Cuckoo's Flight

Publication Date: 2 Mar. 2021
Format: Paperback / softback

ISBN 9781760524913

    16.99 16.99 16.990000000000002 AUD


    Option not available

    This combination does not exist.

    Add to Cart

    NOTABLE BOOK: 2022 CBCA Book of the Year, Younger Readers

    If she had stayed to load the kiln as she should have, she'd never have seen the ship. Mama said the ship still would have been there, so everything had to happen the way it did. But that's not true. Clio saw it, and the world changed.

    When a raiders' ship appears off the coast, the goddess demands an unthinkable price to save the town - and Clio's grandmother creates a sacred statue to save Clio's life.

    But Clio is torn between the demands of guarding the statue and caring for her beloved horses. Disabled in an accident, she must try to put aside her own grief at no longer being able to ride - and in the process, save a friend's life and stop a war.

    Rippling with emotion and drama, war and resistance, fear and determination, this novel is a brilliant companion to the highly acclaimed Dragonfly Song and Swallow's Dance.


    Book Type: Junior High
    Age Group: 10 to 14 years
    Traffic Lights: Green/Amber
    Class Novel: Yes
    Good Reads Rating: 5/5
    Literary Rating: 5/5


    While out on the hills caring for her horses, Clio spots a raider’s ship that the town watch has not seen. It’s clear they are much closer than expected and are readying themselves for war.

    In response, the Oracle says a girl must be sacrificed to keep the town safe. Clio’s aunt was the last to be sacrificed, years before she was born, so Clio is certain she will be next. However, Grandmother Leira, having lost her daughter to the goddess, is not about to let her granddaughter go so easily. She convinces the Lady that they need a priestess who will never die and gains permission to make a statue in the hope the Oracle will agree to take it instead.

    But in the making of the statue, a work of rare artistry at the hands of a master potter, Leira herself dies, and the whole town mourns her passing.

    When she sees a lamb sacrificed on the alter, Clio realises what it really means to be ‘chosen’ and is determined to live.

    The Oracle decides to send the trading ships off early, which leaves the town more vulnerable to attack. Before her Dada leaves with the men, he gives Clio the chariot he has secretly been building for her. She suffered permanent injury after being thrown off a horse as a child (it was spooked by a snake) and can no longer ride a horse or even walk without relying heavily on a wooden crutch. The chariot gives her the freedom she has longed for.

    After a supposed wild dog attack risks their beloved horses, Clio meets Mika, a girl from the fishing village. Mika is naturally gifted with the horses, and Clio helps her develop her gift, teaching her to ride while trying to overcome her own natural jealousy.

    When the day of choosing comes, Clio’s best friend Delta is chosen. To save her, Clio must present the statue, but Mika’s brother Dymos has stolen it. Dymos is bitter because his grandmother was a slave, harvesting purple dye from putrid shellfish to provide the priests and nobles with their richly coloured cloths. Only one person was ever kind to her and helped set her free—that person was actually Leila, Clio’s grandmother.

    Since Leila’s death, Clio has been following guidance in her heart she knows to be her grandmother. Leila ‘tells’ Clio the only way to save the town is for the slaves to be set free and given the opportunity to fight alongside them for their home.

    Through their bravery, Clio and Mika are able to help turn the tide, and the Lady agrees to set the slaves free. Eventually a truce is agreed between the raiders and the town, bringing peace and freedom. Clio may have physical limitations on the outside, but they prove to be no limitation at all when it comes to being courageous and making a difference…

    An excellent companion novel to the award-winning Dragonfly Song and Swallow’s Dance.


    Bronze Age Crete, horses, family, primitive religious beliefs, friendship, courage, hope, determination, disability, making a difference

    Content Notes

    1. As you would expect from the era the story is set in, there are primitive religious beliefs in goddesses, sea gods etc., animal sacrifice on the alter (p. 222), and the practice of incarcerating a young girl underground to serve as priestess to the goddess. 2. Mika’s brother Dymos punches her and knocks her out (p. 175).

    How to Use the Site:

    MEMBER DISCOUNTS: For Member pricing, please sign in to your Book Curator account.
    WISH LISTS: Signing in will also allow you to create a wish list. Just choose the heart icon on each product you want to add. To view your list, click on the heart icon at the top right of your screen.
    COMPARING PRODUCTS: To compare products, use the scales icon.
    TO VIEW OR COMPLETE YOUR ORDER: Click on the cart icon at the top right of your screen.
    SHIPPING: Enjoy the low flat rate of just 12.95 shipping and handling to anywhere in Australia, no matter how large your order is.