We Rule the Night by Claire Eliza Bartlett

Title: We Rule the Night
Author: Claire Eliza Bartlett
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: April 2nd 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

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, LinnĂ© 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 LinnĂ© 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 powerful story about sacrifice, complicated friendships, and survival despite impossible odds.

We Rule the Night is a great story about friendship, the brutalities of war and discrimination.

The narratives in We Rule the Night are very interesting. At first I felt that both Revna and Linne were pretty equal but then it seemed like Linne took over. I felt like she was crowding out Revna’s voice until Revna started to have more faith in herself and it felt like she got louder. The story is two very different girls, from very different backgrounds and difficulties finding themselves in the same place at the same time.

Revna has such a strong spirit. It comes through in her love for her family and her need to prove that having a disability is not something that holds her back. Losing her legs in an accident she now has prosthetics made out of something called living metal. It’s a material that has a mind of it’s own. I kind of thought of it as being like an animal. It feeds off your emotions, if you want it to work for you you have to treat it nicely. It reacts to anger, fear and calmness. She has also controls a type of magic called the weave. Where she can pull the threads of the fabric of life to distort things around her. Not in a illusion way but in order to move objects.

Linne is the daughter of a high up military official. She does not want to be a perfect lady as he expects her to be. She disguises herself as a boy and manages to serve in the military for three years before getting caught. That is when she is transferred to the female night flying unit. So she has trouble interacting with the other girls because she is so used to making herself seem brash and unfeeling in order to be unnoticed by the men. She is blessed with the talent of the Spark which works like a flame. It is what is used to power an aircraft, where the weave is what is used to move them.

I loved Magdalena and I think at first Revna is very leary of her friendship. She kept feeling like she might only be friends with her because of her disability and pity her. You can tell how much Magdalena respects Revna’s abilities as a pilot and how strong she truly is. I love the fierceness that Magdalena defends her friend. Plus she is just a spunky character herself and a clever engineer.

There are so many things to make you mad in the story. The mistreatment of the unit is definitely a top one but even more so the treatment of women. They are treated much like they have been in early American wars, meant to keep the homefront together or be nurses. They don’t want the women on the front line. Tamara’s unit has to fight to earn their respect that other soldiers just have automatically. Not only are they fighting a war against the Elda but a war against their own country in order to be allowed to defend it. Seems crazy.

Linne and Revna come from very different backgrounds. Each are judge by their fathers, even though they have no control over their actions. It was so frustrating to see the way they were each treated and it shaped their defensive personalities. Revna is for sure the more level headed of the two but even she had her own prejudices against Linne. The two girls have to find a way to work as a team and they struggle through the story, until they are caught in a situation where they have to rely on one another or they won’t make it out alive. This is where I think you see their true characters. I loved how they went to from enemies to two people who realize that they can trust one another and can work together. They build a stronger friendship out of it.

The ending was kind of interesting. It was kind of like you were in the final act and the curtain just closes. I can’t really decide how I feel about it. It felt a little like some things were not resolved but you can also fill in the rest with your mind. I just have mixed feelings.

I really enjoyed the story. I’m not always a fan of war stories but this one was fast paced enough that it kept me interested. I was also very invested in the girls succeeding. I’m glad there was no romance because it didn’t really have any place in the story. This was about these girls and finding their own power and voices. Showing men that they are can do the work as well.

Claire Bartlett lives in an enchanted forest apartment in Copenhagen with too many board games and too few cats.

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