Etched in Fire by Beth Hudson
Just as a barge enters Kaelennar, the city is attacked by an army of bloodthirsty esch. To protect fourteen-year-old Maelen Saltbearer, Gannet dresses her as a boy, and they take refuge with another family. Maelen wants to fight—she has some untested magical powers—but instead the children are to flee the city.
The occupation of Kaelennar continues, and the children eke out a meager existence, unable to better their lot against the esch . . . until one day Maelen Saltbearer is caught, along with her friends, while smuggling children from the city. Tortured and left for dead, Maelen snaps.
Torn between personal revenge and saving her people, Maelen has a decision to make . . .