The Republic of Birds by Jessica Miller
CBCA Book of the Year 2021 – Younger Readers
Olga loves the stories of the old cartographers and pores over their ancient books and maps, trying to unlock their secrets. Sometimes, she thinks she can even feel through the maps- almost see into them-as if by magic.
But magic is banned in Tsaretsvo, ever since the war with the birds that divided the kingdom, and the powerful magic-wielding Iagas have long been banished. Now, any young girl who shows signs of being an Iaga is whisked away to Bleak Steppe – to a life, so the story goes, of unspeakable punishment.
When the bird army kidnaps Olga’s sister in a surprise attack on the human kingdom, Olga realises she has to venture into the Republic of Birds to bring her back. But first, she must learn to unlock her magical ability. As her journey takes her into the hidden world of the Iagas and the wilds of the Unmappable Blank, Olga discovers the truth about the war with the birds-and learns just how much is at stake.
Inspired by Russian folklore, The Republic of Birds is a rich middle-grade fantasy adventure for readers of Karen Foxlee, Jessica Townsend and Philip Pullman.