Untethered Sky PDF Novel

untethered sky

Untethered Sky is a novella by Fonda Lee, the author of the World Fantasy Award-winning Jade City trilogy. It is a story of revenge, obsession, and love set in a world where humans are threatened by monstrous creatures called manticores, and the only way to fight them is by training and riding giant birds of prey called rocs. The protagonist, Ester, is a young woman who lost her mother and brother to a manticore attack, and has dedicated her life to becoming a roc rider in the King’s Royal Mews. She must bond with a young roc named Zahra, and face the dangers and challenges of hunting manticores in the sky.

The novella has received positive reviews from critics and readers alike, who praised Lee’s skillful storytelling, vivid world-building, and emotional impact. Some of the reviews are:

  • “Untethered Sky is a brisk novella with a bite, sinking its talons into unsuspecting readers too lulled by the standard tale of beasts and people working together for a common good. This is not one of those stories. This is a story of sacrifice and obsession, of love and loss, of rage and grief. It is a story that will make you feel everything, from awe to horror, from joy to sorrow, from hope to despair.
  • “Untethered Sky is an epic fantasy fable about the pursuit of obsession at all costs. A Most Anticipated in 2023 Pick for Polygon | Book Riot | Paste Magazine.
  • “It’s about a young woman’s obsession with and love for rocs, the majestic and terrifying giant hunting birds who are trained to kill the monsters who brutally destroyed her family. In less than 200 pages, Lee proves her talent for storytelling and world-building by creating an immersive world that felt so real.”
  • “This was my experience (and many readers’ experiences) with the Jade City trilogy, and it was my experience again with her latest, Untethered Sky —a lean, vicious, beautiful and bittersweet story of grief, loss, and rage.”

My personal opinion is that Untethered Sky is a powerful and captivating novella that explores the themes of trauma, vengeance, loyalty, and identity. Lee creates a fascinating and original fantasy world that is rich in detail and history. The characters are complex and flawed, especially Ester, who struggles with her own demons and desires. The relationship between Ester and Zahra is also compelling and nuanced, showing both the bond and the conflict between human and animal. The action scenes are thrilling and tense, as the roc riders face the deadly manticores in aerial combat. The ending is unexpected and heartbreaking, leaving me with a mix of emotions.


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