Of Birds and Branches - Paperback

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Author: Frances Pauli
Word Count: 13,068
Page Count: 72
Size: 4" x 6"
Cover Artist: John Ramsey
Publication Date: July 2021



Mima is set to be the next queen. She’s got the knowledge of the rituals and the love of her people, but one thing is missing, the one thing she dreads the most: finding a mate.

Though she has zero interest in nesting, her Father has selected one of his finest warriors to woo her. Now Mima is forced into a ritual dance that could devastate her future, destroy her reign, and alienate her most treasured friend.

This is the physical version of this title. For the digital version, click here

This title is the fifth of our "Pocket Shots", which are 4" x 6" novelettes under 15k words—small enough to possibly fit in the pocket of your pants!

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  • 4
    A vibrant world of unique animal characters

    Posted by Anonymous Cat on Oct 29th 2021

    I really enjoyed this small book, which tells the tale of a bird woman living in a world full of traditions she loves... and expectations she has her doubts about. Pauli creates exactly the kind of setting you’d expect birds to live in if they evolved to have human intelligence, but kept their animal bodies: they take part in rituals dedicated to the four winds; Mima’s accessories grow increasingly flashy as she approaches her mating ceremony; and their perch-filled city pays homage to the times when a good branch was critical to building a stable home. All the small details really paint a picture: they way Mima feels when her long-necked friend holds their head high up so she can’t see them eye-to-eye; the armor worn by Mima’s betrothed; the way each bird’s behavior during the rituals clues the reader in to their personality. Of Birds and Branches features a non-binary character, and I loved that this person could go about their life without being rejected or questioned or needing to defend their pronouns. I give the book four stars, because I was left wondering the librarian’s explanation for lying to Mima (though, arguably, there was power in Mima being able to forgive and move on without needing that explanation), and because I didn’t quite buy it when Mima’s ceremony was ruined: what happened was described as unprecedented, and yet Mima didn’t seem to have that bad of consequences from it, and there was nothing stopping her from just having another ceremony. Those nitpicks aside, though, this was a highly enjoyable read, a vibrant world of unique animal characters I highly recommend checking out!