review and cover mani: we rule the night

The back jacket, from Goodreads:

Two girls use forbidden magic to fly and fight–for their country and for themselves–in this riveting debut that’s part Shadow and Bone, part Code Name Verity.

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.


I absolutely flew through WE RULE THE NIGHT. Yes, that’s obvious and not terribly creative wordplay, but nonetheless true. A fiercely consumable combination of action-packed and emotionally-charged scenes, there was never a good moment to take a break, so goodbye weekend adulting activities and hello to eating cereal for three consecutive meals because my sole priority was finding out what Revna and Linné did next. 

Cover art by Billelis
Cover design by Karina Granda

Forced to enter a world where she didn't excel, after her previous successes were nullified, Linné’s arc captured my attention and my heart. A young woman who'd hurdled herself over every obstacle to join the fight on the front lines, only to be sidelined because of her gender and then assigned to a secret flight unit composed of very un-soldier-like women, Linné didn’t quite know what to do with herself. Bitter, judgmental, standoffish, but still dedicated to the cause, Linné’s struggles to find her place inside and outside of the cockpit made her too vulnerable not to love, so when things got crazy, I was worried sick about her. She pushed everybody away, and while Revna faced similar uncertainties, she had the rest of the unit's support (albeit somewhat tainted support because of how the others considered her living metal legs, at least in the beginning). But whether they liked it or not, they were united by a common goal, and watching how each young woman navigated their feelings of self-doubt and fear produced a lot of head nodding and empathy from me. I also appreciated the various ways Bartlett showed the women's courage and strength because there's so much more to being strong and brave than just throwing a punch.

As I’ve touched on the balance between character growth and action, now I get to rave about the magic. Because flying planes YES. The use and construction of the planes, comprised of living metal (THE ACTUAL AWESOMEST BUT I WON’T SAY ANY MORE) and operated by a pair of pilots with two different magical tasks, made my imagination explode. At times, perhaps slightly challenging to envision, but who cares because it was such an extraordinary concept, especially considering the historical inspiration of the Soviet Union's 588th Night Bomber regiment during WWII. I do wish a particular storyline had more explanation and depth, as it proved critical to the world-building, and the end left me with mixed feelings. Mostly good, but also some wanting. As in, I want another book. The comps are totally bang-on, so if you’re a fan of Code Name Verity or Shadow and Bone, you’ll love WE RULE THE NIGHT!

Big thanks to Hachette Book Canada for an ARC!


For this mani, I used:

FingerPaints – Black Expressionism and Paper Mâché

China Glaze – What’s Up Bittercups, Street Style Princess, Change Your Altitude 

OPI – Rollin’ In Cashmere, In My Back Pocket, A Good Man-darin Is Hard to Find, My Twin Mimmy, matte topcoat

SoNailicious – needle and warrior brushes


  1. This book sounds right up my ally. I have been reading a lot of magic books lately.


    1. Yay! I hope you love it! Perfect choice if you're a fan of magic and historical fiction.

  2. This book is in my TBR already and now I want to read it even more! And I love this mani! The cover is so gorgeous and you captured it perfectly! The phoenix is amazing!

    1. Elyse YES! I'm a couple of weeks late responding to your comment (🙈 sorry) so if you've already read it by now, I hope you loved it! I had a challenging time painting this cover, and am very proud of the end result, so thank you!!


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