Hetta is a Tightrope Walker. A leader of armies. She has been one all her life. But Hetta has just turned thirteen, and there has never been a thirteen year old Tightrope Walker. Ever. Is she too old to do her duty? Is she too old to walk upon the field of battle and survive?
I do not know what it is about Shaun Hume’s books that draw me in like crazy. I just love his writing style, and it seems that no matter what he chooses to write about, I just cannot put the book down until I finish it. The feeling was the same with the first one that I read, Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith. That one earned the very first grade of 10/10. What about this one?
We follow Hetta who is a Tightrope Walker. It is quite a funny title when we think of it, but no, she does not walk on a thin rope in-between buildings. She is actually a commander of an army. This is when the Tightrope Walker actually materializes and comes into play. The title was never meant to be taken literally but figuratively. She does walk a thin line, but she walks that line on the battlefield and in her life. Let us talk about the former for a second.
As you have read in the description, Hetta is only thirteen years old, but with the gift that she has she is feared all around. Imagine being thirteen years old and have everyone run away or hide from you. And at the end of the day, it is not even your own fault that you are gifted. That is basically what Hetta has to go through on a daily basis and it is captured beautifully in the book. Although she is a very strong character, we can feel the struggle within. She is at the age when people make the jump from childhood into their teens. Hetta does not have that. The one thing that she does have, however, is The General.
The General stood with Hetta and fought beside her on the battlefield. He was the only one that managed to look beyond her being a Tightrope Walker, and he managed to see that she was still just a kid. Later in the book, there comes a moment when he explains everything to her, and addresses the issues she did not want to talk about. He is the one that gives a jumpstart to her mental growth, and with that, she finally steps into the shoes of the real world. The world that is full of self-doubt that you have to deal with.
In all honesty, the book did drag at certain parts. With that I mean that some parts could have been left out, as they did not influence the story too much. Other than that the book is a must read. Especially with the cliffhanger waiting for you at the end.
Book recommendation: 9/10