This plot hinges on a rather interesting idea. What if a boy was really a girl, but didn't know it? I don't mean didn't know it in the sense of the The Ill-Made Mute, but truly didn't know it, and most people didn't know it.Flewelling starts to answer such questions in this book. She also looks at how a land that once used women warriors slowly changes its view on them. It's strange because there is not much "action" in the traditional sense of the word in the book. It is more about family, faith, cost, and a willingness to pay. It ends rather suddenly.Yet, it is very good. Perhaps this is because Flewelling paints the characters so well. Even minor characters have a realness about them, and Flewelling is smart enough to let her readers make judgements about the characters, not force judgements about characters on readers. One author who constantly forces judgement about her character on her reader is Laurell K. Hamilton. Anita is always right. Or think CSI: Miami where Horatio is always right (and why I stopped watching. Well, that and Rory left). What happens makes one supposedly good character rather untrustworthy, if not outright hated. It's a brave author who does that and doesn't soften the blow or excuse the action. A good challenging book.