We Rule the Night

400p. Little, Brown. Apr. 2019. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780316417273.
RedReviewStarGr 9 Up—This action-packed Russian-inspired fantasy features two strong-willed but very different teenagers recruited to join a squadron of female aviators conducting night bombing raids against their country's enemy, the Elda. Their country, The Union of the North, is energized by Spark magic and aligned by Weave magic. Even though doing Weave magic is illegal, it's practiced in secret. Traitor's daughter Revna, 17, is a struggling machine factory worker, with living metal prosthetic legs. When the Elda bomb her city, Revna uses the Weave to save a member of the feared Skarov (espionage agents with shape-shifting abilities) from getting killed and is caught. Instead of jail, Revna is invited to join an all-female aviator regiment. Bronze-skinned Linné, also 17, joins, too, after her disguise as a boy fighting in the Union army is discovered and she's dismissed. Along with 11 other young women, they train to use their Weave and Spark to combat Elda's firepower. Revna and Linné dislike each other on sight but are stuck as flying partners. Linné knows Revna's a good pilot but thinks her disability makes her a liability. Dangerous missions force them to commit morally untenable acts, while they also endure the derision of male pilots and officers who don't think they belong.
VERDICT For fans of Leigh Bardugo's "Shadow and Bone" series, Gennifer Albin's Crewel, or Kathryn Lasky's Night Witches, who like complex, multivolume feminist fantasies, full of sharply realized characterizations, intriguing magical elements, and twisty plots.

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