May 1, 2012

Female warriors

Blood Red Road: Dustlands: 1
by Moira Young

Eighteen-year-old Saba lives with her father, her twin brother Lugh, and her young sister Emmi on the shores of Silverlake. But with no rain, the lake is slowly drying up, and their hardscrabble life is becoming even more difficult. Lugh wants to leave, though he knows that their father will not. He's never recovered form his wife's death. She died giving birth to Emmi, for which Saba has never forgiven her. 

Saba's world is brutally torn apart when a group of armed riders kidnap Lugh and kill her father. Saba is determined to get Lugh back, and will stop at nothing to find him. She drops Emmi off with a neighbour and sets off across the desert with only a few supplies and her crow companion Nero.

The straight-forward plot turns into quite an adventure when Saba is taken prisoner and forced to become a cage fighter. She escapes with help from the Free Hawks, a fierce band of female warriors. She also finds herself drawn to a charming daredevil named Jack. Together, they hatch a plan to save Lugh. 

A mix-up of Mad Max, Dune, True Grit, and Cowboys and Aliens, the book is dreadfully exciting and suspenseful. The females are super kickass, especially Saba herself, who is ruthless, fearless, prickly and rude. She can also be jealous and ungrateful. It makes her relationship with Jack quite difficult. But her gruff exterior belies a soft heart underneath.

A rollicking read that can be devoured in one sitting.

The next book in the trilogy is Rebel Heart: Dustlands: 2, in which, hopefully, the author will shed more light on some of the plot points not yet fully explained.

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