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Reviewed by Anelynde Smit for Readers' Favorite
Ulan by Rick Stepp-Bolling is a wonderful and tense adventure. We first meet Ulan and her few friends out after curfew, and when they are captured, disaster is the outcome. The Imperial Guards known as The Panthers kill the boys and leave Ulan mutilated and seeking revenge. The families of the boys who were killed are seeking revenge against her. Her only hope is to flee with a warrior named Bas to a safe sanctuary where she can be trained. It is there where she makes a friend and even falls in love. However, for her, it is never that simple. Ulan has a gift that the Imperial forces are after and will do anything to find. When every day could be your last, you fight or die.
I loved Ulan by Rick Stepp-Bolling in a way that you love something special to you. There is very imaginative world-building and interesting inventions. If you think there is nothing new in this genre, I hope you will read Ulan. I could give away some secrets, but that is what makes this book so magical. The story grows on you and you can feel your strength building as she trains. The inventions, the worlds, and the atmosphere lend themselves to a movie or a series. There is so much to appreciate, and I would enjoy the ride all over again. The characters are well developed and sometimes complicated but that adds to their realness. Her journey is a complex one, but you cannot help but want to see her succeed and win. You root for her even when you shouldn’t. This story was masterfully done and I would direct anyone interested in science fiction to this book.