Individual Rating: 4.5/5
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield — her brother, fighting with the enemy — the brother she watched die five years ago.
Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.
She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.
I had a lot of feelings during this book. I really liked it, and I think others will, too. One feeling I felt was outrage. I had to actually put the book down after reading the first few chapters because of how upset I was with Fiske and her brother, Iri. Absolutely livid. I loved Eelyn’s reactions and how she dealt with the situations she was thrown into, because I connected with her a lot, but I was pretty unhappy with Iri and Fiske. I guess that was the point, though.
When we got down to it, I really loved the book. I loved the Aska and Riki and their conflicts, and how they interacted when it came down to it in the end. I liked how familial it felt and how Iri really felt bad for what he did to Eelyn and her father, and I liked that everyone held their beliefs. Too often I see weak characters in books that bend so easily to whatever the opposing side is. I didn’t feel this at all with Eelyn. She’s strong and courageous and holds her beliefs, which is something that I really look up to.
I really liked Fiske, after I got over hating him. At first I was really disappointed. My literal thought was ‘wait. this jackass is the love interest? great.’ But, he grew on me. I liked that the book didn’t depend on the romance. It was subtle and not something that needed to be there, it just was. It was natural, not forced, and kind of amazing. This was one of the best books I’ve read this year.
I recommend this book to anyone who wants a badass female MC. It evoked a lot of emotions, which I really respect in a book. Please pick it up. Please read it. Please fall in love, just like I did.
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: April 24th, 2018
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Author: Adrienne Young