Disclaimer: I received this finished copy from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.
Author: Sara Alfageeh & Nadia Shammas
Book Series: Standalone
Diversity: Middle Eastern inspired characters, amputee character
Recommended For…: young adult readers, graphic novel, fantasy, historical fiction, Asian Literature
Publication Date: March 8, 2022
Genre: YA Fantasy Graphic Novel
Age Relevance: 15+ (child soldiers, war, Classism, Colonization, Racism, Famine, Language, Abelism, Violence, Gore)
Explanation of Above: The theme of the book involves war, racism, classism, colonization, and child soldiers, all of which are shown in the book and described. The book mentions famine and has a handful of curse words. There is also abelism shown but it is quickly dealt with. There is violence with swords shown and gore with some blood shown as well.
Publisher: Quill Tree Books
Synopsis: Aiza has always dreamt of becoming a Knight. It’s the highest military honor in the once-great Bayt-Sajji Empire, and as a member of the subjugated Ornu people, Knighthood is her only path to full citizenship. Ravaged by famine and mounting tensions, Bayt-Sajji finds itself on the brink of war once again, so Aiza can finally enlist in the competitive Squire training program.
It’s not how she imagined it, though. Aiza must navigate new friendships, rivalries, and rigorous training under the unyielding General Hende, all while hiding her Ornu background. As the pressure mounts, Aiza realizes that the “greater good” that Bayt-Sajji’s military promises might not include her, and that the recruits might be in greater danger than she ever imagined.
Aiza will have to choose, once and for all: loyalty to her heart and heritage, or loyalty to the Empire.
Review: I really liked this read! It reminds me a lot of Blood Scion and it was an informational and fun graphic novel. I absolutely love the illustarations and it did well to convey the story. The book had a very well detailed story and I really enjoyed it. The character development was super well done. The world building was amazing. The book is well written and is a new favorite read of mine.
The only issue I had with the book is the way it ended. It kinda leaves off on a cliffhanger and I hope that the book has a sequel in the future.
Verdict: I highly enjoyed this book! Highly recommend!