“Mind your caste”, Rani is told several times both by people who wish her well and those who do not. But what is your caste when you family is killed along with most of the guild you were apprenticed to and you, yourself, are wanted for a murder you did not commit? Add to that being thirteen.
Being a thirteen year old girl in a medieval society was different to being a thirteen year old girl in a lot of countries today. One’s place in society was ensured from birth and one did not step outside of that area. Rani’s place is more fluid due to the circumstances of her life. Needing to hide enables her to cross caste-lines that she might not otherwise. Some of those lines include what the different castes think of as “good” and “bad”. It turns out that if you are a member of the Soldier caste your idea of what may or may not be done can be quite different to what the Touched caste thinks (not to mention the Brotherhood).
So! How does a girl know what to do? She doesn’t. To begin with her choices have to do with her brother. Later on her focus changes. Knowledge is part of that change. But there is also the matter of Rani having grown up in a religious and political system that encourages certain types of behavior.
Mindy L. Klasky‘s writing style was fascinating. It was as if the words snaked in and out of themselves. To me the intended audience seems to be Young Adults. There is violence, death, mystery, adventure and family choices. I liked it.
German: Die Lehrjahre der Glasmalerin