Two girls use forbidden magic to fly and fight -- for their country and for themselves -- in this riveting debut that's part Shadow and Bone, part Code Name Verity.
Seventeen-year-old Revna is a factory worker, manufacturing war machines for the Union of the North. When she's caught using illegal magic, she fears being branded a traitor and imprisoned. Meanwhile, on the front lines, Linné defied her father, a Union general, and disguised herself as a boy to join the army. They're both offered a reprieve from punishment if they use their magic in a special women's military flight unit and undertake terrifying, deadly missions under cover of darkness. Revna and Linné can hardly stand to be in the same cockpit, but if they can't fly together, and if they can't find a way to fly well, the enemy's superior firepower will destroy them -- if they don't destroy each other first.
We Rule the Night is a fiercely compelling story about sacrifice, complicated friendships, and survival against impossible odds.
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 Linn Zolonov, a general's daughter caught posing as a boy to join the military. Linn 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 Linn '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.)