The war seemed fought with as much paper as bullets, what with the letters and the passes and permissions piled on the table, orders received and recorded, recordings of conferences noted down. (40.55)
Here's what's kind of fascinating about Isabel: For a young slave girl who carries little to no value in society, she sees the broadest picture of the war out of any character in the story. She witnesses the deplorable conditions the prisoners of war are kept in, as well as the privileged, bloodless state of military leaders off the battlefield. Being "chained between two nations," as she says, may not afford her great opportunities in using either army to gain freedom, but it does give her a panoramic view of the conflict's two sides.