This grim military fantasy is not for the faint of heart; it was almost too grim for me to enjoy, but the engaging characters and tight, tense plot kept me reading. Rin is an angry teenager set loose with little guidance in the middle of an angry, brutal war that is at least partly inspired by the Second Sino-Japanese War, complete with analogs to the Rape of Nanjing, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and millions of casualties across a broad front. The setting is compelling and authentic, and the book's themes deal with genocide--how a society can come to a place where genocide seems like a winning choice, and its aftereffects in the lives of survivors.
If you're a fan of Game of Thrones, this book will appeal to you a LOT. Pick it up immediately! If you're delicate like I am, though, maybe make sure to read it while the sun is shining, because it's intense.