I honestly think this book deserves 5 stars, but I just can't give it that.
The years Mara spent under Bunto's brutality didn't sit well with me. I am very American in that I can't understand family honor over honor of one's self. And also very American in that tradition doesn't hold to me like it does for those in older countries with more history. And the degradation Mara willingly put up with for the sake of the Acoma only made me angry. She was so strong throughout the entire story except during her time as Bunto's wife. Though she was strong then, too, images of her cowering from beatings truly effected the grand scheme of things for me. But a really great story. I do wish that Mara had more cunning in the last battle of wills with Jingo. Her sending the note to Teana seemed amateurish in that no plan really seemed to follow beyond getting Teana to her room. And the fact that they had to rely on the warlord's mage to prove things took away from the satisfaction of Mara finally seeing Jingo fall. I think if Mara were truly cunning she could have orchestrated something more public without roundabout means for proof.