I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this book from BookishFirst and the publisher.
It was nothing like anything I have ever read…. a complete immersion into a brutal, savage world that demands complete sacrifice from its oppressed population. All Onyii has ever known is the shadow of war – it has destroyed everything she has ever loved. She cares for her little foundling sister Ify with a fierce tenderness at odds with the hard shell she projects upon the world.
When Ify is stolen from her, and her sanctuary is destroyed in a brutal raid, Onyii struggles to maintain her thread of humanity as she is forced to become nothing more than an instrument of doom for the rebellion. Ify is beguiled by the world of privilege and learning she is now a part of, and soon repudiates her bond with Onyii. They will be reunited in a daring plot that upsets the status quo, throws their world into chaos, and forces them to face their demons.
The Plot: A beautifully woven symmetry that explores the lasting effects of war upon the psyche of children, and illuminates a forgotten era of history that left an entire population of indigenous peoples decimated.
The Characters : They are complex and hard to love. They are a direct manifestation of their surroundings, and demonstrate the precarious edge that separates good from evil.
The Setting: A helter-skelter race for survival against impossible odds, against a seemingly impregnable enemy.
This is one of the best books I have read all year and I highly recommend it if you are looking for a diverse dystopian YA read.