Alia wants nothing more than to be selected as a keenten, a warrior woman. Her friend Kay, strong and fierce, is sure to be chosen, but Alia is not nearly as certain about herself. When Kay stumbles upon a shelter in the woods belonging to two Beechians, enemies of their people, the girls see a perfect opportunity to prove their courage and worth. But then strange events unfold, and Alia begins to question everything that has always been certain in her lifeher friendship with Kay, her opinions of the Beechians and of war, even her singular desire to become a keenten.
A vividly portrayed, perfectly realized world and elements of the supernatural provide a magical setting for this stirring story, which will resonate long after the final page is turned.
""McCaffrey's first novel..both its setting and characterization are convincing...a solid blend of heartwarming coming-of-age tale and compelling adventure."" BOOKLIST
""rich characters, vivid descriptions, and suspenseful storytelling...much to think about...an excellent springboard for a timely discussion about war."" SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL School Library Journal