anyone who thinks it sounds interesting! 

I received an e-ARC from the publisher.
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This book was a FABULOUS read! It was such a magical story that wove magic into every part of the story.
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Thank you to Amulet Books and NetGalley for providing me the opportunity to review this title. 

This is such a fun story inspired by Russian folklore and full of fantastic twists and turns! This book is simply charming.  It’s as comfortable and enjoyable as a cup of cocoa on a snowy day. 

I would highly recommend this book for anyone who loves a good fairytale.
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We've got a unique set-up here. Sure, we see books with magical kingdoms at war. It's the quasi-tsarist Russia setting that stands out. Especially since it begins with the central characters being sent into exile. It is that exile that allows Olga to experience life, magic, and her family in new ways. She's learning that her father and her step-mother are not exactly what she's always assumed. On the whole, though, I feel like I wanted a little more. It's already a lot, all the elements at play here. But we don't go into depth on anything. I wanted to understand the interplay between the humans, birds, and yagas, their motivations and resentments. Their history and culture is simply never addressed. There's some hints of the careful tightrope of the politics in this kingdom, but it doesn't get much landscape. It might benefit from a second volume, to allow more exploration of those ideas.
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Keyword descriptors: plot-driven, action-oriented, fast-paced

Really interesting world-building, inspired by Russian culture. I love the magic system, the Yagas, which is familiar, yet newly spun in this tail. The main character is relatable and her journey is compelling. The book moves quickly, but it reads well as a middle-grade novel. The writing is perfect for the age intended. I would love to see more stories in this world. I would definitely recommend it to readers looking for a fantasy adventure.
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I love it. I love it. I love it. I love it! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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That’s it... that’s the review.
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There is an army of birds, a kidnapped sister, and a young girl discovering her magical powers as well as her place in an ongoing war. This is all you need to know about the Russian folklore retelling. TREAT YOURSELF and add this book to your tbr.
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Thank you NetGally and Text Publishing for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review.
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This is such a fun story inspired by Russian folklore and full of fantastic twists and turns! Olga is a very relatable heroine as she struggles with feeling like she is unremarkable as opposed to her prodigal ballerina sister. Her journey (both her character arc and her literal  journey) are wonderful as she discovers what makes her remarkable. Olga's voice is also so fun to read! Other than an exposition dump at the beginning of the book (I get it; it's hard to world-build in the limited pages of a middle grade), the pacing is excellent and the plot is thoroughly enthralling. I definitely recommend diving into this captivating middle-grade novel!
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I absolutely loved this book! The Republic of Birds is the type of story that you will want to want a comfy spot to sit in and read the book from cover to cover. In the moments I had to put the book down, I was looking for free time to pick it back up and finish it.

The world that Jessica Miller creates is so atmospheric! I was immediately sucked into the world. When I looked above me, I was expecting to see birds of different colors flying around. The characters were fascinating. We learn enough about all the side characters that create a substantial base for them for us to enjoy them but there is also enough information left out that leaves us wanting to know more about each and every character. 

My favorite aspect of this book was actually Olga's love of cartography. Cartography is a career that I have only seen represented once before in books and it was only a brief mention. Cartography plays a huge part in The Republic of Birds and I had a lot of fun following Olga's love of cartography and learning more about it. 

This book is best to go in not knowing anything more than that. Just let the whimsical atmosphere carry you away!
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This is a great middle-grade fantasy book based on Russian folklore. The main characters were well written and the plot flowed well.
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I don't know if I can find the words to express how much I adore this book, but I can certainly try. From the first chapter of The Republic of Birds, Miller builds a unique world that is somewhere between historical Russia and some fantasy world. Olga (our map-loving heroine) and her family have been sent by the tsarina to the Center for Avian Observation - a place necessary thanks to a past war with the birds. To avoid giving away spoilers, I will simply say that Olga has a mission dropped into her lap, and the determination to complete it (whether or not her courage is always there to support her).  

This book was an absolute joy to read! It examines issues of growing up and establishing a sense of belonging. It also examines the family dynamic and how that dynamic doesn't necessarily change but our heroine's interpretation of it does. A truly lovely book filled with magic and adventure. 

But alas! With so many characters named and then sequestered to minor parts, I can't help but wonder... shall we see a sequel? If we are so lucky, I will plop myself right in the release line! I would love to see Olga et al continue to grow. That hope being put into the universe, I also must state that even as a stand-alone book, the ending is lovely and leaves this reader happy satisfied that Olga's character has developed.
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book was stunning. I loved how this sister dynamic was believable, unlike some of the other books I've read. It was a bit predictable, but I loved how the maps played a role in the book, and I loved how the stepmother wasn't an evil stepmother like in Cinderella because she did love them. It's just that she was just a bit self-centered and was a bit obsessed with looks. Overall,  this was a good book, and this is one of my favorite reads of the year so far.
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I absolutely loved this book.  Thank you so much for allowing me an advanced reader's copy.  Olga, the main character, is sent into exile with her family because of her father's political misstep.  While there, Olga struggles to relate to her "perfect" sister and slowly begins discovering talents of her own.  When her sister is kidnapped, Olga goes on a fantastic journey to save her sister.  This book had interesting, well-drawn characters.  There were many different fantastic settings as Olga went about her voyage.  The plot and the pacing were engaging and well-timed.  I was enjoying this book so much that I actually started to read slower and ration the pages- I didn't want the book to end!
As an educator, I would recommend this to my students who  enjoy stories about adventure, exploration, and magic.
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This sweet book was about love and magic. I loved Olga's choice to save Mira and her working through her magical powers. It's very sweet and a great journey to follow along on! It is perfect for readers ages 9-12.
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This book is simply charming.  It’s as comfortable and enjoyable as a cup of cocoa on a snowy day.  The story takes place in a fantasy tsarist Russia.  The tsarina is at war with the Republic of Birds, a magical race that once graced the land.  At least that is, before the firebird’s egg appeared.  The story tells of Olga’s hero’s journey, one filled with bravery and even rescue.  It has many delightful references to Russian folklore and culture including maps and yagas, huts with chicken legs, and Russian ballet.  The characters are all well-defined.  This is especially true of the older women who instead of witches become wise (sometimes magical), and glorious crones. When the tale was finally over, this reader longed for a sequel to discover just what Olga did next!
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In this tale of Eastern European folklore, two young sisters are pulled from their extravagant life to the wilderness where their father is attempting to recover a firebird's egg. This egg sparked a war between humans and birds that led to a separation of humans from both birds and those with magical abilities, yagas. To be discovered with magic is to be exiled and one of the sisters, Olga, has just begun to feel the pull of magic as her sister is kidnapped and held in The Republic of Birds. As with all fairytales, Olga decides she can not wait for her father and his army, she must rescue 10 year old Mira herself.

Olga has amazing survival skills for a 13 year old and quickly presses into the magic she was so terrified of. Her journey is quite quick with several interesting detours but what I loved the most was the role that maps played in the story. If you're a fan of maps and adventure stories, you will really enjoy this story. It is middle grade so the emotional motivations are pretty straightforward, but there is fabulous imagery of the world and the magic is all very unique. Great lessons about believing in yourself, never giving up and the power of love and loyalty in this one. It gets 3.5 stars from me.

Read this if you enjoyed the Winternight Trilogy or The Bird King.
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I would highly recommend this book for anyone who loves a good fairytale. The story had amazing character development with an amazing sibling relationship. I love that it showed a "real" side of sibling rivalry alongside the sisters love for each other. I'm a huge fan of fantasy YA and middle grade, and this one definitely lived up to my expectations. Definitely one of my favorite reads this year!
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This book was really fun. I loved the bond of sisterly love that shines through. Olga's interest in mapmaking was super unique as well as the magical worldbuilding. I think kids with siblings will really relate to Olga's envy of and affection for her sister. I especially liked how the positive qualities of Olga's father and stepmother are revealed slowly throughout the story. I would definitely recommend this book for kids that are fond of fairy tales. It really has a fairy tale adaptation kind of energy.
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Olga’s younger sister, Mira, seems to have it all—or at least everything that Olga doesn’t feel she herself is.  Beauty, poise, grace, ability...in short, she’s special.  But when Mira is captured and taken to the Republic of Birds, Olga must embrace her own unique talents to save her.

The Republic of Birds opens as Olga, a 13 year old girl from Tsaretsvo, and her family begin their recently-decided exile from their cushy life in the capital to the isolated, tiny, and cold Imperial Center for Avian Observation.  Olga doesn’t really care—she’s never fit in with imperial society anyway. Unlike her younger sister, Mira, Olga lacks beauty, poise, grace, talent and all the other qualities expected of a young girl in the fine society.  Plus, when Olga discovers her affinity for maps is actually the result of magic that could get her sent away to Bleak Steppe, she’s even more relieved to be somewhere she’s able to escape notice.

But when Mira is captured and taken to the Republic of Birds, Olga finds that escaping notice is precisely the opposite of what she must do.  She needs to act.  Fast.

The Republic of Birds is a fascinating, fantasitcal take on the classic coming-of-age story with an interesting focus on sisterhood and the power of our own uniqueness.  A perfect tale for middle-grade shelves.
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Overall I think this is a really solid choice for middle grade readers. I appreciated the relationship between Olga and her sister, particularly the intense jealousy and love she felt for her. I thought that a great realistic and positive sibling relationship. Olga also has complex relationships with her father and step mother that play well into her character development through the book. Olga is very brave and quite clever which serves her well on her journey. She also struggles with realistic difficulties that I feel sometimes get glossed over in fantasy and it was interesting to see how she triumphed. 

Her journey was well written, the setting and Russian influence worked well to create a vibrant and at times dangerous world. I did wish to see more of the bird’s society and would have liked a greater insight into their history as well. The concept of a magical bird country was a big part of what attracted me to the book and while I enjoyed what was shown I did want more. However, the Yagas by far made up for that disappointment. I thought their culture and magic system was well written and I particularly loved the glimpse of the magic school. Overall, it is a fun adventure with a great magic system that I think middle grade readers will enjoy.
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