by Lucy Cruickshanks (Heron) ISBN 978-1-84866-531-6
An 11-year-old girl named Thuza Win watches her ruby-smuggling parents being tortured and taken captive. As Thuza Win tries to save her parents from the Shan State Army, a soldier takes her grandmother’s dagger and slashes her tongue in half and leaves her for dead.
Thuza Win believing that her parents are alive, recovers and grows up, and becomes a ruby smuggler to free her parents. Her path crosses with Michael, the British Ambassador who goes missing, and Than, a local ambitious military officer. They help each other in this war-stricken land in their search for freedom and hope.
The captivating and mesmerizing writing made me feel like I was right there walking in the forest with Thuza Win with the rich and beautiful rubies hidden in her shoulder bags dodging the landmines and the rebels.