Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Wendy Orr
Publisher: Pajama Press
Aissa is considered a “bad-luck child” and is cast out from households and crowds. Mute and alone on her life journey, Aissa becomes a servant to the Lady and her new chief. She figures that the only way to freedom is to offer herself as the next tribute to the Bull King. But first, she must survive the Bull King’s yearly bull dance. As she travels this path, Aissa realizes the courage, strength, and determination that strongly beat inside her. She also begins to develop a bond of friendship with the other tribute in their fight for freedom.
This historic novel is set 4,000 years ago and is beautifully written in prose and verse. The style is easy to understand and eloquently adds to the captivating story, giving insight into Aissa’s thoughts and feelings. Author Wendy Orr does a wonderful job creating an enthralling plot for her readers to read. One of the book's strengths is the character development of Aissa. The journey refines Aissa from a self-conscious, weak, and scared little girl to a strong and determined young woman at the end of the story.