Let me say right now, I didn’t dislike this book. There were plenty of things that I liked and despite the fact that I didn’t fall in love with it, I can totally see that other people will.
For twenty years, two performing families - the Palomas and the Corbeaus - have been engaged in a family feud. Both families travel around, performing their shows - the Palomas are mermaids and the Corbeaus are tightrope-walking fairy-birds - and their paths rarely cross, but when disaster strikes in a small town they are both performing in, Lace Paloma and Cluck Corbeau are thrown together.
One of the things that struck me most about this book was the lyrical, magical prose. The author is obviously a very talented writer and there were some parts that were so beautifully described that it really brought the scene to life. If you love beautiful, flowery language then this book is definitely one for you! At times, though, it felt like the prose got a bit much and there were times when really important plot points were happening and the prose just got in the way and slowed things down.
I really liked Cluck and I thought that he was very sweet and I loved that he managed to remain noble and retain the ability to love despite the appalling treatment he received from his family. I liked Lace too - she had a lot of courage considering her situation. Their relationship is by necessity a bit instalovey, which I always have trouble with. There was definite chemistry between them but while their interactions were very touching I just don’t see how anyone can fall in love after just a few encounters.
I thought that the way Cluck and Lace were treated by their families, while terrible, wasn’t entirely believable. I just didn’t buy into the Corbeaus being so superstitious that red feathers would lead to him being ostracized to such an extent. They were really just ridiculously mean to him! Why did no one (for instance, Cluck’s beloved grandfather) turn round to his mother and tell her to stop being such a bitch to him? And the Palomas kicking Lace out on her ear for having a feather-shaped burn? It was confusing because both families are shown as being really tight-knit, so why didn’t the Palomas rally round and help Lace find a ‘cure’ for her burn?
I like the idea of feuding families and I’m a complete sucker for forbidden love (terribly romantic!) and the author put in some really nice details, like the superstition about being poisoned if you touch a member of the opposing family. In fact, there were loads of lovely details and the author has obviously put a lot of effort into the worldbuilding.
All in all, this wasn’t a terrible book, but it didn’t really do it for me. I wouldn’t tell anyone to give it a miss, though, because I can see how some people are going to absolutely love it. I think fans of Laini Taylor and Neil Gaiman will especially like The Weight Of Feathers.
I received a copy of The Weight of Feathers in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to St Martin's Press and Netgalley.