Bensin, a teenage slave and martial artist, is desperate to see his little sister freed. But only victory in the Krillonian Empire's most prestigious tournament will allow him to secretly arrange for Ellie's escape. Dangerous people are closing in on her, however, and Bensin is running out of time. With his one hope fading quickly away, how can Bensin save Ellie from a life of slavery and abuse?
Thoughts: It took me WAY too long to this book due to me putting it aside for awhile (which was no fault of the book, I just didn't have time for it for awhile). But I have FINALLY gotten around to finishing it! And it was great! The whole concept of the plot was really well handled. A world just like ours with a few, little differences...like slavery. The issue of slavery was really well written. It felt like a normal thing and yet still so very wrong.
The cast were great, all very much their own characters. Bensin and Ellie especially were well done and adorable.
The writing was fluid and perfectly grappled the difficulty of picturing every movement in an action sport. It was really well done!
Content: Violence and some mature topics. While it's never outright stated, many of Bensin's fears are due to his sister being hurt and abused in different ways because she was a girl...if you catch my meaning there. It's never put in any clearer tones but older readers will understand.
All in all, a clean and exciting read for older readers who want a fantasy that asks some hard questions.