Featured Review: We Rule The Night (Claire Eliza Bartlett)
About This Book:
Two girls use forbidden magic to fly and fight–for their country and for themselves–in this riveting debut that’s part Shadow and Bone, part Code Name Verity.
Seventeen-year-old Revna is a factory worker, manufacturing war machines for the Union of the North. When she’s caught using illegal magic, she fears being branded a traitor and imprisoned. Meanwhile, on the front lines, Linné defied her father, a Union general, and disguised herself as a boy to join the army. They’re both offered a reprieve from punishment if they use their magic in a special women’s military flight unit and undertake terrifying, deadly missions under cover of darkness. Revna and Linné can hardly stand to be in the same cockpit, but if they can’t fly together, and if they can’t find a way to fly well, the enemy’s superior firepower will destroy them–if they don’t destroy each other first.
We Rule the Night is a powerful story about sacrifice, complicated friendships, and survival despite impossible odds.
*Review Contributed By Olivia Farr Staff Reviewer*
WE RULE THE NIGHT is an engaging YA fantasy that takes place in a world at war. Revna works in a factory town, making war machines and related materials. She keeps her head down and follows the rules because her father was branded a traitor and her family status demoted, making their survival less likely. Despite the fact that her father made her legs of living metal, a strong and somewhat sentient substance, most people cannot look past the lack of her natural legs, which were lost in an accident when she was young.
Since then, this disability has inspired her to secretly work with the Weave, a type of forbidden magic that alters the world and can cause tangles which may have far-reaching consequences. When her town is bombed by the Eldans, she uses the Weave to save her life- and that of a Skarov, a type of intelligence officer which is known for extracting confessions with torture, knowing that she is dooming herself to a worse fate for the illegal action. However, instead of condemning her, she is offered a place in a new regiment and that doing so will reinstate her mother and sister's status.
Linne is the daughter of a famous commander in the war. For the last three years, she has posed as the male, Alexei, and fought in the war. Women are not allowed to fight. When she is discovered, they offer her a choice- to join a new fighting group in the war, composed of women and using the illegal Weave. Knowing the other options are worse in her mind, Linne agrees but is unhappy to find the other women in her regiment are not soldiers.
The women train to fly aircraft that is undesirable (the better aircraft goes to the men) and must fight against sexism and sexual harassment at every turn. They are assembled in teams of three, a pilot who manipulates the Weave, the navigator who powers the aircraft with Spark (an acceptable type of magic), and an engineer who works on the weapons and keeps the aircraft running but stays on the ground. Due to the other women's reluctance to work with them (Linne for her personality and Revna for her disability), Linne is the navigator paired with the pilot Revna. Although they detest each other, they hate the idea of not being able to fly. As they begin to fly missions- exciting and terrible- they slowly grow to respect each other.
With twists and turns and all the trappings of a terrible war, this book is about an unlikely friendship and feminism. Between Linne and Revna, we witness many sides of the story and the world they live in. The beginning of the book moves slowly, especially as we piece together all the ways this world is unique and the many characters within it. About halfway through, the pace picks up, and I found myself highly engaged through to the end. It gets pretty dark and the end has a bit of a cliffhanger, as I assume that it will be continued in the next book, but I really enjoyed it overall. It is an emotional and intense read, and I really became enthralled with the two main characters, who are each so strong and unique. I cannot wait to see where this story will go.
This book is unique in so many ways- a world which I have never seen, a lack of romance, and so on. In a highly engaging and original story, these characters completely wormed their way into my heart as they did to each other. I wish I had the next book so I could see where this will go. I highly recommend for lovers of YA fantasy- this is one you will definitely want to pick up!
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