Wing of the Locust follows the life of Tuan, who escapes his mundane and mediocre existence when he is apprenticed to Muhen, a charming barangay wiseman. But as he delves deeper into the craft of a mambabarang and its applications in espionage, sabotage, and assassination, the young apprentice is overcome by conflicting emotions. Danger threatens those around him, and Tuan must consider sacrificing himself for the sake of his loved ones, causing him to question his new life.
Immersive and imaginative, Wing of the Locust absorbs readers into its intricate world of pre-Hispanic Philippines in a ‘strangely familiar’ land. The nuances, scenery, and traditions speak to not only Filipino readers, but also an assuring nod to children of the soil of Southeast Asia, in moments of shared human history.
Beyond the mystifying realms of magic, Wing of the Locust never loses its depth as it grapples with universal questions of identity, acceptance, duty, and purpose. Speaking to readers who are finding their place in the world, the story stares into the face of hardship with resilience yet burdened with the dilemma of good over evil, reflecting difficult choices in one’s life. An adventure of excitement, heartache, and intrigue, it mirrors society’s norms and the consequences of going against the grain, and ever-relevant pondering even in today’s world.
Gina Apostol, award-winning Filipino author of Insurrecto (Publishers' Weekly Ten Best Books of 2018) praised Wing of the Locust for having “the most powerful imaginative coherence” in a land both “estranging and strangely familiar…. gathering into a coming-of-age tale, not only of the main character but of the country.”
Wing of the Locust is the winner of the 2018 Scholastic Asian Book Award (SABA) that honored the best of Asian writing in English by creators of Asian origins. Its author, Joel Donato Ching Jacob, is also an Editor's Choice awardee for The Best Asian Short Stories 2019 for 'Artifacts from the Parent’.
The novel is published by Scholastic Asia, a subsidiary of Scholastic, Inc., the world’s largest children’s book publisher and distributor known for its phenomenal bestsellers such as the Harry Potter and The Hunger Games series.