OND ELDR. BREATHE FIRE.
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.- Goodreads
Jumping right into this, Eelyn can fight. She can completely hold her own and just destroy those around her. For a majority of the book, she was injured, so if what I read was at her weakest, you can only imagine what she is like at her strongest. I love how badass she is when she is on the battlefield.
As much as I liked her, the story was predictable. Predictable in the sense that the author set the entire book up, where there was only one way to go. There could have been many different ways to go but you see the road very clearly and that was my issue with the book. Nope, I lied. I wish Fiske has more depth and the author gave him more personality because I liked him and wanted more of him.
That is pretty much my only issue with the book. Even the romance, which was non traditional in the YA genre was really good. It wasn’t stars exploding around them nor was love found on the perfect day, in the perfect moment, in the perfect weather. Shoot the love wasn’t even found on the battlefield. It was just there and the author was really subtle about it and if you didn’t catch the signs building (or the obvious) then you would have thought it was instant.
I liked that fact that other than the emotional struggle of finding out her brother is alive and now being help captive in a different tribe, Eelyn was sure about herself in the sense that she knew what she didn’t want and she knew what she was willing to sacrifice. Even after everything was said and done, she held on to her faith and her beliefs and I admire that.
There isn’t a whole lot of physical fight going on. There are 3 maybe 4 breakout scenes that you can visibility see a battlefield. I want to say think of when the Romans fought hand to hand but with a lot more dirt, muscles, blood and darkness.
I liked this book and I wasn’t expecting to. There is a lot of hype behind this and normally I am not for that. But this meets the hype and the ending is just right. I want more from this universe but not necessarily from Eelyn and Fiske.