There has been a lot of backlash over the violence in this book, and the series as a whole. I think this is ridiculous. It's not that the books aren't violent. because they absolutely are. However, the books are about war, about what is worth dying for--and what is worth killing for--and how far is too far, even in war. Guess what? Wars are violent. Men, women, and children die, often in horrible ways. That is reality, and if these books can bring that reality home to a few people, maybe we'll have fewer wars and less violence, not more of it. It's a beautifully done series. Highly recommended.