By William Woodall
This book was a wonderful survival story, full of very realistic details about life in the wild. I also especially liked the way the author dealt with the cultural differences between various groups. The way each character thought and behaved was completely believable in the context of his or her cultural background. The book also contained a fair amount of political intrigue, although not so complex that it was hard to follow. Although the book is fantasy and takes place in an alternate world, there are actually very few fantasy elements present. For the most part it's a very realistic story.
My only mild criticism is that the book was perhaps a bit on the long side for YA adventure stories, but since it's meant to be part of a series that doesn't matter so much. If you like YA survival/adventure stories, give it a try.