Blog Tour Review: We Rule the Night – Came for Girl Friendships, Stayed for Girl Friendships

book cover

Title: We Rule the Night
Author: Claire Eliza Bartlett
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: April 2nd, 2019
Genre(s): YA Fantasy, Steampunk
Subjects and Themes: Female Friendships, Feminism, History-Inspired
Page Count: 400 (hardback)

Rating: N/A

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Seventeen-year-old Revna is a factory worker, manufacturing war machines for the Union of the North. When she’s caught using illegal magic, she fears being branded a traitor and imprisoned. Meanwhile, on the front lines, Linné defied her father, a Union general, and disguised herself as a boy to join the army. They’re both offered a reprieve from punishment if they use their magic in a special women’s military flight unit and undertake terrifying, deadly missions under cover of darkness. Revna and Linné can hardly stand to be in the same cockpit, but if they can’t fly together, and if they can’t find a way to fly well, the enemy’s superior firepower will destroy them–if they don’t destroy each other first.
We Rule the Night is a powerful story about sacrifice, complicated friendships, and survival despite impossible odds.



A fantasy military story with an all-female regiment and a “soft-spoken girl with a blunt, tight-laced girl” dynamic? Gosh, Claire, it’s like you know me.

I’ll be starting off with short bullet points for this beauty because this is so, so very last minute:

♥ This is a fantasy telling/dressup of the WW2 Night Witches, Soviet Union’s all-female bomber regiment (which seems to be a popular topic in fiction lately). I love the way the author constructed the world–the way it feels like a WW2 setting but with a steampunk flair. The girls pilot planes that are made of living metal, which means they can use magic (Weavecraft) to control it. Really cool stuff.

♥ The two main characters, Revna and Linné, are as different as they come. Revna has lost her legs in a factory accident and her use of prostheses makes Linné question whether she’s fit to be a pilot. Linné, on the other hand, is the daughter of a celebrated general and carries a “I’m better than this, why am I here” attitude. Their dynamic is a fascinating one, moving from hostility to respect and friendship.

♥ Girls risking lives for each other. Girls fighting alongside each other. Girls learning to trust each other. And girls supporting each other in an environment that believes women shouldn’t get involved in wars. (I hope you’ve been nodding furiously with each sentence.) It has it all and it does it well.

♥ My only real main problem was with the ending which I thought was rather shockingly abrupt.

Okay, well, awesome! That sounds pretty great, right? So why am I not giving it a rating?

Right. This is 100% on my end. We Rule the Night had the unfortunate timing of coming immediately after the most personal and emotionally draining book I’ve read in the past two years. My brain was (and still is) utterly scrambled and I couldn’t concentrate on anything else, especially other books. I mean, I would read a paragraph and ask myself, “Wait, what did I just read?” It’s ridiculous. It’s like trying to date just days after the (second) worst breakup of my life.

So I couldn’t give this book the full attention that it absolutely deserved, and any rating I give right now wouldn’t feel…fair. But make no mistake, this is a strong debut and I’m definitely going to be doing a re-read once I get my brain pieces back in order. And you should also pick it up because we need more stories about female empowerment floating around in our collective memories.


“That was the secret they shared as they held out their cups and got another splash of strong tea and tangy liquor. That was the secret they smiled over when they went to dinner. Not that they could fly, not that they could use the Weave. We can do anything.”




Claire Bartlett lives in an enchanted forest apartment in Copenhagen with too many board games and too few cats.

Get more detailed information, like how many board games is too many, how many cats is too few, and what book-related beauties I’m working on by signing up for my newsletter.



Check out the rest of the tour stops HERE!


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0 comment

debjani6ghosh April 4, 2019 - 5:46 am

Lovely review. I have never read a fantasy military story before. Seems like a cool read. 🙂

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky April 5, 2019 - 7:48 pm

Thank you! I used to think I didn’t like fantasy military, but then I read this wonderful series a few years ago and now it’s one of my favourite subgenres. 🙂

Tammy April 4, 2019 - 6:05 am

I love the sound of this! I just had a similar situation where I read one of the best books of the year so far and the next book suffered because of that.

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky April 5, 2019 - 7:52 pm

Oh nooo, was it the Boy and the Dog? I really need to mentally prepare myself for that one!

Norrie April 4, 2019 - 7:03 am

Uh-oh, this kinda sounds like the sort of fantasy i’d actually be interested. Straight up fantasy doesn’t interest me, but military stuff with all female army… now that sounds way more intriguing!
Great review 🙂

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky April 7, 2019 - 11:47 pm

Oh yeah, this is definitely one of those “fantasy books for people who don’t really read fantasy.” 😀 And I didn’t even know what military fantasy *was* until like four years ago, but now it’s one of my favourite subgenres!

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jennifertarheelreader April 4, 2019 - 5:12 pm

Oh my goodness, it’s another book about the Night Witches! And a fantasy! Loved reading your thoughts, Kathy, and I hope you are able to move past that other book experience soon. ♥️

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky April 5, 2019 - 7:40 pm

I know! It seems like everyone is writing about them! Not that I’m complaining. 😀 And I’m SO conflicted–a part of me doesn’t want to move past that book because I want to keep thinking about its characters, but the other part of me *does* because I have so many new books to read!!

Ruqs April 5, 2019 - 3:05 am

Lovely review! This sounds like something I should pick up 🙂

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky April 5, 2019 - 7:29 pm

Thank you! And it’s definitely worth a look!

Aurora Librialis April 5, 2019 - 8:19 am

Female friendships in fantasy? So. Here. For. That. ❤️

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky April 7, 2019 - 11:43 pm

I KNOW. I’m so tempted to make a master post feat. all the books with girl friendships!

Aurora Librialis April 8, 2019 - 9:55 am

Give in to temptation, Kathy. It’s for the greater good.

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky April 9, 2019 - 5:28 am

DAMN IT. OKAY I’M GONNA DO IT. Do you want to maybe try doing a joint post? My bookish memory is absolutely horrendous so I might need an extra set of brains for this. And, y’know, the more books the merrier! 😀

Aurora Librialis April 9, 2019 - 7:28 am

I’d love to! I’ve never done a collab before – it sounds fun 😊 I haven’t read a lot of SFF books with girl friendships, but I can add a lot of contemporaries to the mix!

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky April 11, 2019 - 6:15 pm

YAY! I’ve done exactly one collab (that we’re still working on) so I’m super new at this too. 😀 Here’s a google doc I started:

I’ll DM you the link on twitter too!

Aurora Librialis April 12, 2019 - 9:08 am

Cool! Then I won’t seem totally clueless 😂

bookbeachbunny April 5, 2019 - 12:30 pm

I’ve never read anything about the night witches before so I’ll have to check this out! I do love anything with great female friendships represented! Awesome review 🙂

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky April 9, 2019 - 5:08 am

Thank you! And this is like…the third book about night witches I’ve read in the past year and a half. The publishing world seems pretty fixated on them right now. Not that I’m complaining! 😀

@lynnsbooks April 6, 2019 - 3:28 am

This sounds great to be honest – but I confess I’ve very curious about the book that left you with such a hangover??
Lynn 😀

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky April 9, 2019 - 5:06 am

Hahaha you’ll find out in my latest review! 😀

waytoofantasy April 6, 2019 - 9:22 am

This one sounds pretty interesting! I love the cover too, it’s so eye-catching.

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky April 10, 2019 - 9:51 pm

A book says “girl friendship” and I come running. 😀 And yes the cover’s so pretty!!


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