Feather Stroke is the last book this author wrote. It is also her only fantasy. Ms. Van Scyoc is beyond stereotyping. All of her books are creative and disturbing in some way. I wouldn't say that I liked them all, but each one that I've read had an effect on me beyond the words on the page. She reminds me of Octavia Butler in her willingness to go to that uncomfortable place that writing so rarely goes. They aren't gratuitous in any way, simply a little distressing.
Description: the girl Dara was as plain a the buildings of the simple folk, as gray as the land they called their own. Yet there was a fire behind her eyes. Unbidden, her thoughts took flight to the world her grandmother knew, when water and wind had names, and the people had souls that sang. Frightened, she pushed this world away...
Then one day, the world came to her. Danger, in the form of a rider, splendid in gold and red. Wisdom, in the vision of the Ilijhari, the mountain folk who could see through the eyes of their birds.
And Destiny, for those with the wings to ride the air.
Van Scyoc is a super writer. this isn't as good as Darkchild but is still a fabulous imaginative fantasy about bird people.