Ashley J. Barner is a fantasy author and fan scholar from rural Pennsylvania. She majored in English secondary education at Wilson College in Chambersburg, PA, graduating summa cum laude as her class’s valedictorian. She went on to earn her MA in English literature at the University of Delaware, and her Ph.D. at Ohio University with a dissertation on fanfiction.

Ashley’s interests include art, crafts, music, and dance, especially ballet and swing. Ashley lives in Pennsylvania with her family and their fourteen cats.


Aveline was a brilliant but quiet girl who learned how to speak the secret Birdtongue from her scholarly father, a skill known only by three people in the entire kingdom. Not quite peasant, but not of nobility, she had long accepted the fact that any marriage would require one person or the other to have to “marry down.” So she was content with her studies and immersed herself in the language of the birds. But all that would change when a strange blue bird arrived . . . 

Aras was a noble lord. When he became aware of a sorceress’s attempt to usurp the kingdom, she transformed him into a bird. But, as an extra act of cruelty, she left one place where he can be human again—an isolated, out-of-the-way place no one would ever look for . . .

Until the day Aveline found him.

Together, with the aid of three bird princes, Aveline and Aras must save the kingdom from the sorceress. But before they can do so, they must first discover the three things more powerful than despair: courage, hope, and love.