Readers’ Reviews for On the Wings of the Wind

Tracey Spears, Cleveland, Ohio

ON THE WINGS OF THE WIND was my summer read. The depiction of slavery and the whippings just cut me to the core of my soul. The visuals were clear and strong. It truly placed me at scene that became surreal for me. I felt the back lashes. I felt their skin tear open, and I felt their wounds. Periodically I felt waves of emotions.

The book took a rest on my cocktail table for about two weeks before I could pick it back up and continue. Mr. Kigel wrote in such a way that appeared to be up close and personal.

I enjoyed how he pulled the story together scientifically. When it comes to putting together an aircraft I had no idea how he would demonstrate the mechanics. I commend him on the research to highlight history and explain the scientific.

Although it was a difficult read in the beginning, in the end it was my pleasure to read. I enjoyed the journey! I was so hoping that Maria would pull this story together and connect all the dots and find Josiah! She was trying her hardest to get that big breaking story!

Mr. Kigel is truly a brilliant writer and gifted in his craft. Reading the book has given me another level of confidence to write and to trust in my ability as I know I can.

Craig Amos, Houston, Texas

What an in-depth creative approach to history! A wonderfully told, thought-provoking adventure story about the making of an aircraft and three slaves who flew it to freedom. While that in itself is of major significance, it’s hardly the entire story.

Mr. Kigel presents this unique tale with each character described in such detail the reader can virtually perceive facial expressions at every situation. This book has nearly everything: suspense, wit, compassion, detailed craftsmanship, and of course-we are talking about slavery here-pain and empathy.

Using the technique to command the reader’s continued absorption, the author intersperses cliffhangers very effectively. I had to peruse several of the previous chapter’s last sentences to ensure that I didn’t miss something before moving on. What inspires me is that an author of non-African descent can impart this story with such warmth and astounding sensitivity.

Combining historical accuracy with creativity is the perfect combination that makes ON THE WINGS OF THE WIND a thoroughly enjoyable piece of work. The book is literally a work of art.

Irma Robinson, Marysville, California

This is not a review of ON THE WINGS OF THE WIND by Richard Kigel. It is more about how and why having read this book it has inspired me to relate why I call ON THE WINGS OF THE WIND a living, breathing description of my historical cultural means of survival for over 300 years of racial discrimination.

And we have been able to do so because in every family we have an extended family unit made up of folks like Auntie Bee and Mose and Josiah.

Our cultural unsung hero is Auntie Bee, a tower of strength in physical and mental courage.

Mose is the best example of what our Christian Bible means when it talks about “seek and ye shall find.” Mose fears the unknown but he faces it head on using his common sense and skills as a handyman without knowing he was actually doing the work of a flight engineer. (smile)

Josiah represents the generation taught by the generation before him-how and why he must not be allowed to suffer the ills, limitations and stagnation of mind and body. And he is in charge of doing the same for the generation to follow-the two little ones. He is charged to use all he has learned to continue to seek and find any way to educate himself and the coming generation. As a free man he comes to teach the next and the next generation to achieve the same kinds of advances that will bring peace on earth and good will towards mankind no matter how hard it is. That is why he wrote this (fictional) memoir—so future generations will know the glorious and magnificent story of history’s first flight.

This is my culture, my history which has been covered so expertly and so inspirationally and brought so much enjoyment reading ON THE WINGS OF THE WIND by Richard Kigel.

Gregory Boulware, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


The primacy of spirituality over technology is the key to comprehending how Africa accomplished what it did. The knowledge resides in the womb of a rejected people and their way of life.

Thus, Africa reminds us – “Man Know Thyself!”

History’s first successful flight is told with a blend of fiction and factual history, science, and fantasy in a highly spirited adventure. Richard Kigel’s ON THE WINGS OF THE WIND: The Untold Story of History’s First Flight is brilliantly put to pen and paper. A masterful account of a collaboration of spirited ingenuity and perseverance – a triumph of the true human spirit as portrayed by the actions of an American African Slave and ancestor to the fourth African American Woman Astronaut. The slave Josiah Brantley is the Great-Great-Great-Granddaddy of Dr. Sharon Brantley, N.A.S.A. Scientist and Astronaut.

Josiah Brantley flew to freedom from his Virginia to Pennsylvania during the 19th century. We’ve been told many things about the past – most of which have proven to be false…just plain ole lies come to light over and over again. Remember the Wright Brothers – Wilbur and Orville? Forget about it!

Siebra Muhammad, New Orleans, Louisiana

Excellent read. A PERFECT 10! It is amazing and I was hooked on it from beginning to end. I received the book about two weeks ago and read it with admiration. This book deserves to be in every school classroom and public library because it shows that you can accomplish anything in life. I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes historical fiction.

The story line was easy to follow and the characters leaped from the pages. Their lives were so interesting to me! This book is beautifully written and its message is subliminal yet powerful. The author’s research on slavery is impressive and I think that he has really captured the thoughts and feelings of slavery that are very deep and hopeful. I can feel the author’s deepest passions as they flow throughout the pages. I hope he will share more, and I hope his plea is read, heard and acted upon; much more than just being read. Overall it is one of the most phenomenal books I’ve ever read.

Genevieve Smith, Greenwich Village, New York

Richard Kigel’s own flight of imagination is as remarkable as the journeys–past and present–taken by the characters in ON THE WINGS OF THE WIND. It is an original, moving, exciting story that will certainly appeal to readers of all ages!