Published: January 24, 2004
Number of pages: 262
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Genre: romance, adventure, fantasy
Rating: older adults
Verdict: 5 hoots out of 5
Pico is an orphaned librarian born without wings. He is forbidden to fall in love with a winged girl of the city by the sea. But when he discovers an ancient letter about a morning town where the flightless can gain their wings, he packs his things and begins his quest. During his travels, Pico encounters different strangers: a robber queen, a minotaur, a dream seller, a cannibal, and an immortal beauty. Each one helps Pico during his travel until he arrives at the morning city.
I found this book on my sister’s shelf and after reading the summary I asked her if I could borrow it. She read it already and said that it’s a really great book, and after finishing my sister wasn’t wrong about that at all!
The story keeps you on your toes as we’re introduced to Pico, who loves books so much that he cares fastidiously for his library, dusting his books and scaring away mice. He’s a character that we can relate to, someone who loves reading stories of faraway cities and has a penchant for writing poetry that touch the heart. I love his character as he’s passionate and idealistic about romance and beauty and is willing to do anything to be with the girl he falls with as old lovers used to be.
A story about stories and a book about books, I love reading Pico’s quest of gaining his wings while encountering strangers who teach him a valuable lesson through storytelling. Each character’s story is like Aesop’s Fables were there is a moral lesson to be learned as each storyteller shares their experience of love and loss to Pico. He tells them his story and they tell them theirs and in the meantime, teach him survival skills like how to kill and to persevere so that he may keep to his quest. It was like these strangers were preparing Pico for the long hard journey ahead through storytelling, so that he may endure any loss or pain but can still triumph as a hero of his story. During his quest, Pico turns from the innocent and vulnerable librarian to the brave young man he grows to be.
The writing is lyrical and poetic that the story becomes a lesson itself about love and loss, perseverance and courage, and learning to lose yourself to discover who you really are. This is an ode to storytellers, books, and libraries, a story of a marvelous adventure about a passionate young man in search of wings to gain the love of his life. A book recommended for all reading lovers with a wonderful story that is uplifting and heartbreaking.