Live in Infamy (WW2 #3) by Caroline Tung Richmond

“For in the darkest of nights, we shall strike – and strike again.”

Return to the world of The Only Thing to Fear!

In the eighty years since the Axis powers won World War II with their genetically engineered super soldiers, America has changed drastically in the hands of the unforgiving victors. But there are still those who aspire to what the country used to stand for: freedom for all.

In the Western American Territories, Chinese American Ren Cabot has lost nearly everything to Imperial Japan’s rule. After the public execution of his mom for treason five years ago, Ren lives under constant scrutiny of the Empire, afraid that one wrong step will rip apart what remains of his family for good. However, when a chance encounter with a resistance group offers Ren an opportunity to save lives and quite possibly topple the government, he agrees to their deadly plot. But his role will lead him straight into the heart of enemy, and if caught, death would be a much better fate than what the Empire will do to him . . .

Book Links: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Goodreads | Publisher

Personal Thoughts:

Live in Infamy is an alternate history where the United States lost World War II. Divided in different territories, America is under different regime. The Nazi held the Eastern States; the Japanese Imperial Court take the Western States; and Middle America states are under the rule of Italy.

Ren Cabot is a Chinese-American living in a Western American territories that is controlled by Imperial Japan. At a young age, he witnessed his mother executed for treason. Now at sixteen, he and his father lives under constant scrutiny of the Empire, waiting for their one wrong move. When an opportunity to help the resistance came to Ren, he pose as a tailor working inside the home of the Japanese leaders. There he help to plot a way to kidnap the Japanese Princess and infiltrate Alcatraz – a place where Japanese held their experiments to produced powerful soldiers for the Imperial Army.

This is my second foray to Caroline Tung Richmond’s works. The first one is her debut novel, The Darkest Hour, which I also devoured reading. In Live in Infamy, Caroline continue to write alternative history for young readers with ease. She clearly know what she is doing. Her writing not only shows how intensive her research but also her alternate version fit so well to all the historical backgrounds where her story dated. She easily created a believable versions of an alternate history in her novels.

Through Ren, Caroline Tung Richmond show the power of written words. The part where Ren fight the Imperial Japan under a pen name, sharing his words to inspire others to fight, reminds me of our own history here in the Philippines. Back when our country is still under different regime, some of our heroes also fought battle using the power of literature and written words. Ren’s fight become an echo of our own history, making his struggle easily close to heart.

Caraline Tung Richmond’s simple and straight-forward narrative will surely appeal to middle-grade readers, but older readers might find it more on the side of telling-than-showing, especially near the end when the story started to reveal things and tried to tie up loose ends.

Though alternate history, Live in Infamy is still a gritty and terrifying story that tells a reality of every wars. It is a glimpse of an alternate history that can easily be a looming future to some parts of the world.

* This review is based on an ARC received from the publisher, Scholastic Press Philippines in exchange for my honest opinion about the book.


The Red Ribbon by Lucy Adlington

“Clothes show who you are, or who you want to be.”

Rose, Ella, Marta and Carla. In another life we might have all been friends together. But this was Birchwood.

As fourteen-year-old Ella begins her first day at work she steps into a world of silks, seams, scissors, pins, hems and trimmings. She is a dressmaker, but this is no ordinary sewing workshop. Hers are no ordinary clients. Ella has joined the seamstresses of Birkenau-Auschwitz.

Every dress she makes could be the difference between life and death. And this place is all about survival.

Ella seeks refuge from this reality, and from haunting memories, in her work and in the world of fashion and fabrics. She is faced with painful decisions about how far she is prepared to go to survive.

Is her love of clothes and creativity nothing more than collaboration wth her captors, or is it a means of staying alive?

Will she fight for herself alone, or will she trust the importance of an ever-deepening friendship with Rose?

One thing weaves through the colours of couture gowns and camp mud – a red ribbon, given to Ella as a symbol of hope.

Book Links: Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads

Personal Thoughts:

The Red Ribbon is an affecting story of friendship and survival that shows a piece of Auschwitz history.

“The place where everyone arrives, and nobody leaves.”

The story introduced Ella, a fourteen year old Jew. She was on her way home from school when she was taken from the streets by police and sent to Birchwood, or most popularly known in history as Birkenau-Auschwitz. She was stripped of her clothes and other belongings, in exchange of the identical stripey garments for prisoners which is more like a sack than a clothing. Prisoners like Ella are just numbers in a striped uniform. They don’t have identity, their lives doesn’t matter. They are not humans to their oppressor.

When Ella arrived at Upper Tailoring Studio to find work, she had to fake her age as sixteen. Otherwise she’ll be consider as useless and eventually end up dead. There she met Rose, a young girl who came from a wealthy family but for some reason end up in the same situation like her. Ella and Rose soon become friends. They found an ally in each other, something to treasure during the war in a place like a concentration camp.

“People weren’t simple, made up of just one characteristic, like pure silk, or pure will. They were woven dram all sorts of threads on complex patterns – tartans and abstracts.”

The book itself is beautiful – with it’s colourful designs and arts related to sewing (pins, buttons, ribbons, scissors and others) that are scattered to the pages. And the story is a treasure – something that everyone should read, not only for the history but also for the sensitive story it delivered.

“It’s only when you’ve been without something that you truly appreciate how wonderful it is.”

In The Red Ribbon, Lucy Adlington sticthed together history and fiction, creating a powerful story for readers to experience.

Ella and Rose are in the same situations. But they see and take things differently. Rose is the optimistic one, while Ella is more realistic. Given their situations, I admire Ella’s survival attitude. In a place like Birchwood, you need to be tough and smart to survive, and hope that your humanity stays intact even after all the horrifying experiences.

“Cross that bridge when you come to it, or swim the river if you have to.”

Before Birchwood, Ella has a normal and happy life with her grandparents. While at Birchwood she can’t help but remember her old life and family, especially her grandma. Every time she recall her grandmother’s sayings, you’ll feel the love and longings. Even it is not explicitly said, Ella obviously look up to her grandmother. In every dress she make, she thought of her – how her grandma sew clothes and her constant reminder for her words or saying. Those sayings from her grandma not only remind Ella of what to do and what not to do, but also reminds readers of a happier memories that Ella used to have. And to hope that Ella survive the war and that she’ll get back to that happier life she once have.

“If the sun isn’t shining, make the most of rain.”

On the whole, The Red Ribbon is an affecting and enlightening read. A fictional story that feels and read like real events, which makes the hearth-breaking scenes more aching. Just like Rose said in the book, “stories has different way of telling the truth”, and The Red Ribbon is one proof of its validity. Through Ella’s story, Lucy Adlington reminds readers about one of the great horrors of the past. An important and eye-opening read especially for the younger generations. Whether you’re a target audience of this book of not, I suggest you pick this one up.

* This review is based on a copy received from the publisher, Bonnier Publishing  via Midas Public Relations in exchange for my honest opinion about the book.

Now I Rise (The Conqueror’s Saga #2) by Kiersten White

“Sometimes the only way forward is to destroy everything that came before.”

Lada Dracul has no allies. No throne. All she has is what she’s always had: herself. After failing to secure the Wallachian throne, Lada is out to punish anyone who dares to cross her blood-strewn path. Filled with a white-hot rage, she storms the countryside with her men, accompanied by her childhood friend Bogdan, terrorizing the land. But brute force isn’t getting Lada what she wants. And thinking of Mehmed brings little comfort to her thorny heart. There’s no time to wonder whether he still thinks about her, even loves her. She left him before he could leave her.

What Lada needs is her younger brother Radu’s subtlety and skill. But Mehmed has sent him to Constantinople—and it’s no diplomatic mission. Mehmed wants control of the city, and Radu has earned an unwanted place as a double-crossing spy behind enemy lines. Radu longs for his sister’s fierce confidence—but for the first time in his life, he rejects her unexpected plea for help. Torn between loyalties to faith, to the Ottomans, and to Mehmed, he knows he owes Lada nothing. If she dies, he could never forgive himself—but if he fails in Constantinople, will Mehmed ever forgive him?

As nations fall around them, the Dracul siblings must decide: what will they sacrifice to fulfill their destinies? Empires will topple, thrones will be won . . . and souls will be lost.

Book Links: Amazon | Book Depository | B&N | Goodreads

Personal Thoughts:

Now I Rise is a dark, rich, action-packed and trilling sequel to this historical fantasy series that re-imagines the life of Vlad the Impaler on the shoes of a young vicious girl, Lada Dracul.

Alternating between Lada and her brother Radu’s point of view, the story continues where Lada journey back to Wallachia in an attempt to reclaim her throne. While Radu stays with Mehmed trying to help the Ottoman Empire win a battle against the Byzantine Empire to retake Constantinople. Lada needs Radu’s assistance and interpersonal skills, but Radu is busy helping Mehmed with the hope that Mehmed finally see him the way he want to be seen. Unfortunately for Radu, Mehmed has his eyes on one thing only, and that is Constantinople. Mehmed will do anything to get his dream city, even if it means sacrificing those close to him.

Kiersten White manage to breathes life into this particular period of history by creating a believable characters and realistic atmosphere for them to dance around. Not only she gives readers a general outline of the political affairs at the time, but also the unsaid thoughts and issues of leaders at that time. Even if those are not the real deal, they still carry weight and feel like real. Kiersten White successfully blends her characters’ story line to the real history where they are based from.

To those who are not familiar with the Fall of Constantinople or about Vlad the Impaler and other rulers at his time, this book is an educational treat while also entertaining and thought provoking. Even if it is technically fiction, the story still follows events of actual history. Kiersten White clearly did her research well.

The topics of equality, faith and religions, politics and war are just few of the things that makes this series a must read. Through her characters, Kiersten White easily scatters great points, ideas and truths that will surely make readers think and question things and even themselves.

Radu’s point of view alone will give readers the chance to see the different sides of war. His internal struggles about alliances, equality, sacrifices, faith and religions, winning and losing will surely leave readers thoughts to ponder and questions to rise. There are intricacies in his thoughts and depth in his opinions that is not only for fiction but also applicable to real life. Clearly, Radu is one complex character.

“He would die on the wall tonight, between his brothers and his enemies, because he could no longer distinguish between the two. They had finally come to the end. Whichever side won, neither would triumph.”

As for Lada, she took a back seat in this installment compare to Radu. Though she still strong and fearsome, her character arc basically stay the same. Lada like Mehmed is a power-driven person. She and Mehmed will do anything and sacrifice everything or even anyone to get what they want. They are dangerous, vicious and even selfish. They both live for their dreams and ambitions. One is Constantinople, the other one is Wallachia. As leaders they can be great but they can also easily bring destructions.

“They love themselves and their ambition above all else. They love what feeds their ambition, and when it stops feeding that, the love will turn to hate with more passion than either could ever love with.”

With violence, murder, betrayal, and heartbreak Now I Rise is sharp-edged, intense, thought provoking, and deliciously vicious sequel to And I Darken. I am really excited to find out how Kiersten will end this series in the next and final installment.

* This review is based on a copy I received courtesy of the publisher, Delacorte Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Celebrating Debutantes 2017: Wait for Me by Caroline Leech (Author Interview and Giveaway)

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Today I’m joined on the blog by new author Caroline Leech to answer few questions about her debut historical romance novel, Wait for Me. This novel is set during World War II and shows how war affects lives and humanity.

Following the interview with Caroline is her author bio along with places where to find her online. Then there’s also the book description and where to buy copies of Wait for Me. And for a chance to own a personalized signed copy of the book, don’t forget to check the bottom of the post and enter the rafflecopter form for the special giveaway.

Here’s my interview with Caroline. Enjoy reading!

Interview with Caroline Leech

The road to publication for a first-time author is not necessarily a straightforward one – did you have to face rejection before securing a publishing deal? What other frustrations did you have to overcome in writing and publishing Wait For Me?
I was actually very lucky. I’m not one of those authors who received dozens of rejections before they were published, but that was only because I was simply too scared to send my story out to any agents or editors. Instead, I submitted it for critique at Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) conferences, and I entered it into a couple of Romance Writers of America contests. I won the YA categories of both of those, and was so fortunate that one of the contest judges loved my first 20 pages enough to ask for the full manuscript. Once I sent her the full, it moved very fast. She took it to her acquisitions board two weeks later and had sent me a deal offer for two books by the end of that day. It was completely surreal, and still is at times. My editor is fantastic, and we are already most of the way through my second book’s editing process.
Of course, getting my deal through a contest meant that I didn’t have an agent to help me decipher all the complicated figures and jargon in the deal offer. But some kind author friends recommended me to their agents, and they both offered me representation. It was a hard decision between them, but I am still thrilled that I chose to sign with New Leaf Literary and Media in New York. After all, my agent, Joanna Volpe, also looks after amazing authors like Veronica Roth, Leigh Bardugo and Holly Black.
That all might sound easy and quick, but I should say that the deal came almost five years after I first wrote that manuscript, and more than seven years after I first started writing fiction. So it wasn’t exactly an overnight success.

Wait For Me is classified as historical young adult fiction. What drew you to that genre?
Would “I have three teenage children” be a good enough answer? Probably not, but that’s certainly where it began. When my older daughter started in middle school, they were given reading time each day in English class, so I started reading the teen novels that she was borrowing from her teacher’s shelves or the school library. I think SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELLING PANTS was the first one. And then I discovered TWILIGHT. When I read Stephanie Meyer’s story of how she wrote that first book while she watched her kid’s swim lessons, I thought, “I could do that”. So, I tried to carve out a little time each week away from the family to write something, anything. And when I decided to take an online creative writing course, it felt natural that it was one which would teach me how to write for children and young adults. Since then, I’ve read YA almost exclusively. I do read adult fiction if someone recommends a great book to me, but I’m quite happy where I am. Young adult fiction can be about doing something for the very first time, about shunning childhood while still being fearful of becoming an adult. It’s a thrilling balance beam to walk along.

Why 1945? And what kind of research you’ve done for the story and characters to be more authentic on the period?
The main reason I wanted to write a story set in World War Two is that I’ve grown up with stories about the war told to me by my parents, aunts and uncles who lived through it. My mother was a child evacuee from London, sent with her younger sister to a farm in the countryside on the day that war broke out. My father was also an evacuee from Edinburgh, but in 1944, he was old enough to join the army at age 18, and he served during the last year of the war and for several years after. His four older brothers had already gone off to fight. Two went to North Africa and fought in the desert campaign, and two went over in the D-Day invasion of northern France. Of course, there have been hundreds of books written about WW2, about the military strategy, the major battles, and of course the horrendous events of the Holocaust, but those stories feel like they’re not mine to tell. Being Scottish, I was drawn to find and share voices from my own country, from individuals—and particularly young women—far from the battlefields, who were still dealing with how the war was changing their lives, their loves, their education and their families.
And why 1945 particularly? I was fascinated by the idea that while we know now that the war was almost over by February of that year, the people alive at the time had no way of knowing that. As far as they were concerned, the war might still have years left to run, so they had to carry on making do with what they had. So, I decided to focus on a small story, something happening within a tiny village, but where the effects of the war were still profound.
For authenticity and background, as well as facts, authors like me researching modern historical periods are very fortunate not only to have books, but also to have such a wealth of memories available on the internet. For example, the BBC did a project a few years ago, called WW2 People’s War, where anyone could get in touch with their local BBC station and share their memories, whether they were serving in the military or on the home front. It all makes fascinating and distracting reading, even if many of the stories I read had nothing directly to do with the subject of the book I was supposed to be researching.

What do you hope readers will come away with from Wait For Me?
I hope they will come away with a smile, but also, with some sort of understanding that it is very easy to judge and hate another person because of their nationality, their race or their religion, especially when you are told by your country’s government that they are your enemy. But once you get to know them as individuals, perhaps they might not be very different from you. This story might be about the Second World War, but keeping hold of this understanding is just as important for us right now as it was then.

If Lorna could turn the tables on you and write a story based on your teenage years, what would the title of that book be? What would be the first line?
Oh, I don’t think Lorna would be the slightest bit interested in writing about my life. She’d probably think I was very boring, and also very spoiled. Any child of a farmer grows up with a list of chores to do around the farm each day, even before going to school. But I was brought up a city girl, and I only had to be awake enough to eat breakfast and get into my school uniform, not feed the chickens, milk the cows, and make the porridge as she would have had to do. I also didn’t have to deal with the rationing of food, clothing and fuel, and I didn’t ever jump when the postman knocked, in case he carried a much-dreaded telegram with news of a soldier brother. I grew up with a very easy life in comparison.

Where do you see your writing will go after Wait For Me? Do you think you’ll stick with this type of genre or branch out into something else?
I have a second book coming out next year with Harper Teen. It’s another World War Two book, also set in Scotland, though it’s not a sequel to WAIT FOR ME. It’s about another girl trying to work out how to make her own contribution to the war effort. I’ll be announcing more details of the title and the storyline quite soon in my newsletter, so I’d love your readers to visit my website at and sign up to receive all the news as soon as it’s announced!

Thanks so much Caroline!


Caroline Leech is a Scottish writer now living in Texas. She writes YA historical fiction, and her first novel, WAIT FOR ME, won SCBWI’s Joan Lowery Nixon Award in 2014, as well as the YA categories of both the RWA Emily and Lone Star contests, and was published by Harper Teen in early 2017. Her second novel will be published in May 2018. During Caroline’s previous career in performing arts public relations in the UK, she edited a glossy photographic book, Welsh National Opera – the first sixty years. Caroline lives in in Houston with her husband and three teenage children. You can find her online at

Find Caroline

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Book Details:

Title: Wait for Me
Author: Caroline Leech
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: January 31, 2017
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, Audio

The perfect blend of sweet romance and historical flavor, Wait for Me, from debut author Caroline Leech, brings a fresh new voice to a much-loved genre.

It’s 1945, and Lorna Anderson’s life on her father’s farm in Scotland consists of endless chores and rationing, knitting Red Cross scarves, and praying for an Allied victory. So when Paul Vogel, a German prisoner of war, is assigned as the new farmhand, Lorna is appalled. How can she possibly work alongside the enemy when her own brothers are risking their lives for their country?

But as Lorna reluctantly spends time with Paul, she feels herself changing. The more she learns about him—from his time in the war to his life back home in Germany—the more she sees the boy behind the soldier. Soon Lorna is battling her own warring heart. Loving Paul could mean losing her family and the life she’s always known. With tensions rising all around them, Lorna must decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice before the end of the war determines their fate.

Book Links

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What’s up for Grab?

    • Personalized US hardback edition of Wait for Me by Caroline Leech

The Rules:

  • Open to US residents
  • There will be one (1) winner
  • Winner will be chosen and announced through rafflecopter
  • Winner will be contacted thru email & should response within 48 hours
  • Ends July 18th, 2017
  • Prize will be sent by the author

To enter fill out the rafflecopter form

Good Luck!!!

Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2017 experience. Click the image below for the full list of schedule and links to each feature post or check out twitter and facebook using #CelebratingDebutantes2017.

The Bicycle Spy by Yona Zeldis McDonough

the-bicycle-spyMarcel loves riding his bicycle, whether he’s racing through the streets of his small town in France or making bread deliveries for his parents’ bakery. He dreams of someday competing in the Tour de France, the greatest bicycle race. But ever since Germany’s occupation of France began two years ago, in 1940, the race has been canceled. Now there are soldiers everywhere, interrupting Marcel’s rides with checkpoints and questioning.

Then Marcel learns two big secrets, and he realizes there are worse things about the war than a canceled race. When he later discovers that his friend’s entire family is in imminent danger, Marcel knows he can help — but it will involve taking a risky bicycle ride to pass along covert information. And when nothing ends up going according to plan, it’s up to him to keep pedaling and think quickly… because his friend, her family, and his own future hang in the balance.

Book Links: Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads | Publisher

Personal Thoughts:

Set in France during World War II, The Bicycle Spy tells the story of a 12-year-old Marcel Christophe. Marcel is a good biker and he dreams of entering the Tour de France someday. But with the German ruling his country his dream suddenly becomes impossible. The race has been canceled indefinitely, Nazis are everywhere, soldiers are guarding every streets and they no longer feel safe in their own place. And It become more complicated when he found out that his parents are part of the Resistance and his new friend, Delphine Gilette and her family are in danger for being a Jewish. What a young boy can do against the Nazi soldiers? Can he save his friend before the Gestapo get hold of her and her family?

Marcel as the protagonist is very brave. Though his train of thought sometimes sounds too mature for his age I still find him and his situation believable. His friendships with Delphine is sweet and his relationship with his parents is endearing.

Yona Zeldis McDonugh use a simple and straightforward narrative to tell Marcel’s story. Readers of this middle grade historical fiction will surely find The Bicycle Spy to be fast-paced and suspenseful. As Marcel drive his bicycle around the streets of Aucoin, readers will mount a thrilling ride, hoping for Marcel’s safety and his secrets not to be discover by the German soldiers. Everytime Marcel stopped or confronted by Gestapo at street’s checkpoints, readers heart will slow, as there was constant danger not only for Marcel and his family but also to those who are involve in the Resistance.

Overall, The Bicycle Spy is a quick and heartwarming story of courage and friendship in time war. Yona Zeldis McDonugh successfully paints in this book a portrait of French household’s life during World War II when the Nazi soldiers occupy every streets of France.

* This review is based on a copy I received courtesy of the publisher, Scholastic Press Philippines in exchange for an honest opinion.

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner's Curse

“The truth can deceive as well as a lie.”

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

Personal Thoughts:

I should be curse for not reading The Winner’s Curse last year when it was first released. I stop counting how many friends keep on pushing me to read this book because they know I love fantasy stories. But with so much other fantasy books waiting in my long list of TBR pile I feel like pushing another new series to read is cheating, especially to those complete fantasy series waiting in my shelves for years. Yeah, I know I should be curse too for buying them and never reading them yet! Don’t ask me what those books are because for sure once you found out the titles I’ll be hearing/getting curses literally.

If not for the opportunity to read the second book of this series, The Winner’s Crime before its release date, I won’t be reading The Winner’s Curse sooner than I plan. And I’m really glad that I did because as it turned out my friends are right, this series is a must read for fantasy lovers like me.

“Isn’t that what stories do, make real things fake, and fake things real?”

The story is set years after the Herranis are conquered by Vallorians. Herranis lost their land, homes, and everything they have to the Vallorians.They become slaves and prisoners for years, serving the enemy who will never treat them as equal.

Kestrel, a Valorian aristocrat and daughter of the highest ranking General of Valorian army accidentally find herself in a slave market one day with her friend Jess. There one Herrani slave caught her attention – a boy named Arin who was trained as a blacksmith, can sing and somehow managed to refused to follow orders. In his resentment Kestrel saw strength in Arin, a kindred spirit that makes her curious and bid impulsively. Eventually she won the auction but she paid a steep price for her winning — a winner’s curse they called it.

Marie Rutkoski writing is easily addicting. Her prose are flowing in every page without being too fancy or overwhelming. Her descriptions of things and surroundings are not overly detailed but still enough for readers to easily imagine the world she is creating. Her writing is also smart, sometimes I feel like she has saying more in her words than what they really mean. Like this prose below:

“He knew the law of such things: people in brightly lit places cannot see into the dark.”

It’s Arin’s thought when he is in the dark watching Kestrel play music. In a literal sense, it tells that Arin knows that Kestrel cannot see him watching her since his location is too dark for everyone to notice that he is there. But in a more deeper sense the phrase also describe social status, that those who are rich and more privilege cannot see into the darkness of those people under them. In this case, Arin a slave living a dark life and Kestrel his owner who has the privilege of being in a brightly lit places.

Marie Rutkoski crafted a world that is both real and imaginative. She seamlessly weaved the fantasy and historical in this book. Right at the first page, I was transported to Kestrel’s world – a world of privileged and richness then to Arin’s world – sufferings and slavery. From there I’ve seen the different angles of these worlds. Add war, political and social issues in the center, this novel is definitely entertaining.

Kestrel is one of the smartest heroines I have encountered in fiction and that makes her story worth following. She is cunning, strategist, dedicated, open-minded and honest. Reading how her mind works is very much fascinating, especially if she is strategizing a war moves. Her military kind of thinking is refreshing and very much welcome. Studying her and how her mind works is a so much fun for me. Every war talks and tactics planning with her is informative, she’s like a real general in the battle field. She knows every angels of the battle, every plans to propose, every sacrifices to make. She may not be physically strong but she can defeat everyone with her brilliant mind.

I loved all the war tactics scattered in this novel. It’s like I’m reading part of my favorite book, Art of War but not really. Every strategies, planning and secrets are well plotted. I wish there’s more as I love reading all of them.

I devoured this book in one sitting during one cold night outside the coffee shop near my place. If that doesn’t tell how good and addicting this book is, I don’t know what is. So for fantasy readers who haven’t read this book yet, go read it! Trust me, you won’t get disappointed with the smart and intriguing characters, intricate plot, well-crafted world and beautiful writing. It’s a smart book – a perfect escape for fantasy lovers!