Imagine a world of red. Barren deserts, the color of the sunset, scatter the scarred land. Barely a trickle of water lies upon the cracked grounds. Dilapidated homes are made of ancient materials, ready to collapse under the dusty, hot air. For Saba, the main character of Moira Young’s Blood Red Road, this is her life.
Raised in a tiny house at Silverlake with a sad, tired father, a close twin brother, Lugh, and a pesky younger sister, Emmi, 18-year-old Saba has never known anything except those parameters. But when a mysterious group of riders kick up the red sand nearby with their horses’ hoofs, kill her father, and kidnap Lugh, Saba is devastated and vows to avenge the crimes.
Having no choice but to bring Emmi along her journey to hunt down the men in black, Saba soon realizes just how tough it is to make the expedition. The Sandsea, a brutally hot, shifting desert, leaves her wandering and lost for days with no food or water. The nearest city, many miles away, is packed with nasty, volatile characters on an uncontrollable drug. Nomadic people that dot the horizon are not kind, giving fellows, but sleazy beings searching for just the right girl to capture and gamble on in a cage-fighting arena. That girl they choose is Saba.
Forced to join the cage-fights, Saba starts to give up and recognizes just how unrealistic the prospect is of reaching her brother. Known as the “Angel of Death,” Saba wins every cage fight for months. But when a certain girl meets her eye, nearly costing her a battle, Saba learns that there might be a way out. And with that hope of escaping, comes an even greater faith of her rescuing mission. Discreetly working with the other girl, Saba sets in motion a series of tumultuous events that eventually lead to an escape with her sister, and most importantly, an alliance. With newfound beliefs, a rickety relationship with Emmi, and a small group of loyal followers, Saba once more sets off for her twin. Stubbornly independent, she fights like a true warrior against the most unimaginable of all creatures, learns of the dangerous secrets that could tear the country apart, and hopes that her brother is still alive. Yet, as time begins to tick away, Saba wonders if Lugh can ever be saved, despite her best efforts.
Blood Red Road is a tale of keeping family and striving to save the ties when all seems lost. With the distinct voice and dialect of Saba, Young weaves betrayal with loyalty, hatred with love, death with hope, and tears with beliefs, all to create a memorable story of a girl with the heart and mind to save her brother in a broken world.
Kate Tsui is freshman attending Darien High School. She enjoys reading and is always looking forward to new book recommendations from friends. She likes to travel, paint, and play the piano.