A review by beewitchtt
House of Beating Wings, by Olivia Wildenstein

adventurous funny lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


 I don't quite remember where I heard about this book, but at some point I went on kindle unlimited and added it. I was between books at the time coming fresh off Hellbent and Gild, so this one was on the chopping block as a buffer between other series.

At the end I'll talk about the romance for those who are curious, but at the beginning I want to talk about some things about this book that I REALLY really like.

Can I say that I necessarily adored it? I don't think so.

But did I at least enjoy it? mmmm... by the end I did.

The world building was amazing.

I really enjoyed this world that we were thrown into. I was instantly interested in Fallon and her love for creatures and beasts, and I enjoyed how much she just seemed like a normal person.

I think the best thing about this book however is the way that the language is built. I do not speak Italian or whatever else is going on in this book, but I greatly enjoyed how the reader was introduced to these terms that we might not understand and how, in universe, Fallon translates for us. She will also help you along with pronunciation! And it never takes you out of the world! how cool and how masterfully executed. Bravo.

When Fallon encounters a language she doesn't know, if someone who is a native speaker says something in their language out loud, it will be spelled properly, but when Fallon repeats it to us or says it herself- since she has no knowledge of how the word is written- it will be written phonetically. As a result, you can build your own vocabulary alongside the main character. It is quite wonderful, and great fun. This carries on into the second book and I think it's absolutely one of the most fun and interesting parts of this story that really keeps me reading. Even when Fallon annoys the shit out of me, I am still excited to learn new terms and new words in the Crow language!

The plot was... happening I guess.

The plot, I can get behind a little bit. I didn't really line up with Fallon's goals at first or really care if she got all the crows cuz lets face it, she did it so she could be with Dante and I didn't want her to be with Dante. I would have not given a heck if she did not end up with him. So most of the time I was thinking, "okay queen lets hurry this up cuz I'm sick of it."

By the end I wanted her to get them because I had a feeling Lore was hot. That was it really. I didn't have a reason to believe quite yet that Lore was a better king than Marco or Dante would be, and as far as I knew, all the kings in this realm are asshats. Which, by the end Fallon felt the same way, so, who knows. But the political bits began to get a little more interesting to me, and fairy politics can be great fun if done correctly. So I stuck around.

You'd have to stick around until the next book for anything that really regards the plot or actually deals with the problems presented in book 1, and once you get past the 60% mark you might as well push to the end.

Now, Lets talk romance

As mentioned in the synopsis, this MC is obsessed with a certain prince. This worked for me for a while, because I completely understand senseless crushes. We've all been there, and its the worst and your brain is really, really annoying.

It takes about 60% of this book for her to KIND OF shut up about this guy. And you're gasping for air at that point, as her constant obsessing over a man who is obviously the fucking worst does grind on your gears quite a bit. I had to look up around the 40% mark to make sure that this author wasn't pulling my leg and they weren't going to end up together because I hated him so damn much, and after I had to read the worst smut scene of my ENTIRE career, I was begging Wildenstein to put me out of my misery.

***Note: This smut scene was bad on purpose- that does not make the reading experience good or any less skin crawling. A lot of us had terrible first times with selfish lovers, so most of the time you're just enraged that you had to be reminded about that experience.

By the time the story is actually picking up and she's left Luce, thank god. She's still annoying but at some point it become a little bit endearing, and she gains an unlikely love interest. I commend the author from abstaining from introducing him for so long- as with many books, I find that authors will just dive RIGHT into introducing him and they're in love by the books 20% mark. Is it slow burn? Sure. Did I necessarily enjoy it very much? Still, I am not quite sure.

I am currently reading the second one, because I am in far too deep now to stop and I kind of enjoyed where the story was going, but god did it take a long time to get there.

I think a lot of these problems I have are because the author was too good at writing some shit. Bad crushes, bad sex, being in the dark about others ambitions... ugh. It was just so real that it was hard to enjoy a large chunk of this book.

Would I recommend it to others? Sure if they're looking for great world building.

If you don't like bad relationships, bad sex or stupid main characters (and she is just downright silly sometimes I swear), I'd stay away.