First Line Friday #12 – Anticolonial Edition

Hi everyone! First Line Friday is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. As someone who rarely judges books by their covers but who loooooves choosing their next book by reading the first lines, of course I want to join!

So… Let’s go! Read the first lines below and try to guess what book it is!

“A sandstorm brewed dark and menacing against the Qazāli horizon as Lieutenant Touraine and the rest of the Balladairan Colonial Brigade sailed into El-Wast, capital city of Qazāl, foremost of Balladaire’s southern colonies.
El-Wast. City of marble and sandstone, of olives and clay. City of the golden sun and fruits Touraine couldn’t remember tasting. City of rebellious, uncivilized god-worshippers. The city where Touraine was born.”

The Unbroken by C.L. Clark
The Unbroken Cover

Touraine is a soldier. Stolen as a child and raised to kill and die for the empire, her only loyalty is to her fellow conscripts. But now, her company has been sent back to her homeland to stop a rebellion, and the ties of blood may be stronger than she thought.

Luca needs a turncoat. Someone desperate enough to tiptoe the bayonet’s edge between treason and orders. Someone who can sway the rebels toward peace, while Luca focuses on what really matters: getting her uncle off her throne.

Through assassinations and massacres, in bedrooms and war rooms, Touraine and Luca will haggle over the price of a nation. But some things aren’t for sale.

Why this book?

Since I’ve learned that The Unbroken was inspired on France’s colonization of Algeria, I’ve been dying to read it, even though I’m dreading it just as much. As I’ve mentioned in my post about Algerian books on my TBR, my dad was raised in a foster home because his father, who was an Algerian from Kabylie, had to leave France during the Algerian War of Independence, so, yeah. As a French woman, I know damn well how some people want to bury our bloody history and I hate that so, so much. You don’t get to sell yourself as an *ethical* nation when you’re not even able to recognize the hurt you’ve caused all over the world for centuries. Plus The Unbroken is an Adult Fantasy novel with sapphic rep??? Of course it’s on my top-priority TBR!

Have you read it? What did you think?

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