Very rarely does a book come along that captivates you from the very start and then takes you on an incredible journey. It is also a testament to the power of the author to create a world which is truly believable and one in which you care so deeply about the characters in the story.
There were two other occasions in my life where a book drew me in with such power and I literally could not wait to take the journey. Those were my first readings of “The Lord of the Rings” and “Watership Down”. Stefan Boltz has created a magical world that is reflective of these classic tales of adventure, sacrifice, heroism and redemption. I highly recommend adding this wonderful tale to your reading list!
I got this book a month or so ago, and read it every night until I couldn’t keep my eyes open. Designed for young ones 10 yrs of age and above, I found this book to be excellent for them. It teaches them the value of faith, courage, and love for themselves by taking them on a journey. In addition, as the lead character learns…finding yourself (as many teens seem to believe) is not a journey one takes on their own, and sometimes our most helpful guides can come from some of the most unlikely of places. As a parent, I always feel like it is important to read a book first before passing it on to a child to read. I am truly looking forward to hearing my son’s take on this book, as I have passed it on to him already. Truly full of spiritual lessons, the most important of which, no matter how dark it gets on our journey through life…it is within us, as individuals…to pull through it. Magnificently written.
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Bolz’s (The Dawning of the True Self, 2013) debut YA novel follows one brave adventurer; never mind that he’s a rooster who can barely fly.
Joshua is a proud rooster with bright red tail feathers who lives to protect his coop of hens. But one day, Joshua has vivid dreams that simply leave him wanting more than his formerly uneventful and fulfilling life. So he flies to coop in search of adventure, purpose and the three mysterious feathers that he sees in his dream. Along the way, he meets Grey, a loyal wolf searching the world over for freedom from the pain of his past. Grey and Joshua become fast friends, and soon they welcome another companion into their fold—Krieg, the former warrior horse. In a way, all three are searching for something: Joshua for his life’s purpose, Grey for reprieve from unspeakable loss and Krieg for peace at last. The three brave rabid-hyena attacks; rescue a beautiful, mythical creature from centuries of imprisonment; explore a magical city of light and travel far, wide and deep to complete this mission. The choice of featuring a rooster as a protagonist initially seems off-putting, but the righteous, humble Joshua is a likable hero. In some ways, the tale follows a traditional coming-of-age format, and while the typical life journey doesn’t involve a killer vulture or an army of spiders risen from the dead, everyone’s got formidable obstacles. Bolz’s writing style is crisp and to the point, and the dialogue between the characters—whether spoken or internal (all three animals can speak telepathically)—flows well.
A fantastical, appealing blend of barnyard and Hogwarts.
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During a book signing a few months back, at the Lenape Library Fair, there was a group of four siblings with their mom who passed by my table. One of the girls wanted to buy The Three Feathers. Her mom said that she already had spent their budget and couldn’t afford to buy any more books. The girl was really bummed. One of the dads of the other kids there overheard our conversation and came over to tell me that he would like to buy a copy for her. He did and gave the girl the copy of the book. She was, needles to say, very happy. The next morning, I got a comment on my blog:
“Thanks alot for the book. Yesterday at Lenape. Its Amber here and I read your book last night. I stayed up until 3:25 a.m last night reading your book. It was great. You should make a sequel. This book of yours inspired me to start writing my own books hope I get as far as you did one day. I think you should dicate one of your books to me lol, I’ve asked a lot of authors they all said no. don’t have to just a thought. Well, thanks for the book and thanks for inspiring me! -Amber
It does not get any better than this, on so many levels.
Every so often I encounter a book that feels truer and more inspired than imagined or created. It’s as if the author channels a story drawn up from the depths of heretofore undiscovered world mythology. That’s how I see Stefan Bolz’s book, The Three Feathers. In the story, a rooster named Joshua leaves the comfortable and predictable life of the chicken coop and heads on a quest to uncover the meaning of a persistent dream he has about three feathers. Along the way, he befriends Grey, the wolf, and Krieg, the horse and they travel together, inspired and motivated by Joshua’s vision: “Why did you help me?” Joshua asks the wolf. Grey replies, “I do not know the answer…I just knew I had to. The…longing in you was so strong and powerful I wanted to help you find whatever it was you are looking for. Maybe so I could find whatever it is I’m searching for as well.”
I celebrate this idea of the importance of the personal journey, accomplished in some way with others, as a fortifying and essential element to the world. I like the way the challenges this trio encounters are not minimized or skipped over in some way. It’s very lifelike, this ebb and flow of confidence and doubt among the characters: “That you don’t trust your own strength doesn’t mean I don’t have any left. It also doesn’t mean you can’t trust mine.”
I recommend this book because it’s about family: not just our families of origin but those we choose to have accompany us in our lives. It’s also a book that’s suitable for practically all ages: the storyline is engaging and operates on so many different levels yet remains accessible to anyone, with lots of thought-provoking insights that invite reflection from the reader. I think part of what makes the larger concepts more digestible is the fact that the characters are all animals. I can identify the way I want to.
We need each other, it’s such a sweet reminder: “Even if he found the feathers, what then? It was hard for him to remember how much they meant to him when they appeared in his dream. One thing was certain: if he hadn’t found Grey and Krieg, he would not have come as far as he did. And even more, the friendship between them was what truly made all this worthwhile. It was more than he could have ever hoped to find.”
So grateful for Bolz’s willingness to “birth” this book into the world. Enjoy!
I have always enjoyed reading 1st Novels; I kind of consider it a hobby of mine. 1st Novels represents the expression of many years of an author’s dreaming, scheming and internal storytelling and I think 1st Novels take more work and more dedication than any other book in an author’s career. This book is an excellent 1st novel and a real pleasure to read, even though it’s not the kind of book I typically search out. It came highly recommend and I wasn’t disappointed.
This book is very difficult to categorize, in many ways it takes the form of a folktale, with animals as the sole characters embodying traits of good and evil and exhibiting human qualities of wants, desires and fulfillment of dreams. This book reminds me of a Rudyard Kipling story in the way it’s told and how the animals inform the stories journey. What really sets this book apart and what I think is unique about the book is the narrative voice. The story is told from the perspective of an omnipotent observer and also through internalized dialogue the animals have with one another. I don’t think I have ever read another book that uses this kind of dialogue where characters are able to “think” to one another and it made for a very enjoyable read and a fast paced adventure. The book has an uplifting moral and I think because of the storyline, subject matter, characters and narration this is an excellent book for late teens and tweens as well as adults who are looking for an uplifting moral set in an unusual mystical world. I highly recommend The Three Feathers.
5.0 out of 5 stars In a word – Extraordinary!, August 5, 2012
I thoroughly enjoyed this “good read”, and completed it in one day. The author has done a wonderful job of giving us fully formed, memorable characters. There wasn’t an odd note or lost thread anywhere. I am convinced that this saga has been with the author since his birth, waiting in his subconscious until he felt compelled to write it for all of us to enjoy. I look forward to the sequels.
This is not the type of book I normally read, but I’m so glad I did. Watching Joshua, Krieg, Wind…and of course Grey, who really was my favorite….to watch them on Joshua’s journey grow, bond, overcome so many obstacles and of course learn deep life lessons, it was an honor to read. I think this writer, who I will confess is a friend, has a wonderful mind for writing and with his creativity and imagination, will have many more tales to tell!
This is a great read, for pretty much anyone, I’d say the cliche 8-80 in fact. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters, the many positive messages creatively instilled in the book. It is rare that you find such a well written, book with so many values incorporated into the storyline. Messages like Follow your Dream with perseverance, Unlikely Friendships may be the best of all, dedication to principals and cause, and overcoming self doubt to just name a few, I am looking forward to the next installment.
I’ve made it an unofficial policy of mine to simply not review indie books that I do not like. Grandma’s old adage, “If you can’t say something nice. . . .” sorta stuck with me, she’d be happy to hear. “I’m glad something stuck in that girl’s thick head,” she’d say. However, when an author actually submits a novel for review, I feel an obligation to give it my best shot to let the author know where I feel the story and/or writing could improve and the reader know they might want to skip it. I got that tight, nervous, “oh, no, oh, no, no, no” feeling between the shoulder blades when I started The Three Feathers. Yep. I started to tense up right on the first page, already dreading writing this review. Someone poured their heart and soul into this book, took a leap of faith sending it to me for review, and here I sit judging it from the first page. I imagine Mr. Bolz is feeling that hard, cold knot in his stomach right about now reading this, so I’ve got to let him off the hook. Not even realizing it, I looked up a few pages later and noticed that nervous feeling I had, the dread, had melted away. I had become thoroughly immersed, enthralled, in fact, by the magical world of Joshua the rooster and hadn’t even realized it. Yes, rooster. Give it a chance, people. 😉
Stefan Bolz’s The Three Feathers is a delightful story about stepping out of the box, following your dreams (literally and figuratively, in Joshua’s case) and finding your place, your mission. It is about the bonds of friendship and love, and making differences a strength. It reminds me on many levels of an old Chinese proverb; the language, the Zen-like lessons, the writing itself. The best I could describe it would be an ancient Chinese fable intertwined with a Grimm’s fairy tale, a parable, and an epic fantasy.
The Three Feathers follows Joshua the rooster as he escapes his mindless but easy life in the coop. He has had a dream, and unlike many of us Joshua is brave enough to follow it even though it means leaving the comfort of everything he knows, there is danger at every turn, and he doesn’t know what it really means. He just knows that he must. As his journey begins he meets his companions, Grey and Krieg, a brave wolf and a mighty war horse. Together, they help Joshua follow his dream, while each of them separately fights to overcome their own personal demons. Friendships are forged and obstacles are overcome, fantastical creatures are discovered and evil souls unearthed.
Joshua steps out of his comfort zone and opens his heart to magical possibilities — I am asking you to do the same when you read The Three Feathers. The writing style and dialogue is a bit different — formal yet simple. That’s part of what put me off for the first few pages, I think, but now I realize it is part of the charm and I couldn’t imagine it any other way. The punctuation could have used a little help, but given my background I think I notice punctuation errors more than the average reader.
Mr. Bolz has woven a hypnotic tale where friendship and love can overcome the most devastating of enemies — doubt in yourself. This is a book for all ages. There is danger, yes, and doubt and sadness and loss. But lessons cannot be learned without them, am I right? This book is marvelously innocent and thought-provoking all at the same time. Tired of the jaded and worn out modern fantasy tale? I enthusiastically encourage you to pick up this enchanting fable and rediscover the innocent joy of childhood and the magical wonder of life in this simple yet wonderfully complex story. Joshua and his friends will make you a believer, I promise.
I am a lover of fantasy, strong characters, magic and a really good quest. The Three Feathers has all of these elements, and more. It was my honor to read the first draft of this novel and I was immediately hooked by Stefan’s compelling voice and his capacity to build strong, lovable characters. I think what stood out the most to me was how our little hero, Joshua, took a risk, flew out of his comfort zone (literally) and was rewarded with an incredible journey complete with incredible new friends. The evil villain of this book shone as well – I just loved to hate her! Stefan’s writing keeps the reader turning pages – as some other reviewers said, the story is paced really well and the ending is wonderful and rewarding (if a bit poignant). But no spoilers here! This is an exceptionally satisfying read any time of the year.
decided to read this book because it was written by a friend. I expected to find it amateurish (it is his first) and mildly entertaining. I could not have been more wrong! he is right that it is certainly not your average fairy tale, to me it is a fable destined to be ranked with the Hobbit, Lord of the Rings and Watership Down. At first I struggled for words to describe what I felt after reading The Three Feathers. Here are just a few of the words that came to mind as I started to grasp what I had just encountered in Stephan Bolz writing: spellbinding, gripping, poignant, tender, scary, enveloping, ripe with insights for everyone, compelling parallels, graphic imagery, fanciful character development, perfectly paced, clever beyond words, takes the reader from the depths to the heights, and back ~ more than once.
in short B R A V O my friend! can only hope it really is going to be a trilogy? can’t wait for the next one…
ps ~ a thoroughly agree with the other reviews posted here before mine.
The story begins….I was a bit skeptic. As I read on I realized I was hooked. I could not stop reading the adventures of Joshua. The story is so absorbing you forget where you are or what time zone you are in. I laughed, I gasped, I cried. I prayed for Angels; I prayed the devils would evaporate. If you have the courage and curiosity, this is a must read. Trust me – you will not regret the decision. It is so inciteful and thought provoking. Can you tell I loved it? Enjoy.
I didn’t know what to make of the story at first…being introduced to Joshua, the rooster, as protagonist. I feared the book may have been written for a younger audience than this wizened old coot. But it didn’t take many more pages before I became hooked on this life-changing journey replete with dread, hope, warmth, joy, love and true friendship. Some parts put a lump in your throat, some a smile on your face…all make you want to turn the page and keep going. I’m glad to say I enjoyed the book immensely and look forward to Joshua’s follow-on adventures.
What a joy it was to meet Stefan Bolz and read his book, the Three Feathers.
The images and fast paced story kept me turning the pages; all the while
envisioning each scene on the big screen. I loved Joshua for running away
right from the start. This work of fiction is a must read for those of us
who can’t get enough of roosters. His adventures with a horse called Krieg,
and a wolf named Grey through Hollow’s Gate will take you through an epic fantasy
you are not likely to soon forget.
Stefan Bolz is a bold writer, who is not afraid to take you there.
I hope the movie is next.
Animal lovers especially need to read this book. And those who
are not should read it as well. Read and Believe!
I am not typically into fantasy fiction, and yet I loved the Three Feathers. I would have never expected myself to care about the inner thoughts of a rooster and yet, I continued to read. In fact, I started to read the book in the morning and I didn’t stop until the next morning. I was drawn into the journey, and when I was done, I wanted more. Be prepared – this is a story about a rooster, a wolf, and a war horse – and it took me a bit to let go of my preconceived notions of what makes a hero.
Last spring, I had the opportunity to read aloud Stefan Bolz’s book The Three Feathers prior to its official publication, thanks to the suggestion of one of my students. Although it is not the type of book and genre that I typically choose for my own personal reading, I make it a point to read a variety of text types aloud in class, and we hadn’t yet read and discussed a fable. Throughout the reading of the story, I found it to be very well-written and engaging, and so did my class of fourth graders. We all enjoyed getting to know the characters and reading about the friendship that develops between them, as well as making predictions about what the characters were going to encounter and how they were going to get out of dangerous and difficult situations. In a class of students with mixed reading abilities, I found that all were able to enjoy hearing the story at their own level of understanding. Some students were able to interpret and discuss the book’s message and theme, and others just enjoyed the humorous and suspenseful moments that occur throughout the text. As an adult reader, I found that the book reminded me a lot of The Lord of the Rings stories, and I would whole-heartedly recommend this book to anyone who has read and enjoyed that series.
To say I enjoy this book would be an understatement. The Three feathers had all the elements I look for in a fiction novel. Humble beginnings, tales of new friendships, having to confront a terrible evil. I never thought one of my favorite fiction heroes would be a rooster! Move over Aragorn here comes Joshua Aylong! If you are considering the book take the plunge you wont regret it.
I loved this book. It kept my attention from the very beginning until the last page. You will end up cheering for your favorite character, a rooster believe it or not.
Here is one in German: