William Nicholson was born in 1948 and received his early education at Downside School, a Roman Catholic monastic school set in the countryside near Bath. He went on to study English Literature at Christ's College, Cambridge, graduating with a double First Class degree in 1970. After leaving university, William joined BBC television, where he worked as a documentary film maker. It was not long before William's talent was channelled into writing for television dramas and his professional writing career took off. William is perhaps best known as an experienced and successful Hollywood screenwriter, whose credits include the BAFTA award-winning SHADOWLANDS and Oscar-winning GLADIATOR. Nicholson's first trilogy for young readers, The Wind on Fire, met with universal acclaim. Nicholson has won the Smarties Gold Award and the Blue Peter Book Award. He has been cited as one of the most gifted and imaginative writers alive in the world today. William lives in Sussex with his wife Virginia, and their three children.
PW called The Wind Singer a "highly imaginative debut YA novel" in the trilogy that follows twins Kestrel and Bowman through the dystopian city of Aramanth, and their separation and eventual reunion after the city is destroyed. Ages 10-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Gr 7-10-This concluding volume of the trilogy features fast-paced action, poetic language, and carefully constructed characters. The first half of the book describes the journey of twins Bowman and Kestrel, their family, and the remnants of the Manth people to their ancestral homeland. They face an attack by bandits, who take Kestrel and other young women captive; a "passion fly" that brings out the hidden sides of people's natures; and a valley in which happiness is the greatest danger of all. As the time of "the wind on fire" begins, the focus shifts to Bowman's preparation for what he thinks will be his role in moving the world from cruelty and danger to the time of kindness. The twins' relationships with one another and with other characters give emotional depth to the action and Nicholson's sure use of detail gives even minor characters clear personalities and a role in exploring the book's themes. While Firesong will have an especially strong appeal to fans of The Wind Singer (2000) and Slaves of the Mastery (2001, both Hyperion), enough background is provided to make this an independently powerful fantasy that will appeal to fans of Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy (Knopf).-Beth L. Meister, Yeshiva of Central Queens, Flushing, NY Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.