My rating: 3.5 stars
It's 13th century France. Men and women are being persecuted by the church as heretics. Botille and her sisters are far from it all in the small sea-side village of Bajas. All that changes when Botille comes across Dolssa, hungry and afraid. Dolssa has a special gift, a gift that they need to keep hidden from the monks that seek her.
Berry is a beautiful writer. The language, the detail, the characters--everything is vibrant. Berry has also written a wide range of books, so those how have read some of her other books should be warned that this isn't the same.
I don't know how easily younger teens would be able to understand this book. Though marketed as a young adult novel, I think that the subject matter and themes are more suited for adults. I consider myself a pretty intelligent person, but I spent a lot of the book trying to understand Dolssa. The author's note at the end of the book helped, giving me the context I needed; however, I think that the story should have been able to help me understand it better without the author's note. I spent a lot of time not sure how I liked Dolssa and the things she said she was, especially as it related to my own personal beliefs.
I don't remember any language, but there are very brief, mild mentions of sex.
*I do not receive compensation from Amazon.