The Conjurer's Bird Author:Martin Davies In 1774, an unusual bird was spotted on Captain Cook’s second expedition to the South Seas. This single specimen was captured, preserved, and brought back to England—and no other bird of its kind was ever seen again. The bird was given to naturalist Joseph Banks, who displayed it proudly in his collection until it too disappeared. We... more »re it not for a colored drawing created by the ship’s artist, it would seem that the Mysterious Bird of Ulieta had never existed.
Two hundred years later, naturalist John Fitzgerald gets a call from an old friend asking him to join the search for the bird’s remains. He traces the bird’s history, uncovering surprising details about the role of a woman known only as Miss B in Joseph Banks’s life and career. Could she be the key to solving the mystery—to finally finding the lost Bird of Ulieta?
Seamlessly leaping between two time periods, The Conjurer’s Bird is at once the story of Joseph Banks’s secret life and of Fitz’s thrilling and near-impossible race to find the elusive bird.« less
Davies deftly mixes two stories - the hunt for the only known specimen of the Bird of Ulieta discovered by Captain Cook's voyage and given to naturalist Joseph Banks - and Banks own romance, which is key to the hunt. He creates likable characters, uses symbolism gently without pounding the reader over the head - and keeps the suspense until the final page. An underrated gem.