Australian author Gisela (Gigi) Sedlmayer, originally from Germany until the Berlin Wall was erected, moved to Munich and studied architectural drafting – her entry into the work force – until she and her husband moved to New Zealand where her artistic gifts found response in creating hand crafted parrots. Gigi‘s next relocation was to Australia with her family now having grown to include two adopted twin girls. In 1994 Gigi was diagnosed with cancer and survived surgeries and radiation, and rather than ‘giving up’, Gigi turned to writing – the result being this very highly praised and awarded series – the Talon Series – a young adult series about a family of condors and missionary Australians and a young girl adopted by the condors.
The story is set in Peru and is focused on a young girl Matica who is congenitally small in stature (though nine years of age she appears to be age two!) and who is frowned upon by the Andean Indians because of her strange appearance: Matica is lonely and longs for friends which she finds not in people, but in the condors – birds of threatened extinction. She is guided by the great condors Tamo and Tima and when their egg hatches Matica nutures the young condor, Talon, who becomes her closest ally. Together they soar through adventures that celebrate the majesty of the Peruvian landscape and beyond.
There are many subtle and meaningful concepts the story shares – Matica may be small but her stature is great and in becoming involved with the condors, she is ultimately accepted as special by the Andean Indians.
This may be book 1 of a series but by the end of the book the reader is addicted to discover more and thus to proceed through the entire series. Very highly recommended. Grady Harp, January 18
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.