BARTLETT, Claire Eliza. We Rule the Night
Booklist Reviews 2019 April #1
*Starred Review* When Revna lost her legs, her father stole living metal to make her prosthetics. That got him arrested and their family demoted to second-class citizens; now, Revna works in a factory, harnessing a legal form of magic to aid the Union's war effort. When she accesses the Weave, the illegal magic, and is spotted by the Union's spy network, she never expects to be recruited. Linné's infamous war-general father thinks she's at school, but she's disguised herself as a boy to join the army. When she's caught, she's recruited into the same program as Revna: a women's military unit where girls use the Weave to fly two-man planes in a fight against an enemy with vastly superior weapons. When Revna and Linné are paired together, neither is thrilled; hard-edged Linné has made few friends among the girls, and she sees Revna, with her prosthetics, as a liability. But if they can't work together, they have no chance at all. Though set in a fantasy world, Bartlett's high-concept debut takes its inspiration from the WWII-era Soviet Night Witches. Rich characterizations and an enemy that, while it looms in the background, never feels quite as threatening as the country the girls are fighting for complete a story set against the bright, brutal backdrop of war. A breathless series starter from a new voice to watch. Grades 9-12. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.
PW Reviews 2019 March #1
Inspired by the Night Witches, real WWII Soviet fighter pilots, Bartlett's electrifying feminist fantasy debut uses keenly wrought characters, harrowing action sequences, and creative yet economical worldbuilding to explore misogynistic military culture and the human cost of war. Revna Roshena's father is serving life in prison for stealing military scrap to fashion her prosthetic legs, so when a Union officer witnesses the 17-year-old practicing banned magic known as the Weave in the middle of an enemy attack, she fears she'll meet a similar fate. Instead, the Union proposes a deal: if she'll use her magical abilities to fly planes made of sentient metal for an experimental all-female regiment, they'll forgive her crimes and provide for her family. Revna bonds with all her fellow recruits except Linné Zolonov, a general's daughter caught posing as a boy to join the military. Linné initially disdains her fellow soldiers' femininity and inexperience, and regards Revna as a liability. Then the two are sent into battle as navigator and pilot, forcing both to reexamine her own prejudices regarding strength and ability, loyalty, and patriotism. Revna and Linné's relationship evolves via an alternating third-person narrative, compounding the depth and heft of an already sophisticated plot. The stirring conclusion inspires hope for a sequel. Ages 14–up. Agent: Kurestin Armada, P.S. Literary. (Apr.)Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.