I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest opinion.
This is a really good start to a new fantasy series. This is the first book that I’ve read by this author, but certainly won’t be the last. The story is set in a “Kingdom” that reminds me of feudal China or Japan. The King is sick and dying with no heir. Members from the three ruling families sit on the King’s Council. Each family tries to maneuver to take over the throne upon the King’s death.
The Kingdom’s enforcers are called Nightblades. They are fierce warriors that keep the peace in the Kingdom. In days past, Nightblades were trusted and revered by the people, but their reputations have taken a hit lately and they are falling out of favor. This obviously does not sit well with the Nightblades’ leaders. Minori, a nightblade warrior, and Kiyoshi, a dayblade healer, are members of the King’s Council, but have opposing views of the role of Nightblades. Minori thinks Nightblades should rule the land, and Kiyoshi feels they should serve it.
Asa, a young Nightblade warrior, is fueled by vengeance. She has spent 10 years trying to track down and kill the man that killed her father. Her search has sent her throughout the Kingdom. Her latest clue has taken her to a small village where she finds herself in the middle of a civil war. Both Minori and Kiyoshi want to use her to serve their goals, but Asa doesn’t trust easily. As issues come to a head, Asa will face difficult decisions about the role she is to play in the fate of the Kingdom…
I really enjoyed this book. The worldbuilding is a bit light, but enough information is given for the reader to follow the story without too many problems. The characters were fairly well developed and the reader has plenty of people to cheer for and despise. While some parts of the story line were predictable, there were enough surprises to keep the story fresh. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.