A review by sallenreads
Desert Phoenix by Suzette Bruggeman, Suzette Bruggeman

challenging dark hopeful slow-paced


I absolutely loved this book. It took me some time to get through because, as other reviewers have pointed out, it's a pretty heavy story. But it was well worth it. 

The level of detail in Bruggeman's descriptions made me forget that this book is supposed to be historical fiction. As a writer, I know how much research must have gone into accomplishing that, so I also applaud that effort. 

I also found the characters to be well-developed. Many of them had to make really hard choices in order to survive, and their motivations were clear -- which made it easy to feel sympathetic. I also loved watching the dynamic between Tempa and Henry develop, and the end of the book honestly left me super in my feelings.

While Desert Phoenix isn't right for the students I work with, I know a lot of adult historical fiction readers who would love a book like this.

Content warnings: rape, drug abuse, suicide, violence, animal death, murder

Thank you to the author for providing a copy for review.