Updraft by Fran Wilde
Kirit Densira cannot wait to pass her wingtest and begin flying as a trader by her mother’s side, being in service to her beloved home tower and exploring the skies beyond. When Kirit inadvertently breaks Tower Law, the city’s secretive governing body, the Singers, demand that she become one of them instead. In an attempt to save her family from greater censure, Kirit must give up her dreams to throw herself into the dangerous training at the Spire, the tallest, most forbidding tower, deep at the heart of the City.
As she grows in knowledge and power, she starts to uncover the depths of Spire secrets. Kirit begins to doubt her world and its unassailable Laws, setting in motion a chain of events that will lead to a haunting choice, and may well change the city forever-if it isn’t destroyed outright.
I have had this on my TBR pile for a year…just to give you some idea of how crazy it gets!
This is a mix of bleak and hopeful wrapped up in a coming-of-age tale; it’s a story about someone trying to find their place and wanting a different life, looking up to a parent – but also trying to work out how they fit in a society and realising that maybe the society doesn’t fit them because it needs changing…
And there’s horrible monsters. And flying. So it’s a pretty good story in terms of the world, too!
I really liked the world and worldbuilding; the details and intricacy feed into the story but don’t overwhelm it, and it’s tiny things like the wing-fabric or the Laws that lend a rounded feel to the story. I also loved the way Kirit’s hopes and dreams stem from the society around her, but also run counter to it, and the way that plays out to the conclusion – which is satisfyingly dramatic and shattering! Everything builds nicely, and I liked the mix of personalities – the Singers and Spire-folk have a complex mix of motives and politics that I really enjoyed.
It was definitely worth the wait to read; not one I’ll likely re-read, but a satisfying and interesting read in a unique and enthralling world.