Home / Book Review / Vibrant & Magical | Book Review: The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

Vibrant & Magical | Book Review: The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

The Weight of Feathers’ family rivalry makes the Hatfields and McCoys look tame…

Book Review: The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

Goodreads | Amazon | Anna-Marie McLemore’s Website

the weight of feathers anna-marie mclemore book review

Title & Author: The Weight of Feathers: A Novel by Anna-Marie McLemore

Genre: Young Adult – Fantasy, Magical Realism

Release Date: September 15, 2015

Series: Standalone

Publisher: Macmillan

How I Got the Book: ARC via the publisher


“For twenty years, the Palomas and the Corbeaus have been rivals and enemies, locked in an escalating feud for over a generation. Both families make their living as traveling performers in competing shows—the Palomas swimming in mermaid exhibitions, the Corbeaus, former tightrope walkers, performing in the tallest trees they can find.

Lace Paloma may be new to her family’s show, but she knows as well as anyone that the Corbeaus are pure magia negra, black magic from the devil himself. Simply touching one could mean death, and she’s been taught from birth to keep away. But when disaster strikes the small town where both families are performing, it’s a Corbeau boy, Cluck, who saves Lace’s life. And his touch immerses her in the world of the Corbeaus, where falling for him could turn his own family against him, and one misstep can be just as dangerous on the ground as it is in the trees. ”

Magically Delicious

(Also applies to Lucky Charms)

First facts then feels.

This story takes an old concept – feuding families – and gives it a fresh new spin. Cluck is from the Corbeau family. They’re French and are part of a traveling group of performers whose act involves a sort of ballet on tree branches.

Lace is part of the Palomas. They’re Spanish and live in a small town where they are known for the mermaid-esque performances. They HATE when the Corbeaus make a tour stop in their area because old wounds always seem to re-open….

My favorite thing about The Weight of Feathers are the descriptions. They are stunning in their originality and beauty. That alone was magical to me. I actually felt like I was experiencing things for the first time by how they were described.

I also loved the actual magical realism present in the story. It’s like a light fantasy. Only a few things are beyond the realm of possibility and they only extend to the two families.

Another thing that made the story unusual is that both French and Spanish are used in place of dialogue or descriptions and they’re not always explained in English. I’ve seen this once or twice in other books, and I’m intrigued as to how this affects readers.

I find it both slightly confusing and adding in authenticity.

As for the actual pacing and storyline, despite my immense interest in the plot and characters, there were long bits were nothing much was happening. I didn’t mind it too much, but I wished for a little more…anything to be taking place. I think readers not as in awe of the newness of the story may have been derailed.

I really liked too how The Weight of Feathers is more than just a romance. Themes of prejudice and violence and family were incorporated.


Despite some slower parts in the middle, this is a book to sink into. Language is used in a masterful way here – where its in English or not. The Weight of Feathers will win you over with its powerfully vibrant descriptions and contemporary setting tinged with magic – strongly recommended.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • AnneBennett

    Are the Spanish and French words defined or do you have to figure out what they mean from the context?

    • Sometimes they’re explained and other times the author left it up to context. Hope that helps!