Admittedly, I'm about 15 years past qualifying as a "teen" but I've read some really good teen fiction. This one isn't my favorite. The world building is a bit lazy: starving district (they're not called districts, but you'll see a lot of parallels with Hunger Games) with an excessively wealthy capitol, once a month arena demonstration (just...because...?), a 100 year war that isn't clear on why the two sides don't pull together and share the resources they each have that the other needs. I'm only on chapter 8 but I'm losing interest. The regular girl who is special-er than all the other girls and who the handsome boy notices even though she's "regular" is a story trope as old as time, but this one is done clunkily. I don't get much of a sense of who Mare is within the first few chapters except that she's a thief who hates being a thief and mopes about how she's not good at anything.

A minor thing that irritated me about this world. Mare mentions the healers aren't wasted on the commoners fighting the war. Why not??? If they've been fighting this war for 100 years, why not use magic (it's not like they're wasting resources) to cure them so they can have an endless supply of soldiers?

Things I like about this book: female author, female characters depicted as warriors and strong, powerful people, writing style.

MeganDFarris's rating:
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