Kyra is the youngest Markswoman in the Order of Kali, one of a handful of sisterhoods of highly trained elite warriors. Armed with blades whose metal is imbued with magic and guided by a strict code of conduct, the Orders are sworn to keep the peace and protect the people of Asiana. Kyra has pledged to do so—yet she secretly harbors a fierce desire to avenge her murdered family.
When Tamsyn, the powerful and dangerous Mistress of Mental Arts, assumes control of the Order, Kyra is forced on the run. She is certain that Tamsyn committed murder in a twisted bid for power, but she has no proof.
Kyra escapes through one of the strange Transport Hubs that are the remnants of Asiana’s long-lost past and finds herself in the unforgiving wilderness of a desert that is home to the Order of Khur, the only Order composed of men. Among them is Rustan, a disillusioned Marksman whose skill with a blade is unmatched. He understands the desperation of Kyra’s quest to prove Tamsyn’s guilt, and as the two grow closer, training daily on the windswept dunes of Khur, both begin to question their commitment to their Orders. But what they don’t yet realize is that the line between justice and vengeance is thin . . . as thin as the blade of a knife.
I loved this book so much. Rati Mehrotra creates a captivating, magical world filled with harshness and beauty. I was immediately swept away. And the setting is just the beginning for this book. Kyra is a strong, yet vulnerable, protagonist who speaks her mind even when it puts her life in jeopardy. I immediately was on her side in this book and cheering her on as she fled from her Order but kept focused on trying to bring justice to the memory of her mentor.
Perfectly juxtaposed with Kyra is Rustan from the Order of Khur. Even stronger physically than Kyra, Rustan is tasked with training her so she can reach the peak of her abilities.
Markswoman has everything I look for in a fantasy series: complex characters, a compelling storyline, and action that doesn’t stop. I read this book far too fast and now I’m impatiently waiting for Book 2 in the series.