I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Harper Voyager on January 23rd 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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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.
I was immediately drawn to this book from it’s synopsis. I mean, women assassins with magical blades? Of course that sounds epic! Overall I found an interesting story with just that but one that also left me with conflicting emotions.
The story follows Kyra as she kills her first mark and becomes a Markwomen, someone who dedicates their life to protecting Asiana. We learn a lot about her journey to this point in her life as well as the meticulous trials and training these warriors go through. They live by strict guidelines and Kyra is dedicated yet something holds her back – her desire for revenge against those who murdered her family when she was just a child. When her mentor, the leader, mysteriously dies, Kyra escapes and searches for a way to bring justice to her clan.
I had a very love/hate relationship with the world building. I found so much of it to be quite fascinating. The unique belief system and laws the people all lived by, the way women were at the forefront of protecting and ruling Asiana, and the magical connection the Markswomen and Marksmen had with their weapons and the abilities it granted them with inner speech and even compulsion, all of this was a huge highlight of the story. There were even these transport hubs leftover from an ancient civilization that allowed them to travel which sort of added this element of sci-fi I didn’t expect. I really have read nothing like this before and it left me wanting to know more about this complicated world. But if I’m being honest, I’m not entirely sure what I was reading half the time. The ‘romance’ was one I was hoping for but fell a little flat when it came down to it and the storyline left me a little lost and confused on many occasions which quite frankly caused me to take forever to read it. It almost felt like nothing was happening for awhile and it just built and built and finally exploded at the end. But I must say, I really liked the end and was not ready for the last page. I didn’t feel like the story was over yet and even though I’m left feeling all over the place with my thoughts and feelings, I absolutely want to know what happens next. Hopefully the next book will clear up some of the confusion I was left feeling.
Despite some of my issues, I do think this book is worth checking out! There’s nothing better than badass, take charge women and that’s what you’ll find in Markswoman. I look forward to the sequel!