The Unbroken by C.L. Clark
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This fantasy has all the earmarks of a colonial vs subjugated indigenous population novel -- plus magic.
I was surprised to find that I really enjoyed the back and forth of shifting allegiances. The first part with the Sands, the band of fighters made up of the indigenous people but educated (and rather abused) by the colonizers seemed rather single-note for a while, but it really picked up after the female MC saved the princess, got the ear of her, and quickly got embroiled in some massive intrigue.
She could belong to and be genuinely loyal to her old troop, the empire, or the rebels equally.
This really kept the novel popping for me and the conflicts felt truly genuine and natural and tragic.
And then there was the magic, the basic needs of the empire, the reparations, and all the nicely twisted elements that come with colonizers and the colonized.
There is a nice balancing trick here and I'm quite happy with it. I'm looking forward to more.
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