I was hooked by the premise – an organization of female assassins with telepathic blades? While the book was unhurried, the ending was this stunning whirlwind of intrigue and action.
Kyra is the youngest Markswoman in the Order of Kali, a highly trained sisterhood of elite warriors armed with telepathic blades. Guided by a strict code of conduct, Kyra and the other Orders are sworn to protect the people of Asiana. But to be a Markswoman, an acolyte must repudiate her former life completely. Kyra has pledged to do so, yet she secretly harbors a fierce desire to avenge her dead family.
When Kyra’s beloved mentor dies in mysterious circumstances, and Tamsyn, the powerful, dangerous Mistress of Mental Arts, assumes control of the Order, Kyra is forced on the run. Using one of the strange Transport Hubs that are remnants of Asiana’s long-lost past, she finds herself in the unforgiving wilderness of desert that is home to the Order of Khur, the only Order composed of men. Among them is Rustan, a young, disillusioned Marksman whom she soon befriends.
Kyra is certain that Tamsyn committed murder in a twisted bid for power, but she has no proof. And if she fails to find it, fails in her quest to keep her beloved Order from following Tamsyn down a dark path, it could spell the beginning of the end for Kyra–and for Asiana.
But what she doesn’t realize is that the line between justice and vengeance is razor thin . . . thin as the blade of a knife
To start you off with some fundamentals of things I really loved: the setting, the premise, and the magic. I hate when books, especially fantasy books, are not descriptive. What I want from a fantasy is something fantastic something that transports me out of my reading nook and into an immersive and atmospheric world. And this is one of the aspects Mehrotra shines. Additionally, the premise was a hook, line, and sinker for me (even though I wanted the entire book to only have Markswomen and no Marksmen). And the magic was so good, I loved the time and consideration Mehrotra took in explaining these magical principles to us.
This book is a mixing of many genres: coming of age, romance, action and so there’s a little something for everyone. Did I expect it to be darker? Yes, but that’s what I get for thinking assassins and many murders – there aren’t as many as you would expect. It is a story of intrigue and the decisions we face on the road to who we want to be. One of the best ‘darker’ elements of the story which I liked, was that we hear a little bit of what the blade thinks – and it is every bit as eerie as you might expect.
What ended up keeping me hooked were Kyra and Rushtan. I loved that we were able to witness both perspectives and their story lines. Am I team Kyra? Yes any day.
The ending is such a large cliff hanger that I’m already mourning the fact that I have to wait so long for the next one. While I may have been hooked on the premise, what ending up sustaining my attention is Mehrotra’s lush storytelling and endearing characters. Mehrotra combines a genuine talent for storytelling with an action packed plot, and slowly unfolding part of the tapestry before us. Ultimately this is a great start to a wonderful series that I will be following with great attention.
Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Edelweiss.
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