General Winston's Daughter
by Sharon Shinn
Hardback: 342 pages
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Released: October 18, 2007
Source: Borrowed from my local library.
Book Description, Modified from Back Cover:
Eighteen-year-old heiress Averie Winston travels with her guardian to faraway Chiarrin to reunite with her father, who is the commanding general, and to see her handsome fiancé Morgan. She's excited about exploring the strange new country. Yet Chiarizzi rebels are fighting the invaders. Averie also realizes that Morgan doesn't share her views on the locals, and she finds herself falling in love with Lieutenant Ket Du'kai, who himself comes from a conquered society.
General Winston's Daughter is a young adult fantasy. It's a look at how imperialism affects the conquered using a British-like society that has taken over several "more primitive" societies for economic gain. Averie has an increasingly sympathetic view of the conquered peoples.
I enjoyed the world-building as Averie learned about the new culture. I liked Averie even though she was head-strong because she tended to be willful about neutral or good things, like wanting to wear a new dress style or helping care for an injured friend. She wasn't cruel to Morgan, and Ket was an honorable man. I could see why attraction grew up between Averie and Ket.
However, I was disappointed with the ending. I could see the "surprise twist" coming from the start, but my problem was with how it has handled. No real society has such a complete unity in emotion or ability to keep a mass secret. I can't believe that the imperialist war-machine had no spies and didn't catch wind of what was going to happen. I also stopped liking Averie. Her reaction wasn't realistic and was too shallow for what had happened. Rather than becoming more mature and cautious, she became more immature and trusting. I also didn't like how she tried to force someone she supposedly loved to do things her way so she could get what she wanted.
There were no sex scenes, magic, or explicit bad language. Overall, I found the book enjoyable even though the ending was disappointing.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.
Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.