The Blue Hawk (PB) by Peter Dickinson
The Blue Hawk. Powerful, sacred, untameable. Its sacrifice will bring glory to the gods, strength to the nation - and the success of evil plans by sinister priests.
But when the gods command Tron, a temple boy, to rescue the bird and overturn the sacrifice, the destiny of the kingdom is placed in his hands. Hunted by temple assassins, Tron and his hawk flee into the blazing desert, where they are helped by an ambitious young king with dark secrets of his own. And soon they find themselves at the heart of a ferocious battle for the future of their world.
'Magnificent. Peter Dickinson is the past-master storyteller of our day' TLS