This was a truly interesting story. It is a fantasy world, but not what you would typically expect. In fact, it reminded me of a pre-modern United States, where settlers and tribes were just trying to survive.
Uye lives with her people in a peaceful city, filled with fishermen and traders. One day, while out collecting mussels, Uye sees orca drop Saotse (a blind girl) off at Six Pine Rock, and a rescue party is quickly sent to save her. Uye quickly feels a kinship to Saotse and, even though they do not speak the same language, Uye adopts her as her sister. As time goes by, they become quite close and things are going well. Everything changes when a group of traders leave home, and get attacked and killed before reaching their destination. One person, Uye's husband, is left alive, kept as a slave of the Yakhat war bands. When they learn of his home, they attack the peaceful city, killing almost everyone, and kidnapping the now pregnant Uye. And that's where the real adventure begins.
I really like the way that the author writes - he does a great job introducing us to the characters, made even better by the fact that he switches point of views with each chapter, sometimes with the "good" guys and sometimes with the "bad," allowing us to understand what both sides are going through. His writing is beautiful and eloquent. The way he describes the war and the surroundings kept me captivated, and I had a hard time putting the book down, wanting to know what would happen next.
My favorite characters were Saotse and Uye, but I have to say that, even though he was a "bad" guy, I liked Keshlik, too. There was just something about him.
The only thing that bothered me about the story is that a significant amount of time passes between the end of chapter one and the beginning of the chapter two, which makes things rather confusing. I had to go back and re-read a couple of parts, just to make sure I wasn't missing something.
Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Please remember that this review is my opinion based on my personal impressions of the book.