Monday, June 5, 2017

Talon, On the Wing

Talon, On the Wing
Book 2 in the Talon series

Talon, On the Wing by [Sedlmayer, Gigi]

About the Book:

Title: Talon, On the Wing (Book 2 in the Talon series) | Author: Gigi Sedlmayer | Publisher: Aurora House | Genre: Survival Story | Pages: 422 | Recommended Age: 10 and up

Book Description:

This highly entertaining story about a girl with a disability that keeps her trapped in a shorter body of a two-year-old is a treasure to read!

Her personality will delight you, and the Indians add to the entertainment.

The condors are the real characters here. It is like watching a cartoon as you read the mischief and the adventures of these birds.

What challenged Matica has dreamed ever since she first saw and befriended the condors, Tamo and Tima, is actually happening with their offspring Talon she and her father had rescued from poachers. And now the incredible, unbelievable, remarkable and wonderful adventures with Talon begins after the incident that happened in Matica's hut.

This is a coming-of-age story where Matica is learning patience, forgiveness and trust.

Again, another story about friendship and freedom, about intercultural aspects in South America, and the dilemmas the main character is facing.

During the ride there is adventure and suspense.

Purchase on Amazon

My Review:

I read a chapter of Talon, On the Wing almost every night to Amanda. The book has 80 chapters, so it took us a few months. Some chapters got a giggle out of Amanda, others were more contemplative, and a few were suspenseful or even tragic.

This is the second book in the series. It was a more reflective and introspective book about Matica's relationships with herself, her family, the villagers in their small town in Peru, and the magnificent condors. Two main themes were forgiveness and acceptance.

Gigi has the ability to draw us into the story and live it along with Matica who is a 10-year-old girl with a growth defect and the daughter of missionaries. Matica learns to embrace her differences and to discover that her small stature isn't a limitation. In fact, adversity can come as a blessing in disguise. In Matica's case, it makes it possible for her to fly on Talon, the condor that she raised from an egg. Gigi blends reality with imagination with the condors who are able to communicate with Matica with grunts and looks. They are also able to understand Matica's words.

This story was very long for a children's book with 422 pages. Some of the content was repetitive, so it could have been shortened without losing the message. I thought that it was sweet that Matica had a love interest in the story, but I thought that the professed love between them was too deep for their age. There were also a few parts that were not appropriate for all ages. These included suicidal thoughts (which were hinted at), child sacrifice that was practiced by the Incas was mentioned, and child abandonment resulting in death when a child was born with a disability (which was still being practiced by some villagers).

My Review of Book 1:
Talon, Come Fly with Me

About the Author:
Gigi Sedlmayer

Gisela (Gigi) Sedlmayer was born on 19 May 1944 in Potsdam, a suburb of Berlin in Germany.
Her family escaped to the West just before the infamous wall went up. They moved around in Germany, wherever her dad got work. That meant she had to change schools 9 times! In the end she stopped making friends for fear that she would lose them again.

Finally they settled in Munich where Gigi studied architectural drafting and met Albert in 1965, marrying in December 1967. She worked as a civil draftsperson in various private consultancies in Munich.

Since her uncle was a writer, she tried to write short animal stories herself. Nothing further came of it, but she developed a love for the written word and started to consume books.

In May 1975, Gigi and her husband moved to New Zealand. Because of language challenges, she started a handcraft business. As a specialty, she made colourful parrots in several sizes of which she sold thousands in a few years.

In 1988, they decided to adopt and became adoptive parents of twin girls the year after. They lived in New Zealand for eighteen years and moved to Australia in September 1992.

Two years later Gigi was diagnosed with cancer. After operations and radiation, she withdrew, thinking that she would probably soon be dead, like her friend who died of cancer, but her two little girls gave her the courage to keep going. After a few years, still among the living, her brain started to work again, so she thought, 'Get a grip on yourself and do something good with your life'.

She remembered the time she wrote short stories and got inspired again, seeing her husband Albert writing the story of their adoption. Her English became increasingly better so she pressed on to develop her creative writing.

Albert taught her how to use a computer and she wrote many short stories. She entered them in competitions and often got very good reports back, which gave her confidence to go on writing. One day the idea for the TALON series came to her and she spent the next several years bringing the story and the characters to life.

She now loves writing and spends most of her time at the computer, developing new story lines. She also loves travelling, 4x4 touring, swimming, gardening, handcrafting, reading, fossicking and enjoys good adventure DVD's or going to the movies.

Disclosure: I received a free digital copy of this book for my honest review.

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