Tuesday 21 March 2023
Cons: several near-death encounters
The day they arrive in the country she was kidnapped from as a child, Touraine, lieutenant of the Balladairan Colonial Brigade, saves the life of Princess Luca. The princess is there to quell rebellion and prove her fitness for the throne. She’d also like to learn more about the healing magic the locals used to wield. Touraine just wants her fellow conscripts to survive the coming unrest. As they work together, their feelings for each other, as well as their private goals, clash in unexpected ways.
The world-building is top notch. The level of second guessing motivations was perfect given how the colonial troops were raised. Seeing Touraine torn between wanting to help the princess, the rebels and her conscripts was heart-wrenching, especially when she kept making bad decisions. I also liked seeing how torn Luca was about wanting to do well by her people even when she had to chose what was best for the crown.
Touraine manages to recover from extreme injuries - via healing - quite a few times. It seemed unfair by the end how often she survived when other characters die. Especially given how much of the damage done in the colony was due to her own poor choices.
I loved how easy - and hard - using magic is.
It’s a good, thought-provoking read about colonization and loyalty.