On Swift Wings: The Travails of Cygnus by Brett Wiens is a satirical novel that is almost political in nature. Cygnus has no idea where he is and his mind cannot accept the fact that he is in a place where everything boggles his mind. When he survived a plane crash, he had no idea he would be stranded on an island where the horses are intelligent and the humans are not the creatures that he is used to. Scared out of his mind and desperate to escape, he gets away from the island, only to find himself on another bizarre island every time he gets away from one. The obstacles never seem to end, but Cygnus knows that he needs to be patient and have an open mind if he wants to get home. Can he keep calm and control his emotions until he can get home safely? Is it really possible to get back to where he is from when Cygnus doesn’t even have any idea where he actually is?
The author shares an interesting look at the current world order by taking inspiration from the classic Gulliver’s Travels. Cygnus is a unique character; he is a fighter yet he is easily intimidated (to be honest, anyone would be in such situations). The world-building is amazing, the descriptions are incredible and the imagery is exceptionally vivid. The islands are richly detailed; the creatures living on these islands are absurd yet serve the purpose of highlighting ridiculous ideologies we have created and how we seem to believe in them blindly. We judge, we make opinions and then we stick by them. Cygnus is a great example of this yet he is ready to make a change and he is not afraid to explore the change. He explores, he makes assumptions and then makes intelligent decisions to survive. This is a must-read for anyone who enjoys political satires or a re-adaptation of classics.