This is a great sci fi/fantasy book. Scouts have to bond with their animals - but one is forbidden. You'll learn why, and what happens when the forbidden happens -- the torture and how one heroic woman overcomes, and finds that change comes to all. This is a novel of transition and growth. It's heroic, and it will make you feel good about the protagonist, and about yourself, in the end, because you'll come to identify with her. Excellent writing by Harper, again.
I read this pretty fast although it was sort of hard to get into. The first half of the book deals with Tsia's capture and torture by the artist Celukku. The second half her escape with the mercs sent to rescue a councilwoman from Pulan. The first half really drags.