book 12 of 12 for the Young Adult Challenge 2009
genre: young adult
When we meet Averie, she's on a voyage to a new land, where her father and fiance are currently stationed in the military and where they are in the process of trying to occupy said country. As the daughter of a general, Averie has always had assumptions about the purpose and consequences of her father's work, but finding herself among a people in the process of being conquered has made her begin to question what it means to become a colony.
As she becomes familiar with Chiarrin, its people and customs, she finds much to love and respect. Her determined and rebellious ways keep her fellow countrywomen shocked and entertained, while helping them to see Chiarrin as a place with something of worth to offer. And one special soldier seems to keep appearing, making her question feelings she's counted on for so long.
I enjoyed reading this one. While Averie tries hard to be a deep thinker, I often felt like her awareness of imperialism and racism was too modern and contrived, so it felt more fluff than substance, but really good fluff none the less. And, to keep being honest, sometimes the dialogue was formulaic. BUT. There is a fantastic twist at the end and the love stories certainly kept me reading. Well, that and the fact that Shinn just made up an entire culture, satisfying and richly described. If you're a fan of young adult fantasy, this is one to try.