Kadogos has never wanted to go with the traditions of her tribe, which include only the males being able to be warriors while the females are cut and forced to be married. At fifteen, she keeps arguing with her mother, but she knows that she will be forced into it. On the day when she is supposed to be cut, she runs away and hides. When she returns, her village has been attacked, her father murdered, and her eldest brother Hodari gathering warriors. She joins the warriors in order to fight for her country, fight her twin brother, and reclaim her village. She has the blood of the leopard flowing through her, and she is determined to get revenge for her village.
I can’t say anything about how accurate this book is culturally because I do not know much about African culture as I am African-American and have no relatives that I know from Africa. However, as an African-American girl, this was a book that I definitely wanted to pick up. It is very few novels that I read that take place in fantasy Africa/Africa in general. This was a nice refresher from the regular YA novels that I read, and I was excited to read it.
Kadogos is a strong young woman who knows that she is a warrior, not just simply a wife. She wants to be able to fight just like her twin brother. However, she is being held back by her tribe’s traditions. When she is given the chance to be a warrior, she does not disappoint. She is strong, almost as if she was a military commander, and she expects the best from the men whom she fights beside.
There was romance in this novel like many YA books, but I really like how it took place. Rather than Kadogos falling in love and getting distracted from her mission, the boy who saw her military prowess and fell in love with her strength was the one distracted. I though that this version of romance was perfect for Kadogos, and it didn’t distract me from the main plot of the novel at all.
I also liked that the novel focused on Kadogos’ flaws. Sometimes she was so busy being a commander that she ignored the needs of her men, insisting that they would just be able to plow forward through any conditions. Badru, another main character, had to step in and remind her that they still needed to rest and eat. This shows that even if someone is ambitious, they can have flaws that could potentially threaten the success of a mission, and they do need help.
I could literally talk about this book all day, but I will just let you all read it for yourselves! You will not be disappointed.
I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new addictive YA fantasy/action/adventure series that takes place in Africa.
I received this book for free and this is my voluntary review.
Overall Rating: 6/5