Black Wings Beating is the first book in author Alex London’s Skybound series, an LGBTQ young-adult fantasy with a gay hero and his asexual twin sister. Set in the magical world of Uztar where nothing is more revered than the birds of prey and no one more honored than the falconers who call them to their fists, young Brysen strives to be a great falconer — while his twin sister, Kylee, rejects her ancient gifts for the sport and wishes to be free of falconry. When the boy he loves is threatened, Brysen and Kylee must journey into the treacherous mountains to trap the Ghost Eagle, the greatest of the Uztari birds and a solitary killer.
London told Mashable Debuts: “With this series, I wanted to try not only to write queer heroes but to write queer heroism. I think there is a challenge in fantasy — especially epic fantasy — that even with queer heroes and romances, it can still operate in the same hetero and patriarchal modes: a hero has to stab stuff with pointy things to dominate the bad guys and win.
“At its core, it is a story about longing and connection, love and forgiveness, the tethers that bind us to the past, to the future, and to each other. So expect romance and desire, secrets, betrayals, and political machinations. Also matriarchal owl cults, a diverse cast of complicated characters, some boys kissing, and most of all, a giant killer bird. If Brysen and Kylee don’t break your heart, the ghost eagle might still rip it out. One way or another, expect glorious heartache and bloody talons.”
The author will be at The King’s English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 East, to launch the book on Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. Bestselling authors Margaret Stohl and Mackenzi Lee join London for this special free event.