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Mahimata

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A young female assassin must confront the man who slaughtered her family, risk her heart, and come to terms with her identity as a warrior and as a woman in this thrilling fantasy from the author of Markswoman. Kyra has returned to the caves of Kali, but her homecoming is bittersweet. Her beloved teacher is dead and her best friend Nineth is missing. And gone, too, is Rusta A young female assassin must confront the man who slaughtered her family, risk her heart, and come to terms with her identity as a warrior and as a woman in this thrilling fantasy from the author of Markswoman. Kyra has returned to the caves of Kali, but her homecoming is bittersweet. Her beloved teacher is dead and her best friend Nineth is missing. And gone, too, is Rustan, the Marksman who helped her train for the duel with Tamsyn--and became far more than a teacher and friend. Shaken by his feelings for Kyra and the truth about his parentage, Rustan has set off on a quest for answers. His odyssey leads him to the descendants of an ancient sect tied to the alien Ones--and the realization that the answers he seeks come with a price. Yet fate has plans to bring Kyra and Rustan together again. Kai Tau, the man who slaughtered Kyra’s family, wages war on the Orders of Asiana. Hungering for justice, Kyra readies herself for battle, aided by her new companions: the wyr-wolves, who are so much more than what they seem. And determined to keep the woman he loves safe, Rustan joins the fight to ride by her side. But will this final confrontation ultimately cost them their love...and their lives?


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A young female assassin must confront the man who slaughtered her family, risk her heart, and come to terms with her identity as a warrior and as a woman in this thrilling fantasy from the author of Markswoman. Kyra has returned to the caves of Kali, but her homecoming is bittersweet. Her beloved teacher is dead and her best friend Nineth is missing. And gone, too, is Rusta A young female assassin must confront the man who slaughtered her family, risk her heart, and come to terms with her identity as a warrior and as a woman in this thrilling fantasy from the author of Markswoman. Kyra has returned to the caves of Kali, but her homecoming is bittersweet. Her beloved teacher is dead and her best friend Nineth is missing. And gone, too, is Rustan, the Marksman who helped her train for the duel with Tamsyn--and became far more than a teacher and friend. Shaken by his feelings for Kyra and the truth about his parentage, Rustan has set off on a quest for answers. His odyssey leads him to the descendants of an ancient sect tied to the alien Ones--and the realization that the answers he seeks come with a price. Yet fate has plans to bring Kyra and Rustan together again. Kai Tau, the man who slaughtered Kyra’s family, wages war on the Orders of Asiana. Hungering for justice, Kyra readies herself for battle, aided by her new companions: the wyr-wolves, who are so much more than what they seem. And determined to keep the woman he loves safe, Rustan joins the fight to ride by her side. But will this final confrontation ultimately cost them their love...and their lives?

30 review for Mahimata

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    This started stronger than it finished, and I don't think it was as good as the first book, Markswoman. I think the big issue here is that a lot of those standardized YA Fantasy tropes Mehrotra managed to avoid in book one, had a full throttle, pedal to the medal presence here. The romance was a huge focus this time around. For the record, I hate complaining that romance exists in a book- because I actually like romance. Claire and Jamie, Edward and Elizabeth, Elizabeth and Darcy, truly, it's a f This started stronger than it finished, and I don't think it was as good as the first book, Markswoman. I think the big issue here is that a lot of those standardized YA Fantasy tropes Mehrotra managed to avoid in book one, had a full throttle, pedal to the medal presence here. The romance was a huge focus this time around. For the record, I hate complaining that romance exists in a book- because I actually like romance. Claire and Jamie, Edward and Elizabeth, Elizabeth and Darcy, truly, it's a favorite theme of mine. What I don't like, is when we spend pages and pages straight up day dreaming of the significant other. That was how this romance often felt. There are barriers to Kyra's relationship with Rustan, but none of them ever felt all that challenging. Another one of the things that I loved in Markswoman, was that Kyra never felt like a special snowflake to me in the first book. She made mistakes, she became an outcast, etc. Here special snowflake syndrome is alive and swinging. I can't say much without spoilers, but every single scene felt like it was dedicated to how special, how much better/braver/stronger/smarter she was then everyone else. I did a lot of eyerolling. Finally- this novel requires a lot of suspension of disbelief. The relationships between these people were just not believable. Kyra upends centuries of fear and tradition regarding the wyr-wolves for no other reason than that she's the Mahimata of the Order of Kali. All the elders and other clans just sort of accept her rule. She's enlisted to lead a war despite never having been in one and only being like 18/19 years old. I was just kind of sick of it all at the end. Despite all this, there were still parts I enjoyed. The introduction of the wyr-wolves was wonderful and probably my favorite part. The overall plot wasn't bad, even if it was wholly unbelievable and a little generic. There were a lot of great ideas at play, the hall of mirrors, the Sahirus, the hub and transport system. It was also a very quick read- and I tend to be more forgiving of those. The ending was both abrupt and bizarre. Nothing was really explained. Kyra and Rustan got an ending but literally no one else. This book really needed a conclusion or an epilogue of some sort to make it feel complete. I reviewed an advance copy so it's entirely possible my copy simply didn't have it, but I was definitely left wanting more (and not really in a good way). If you enjoyed the first book, it's probably worth reading the second just to see how it all ends. I'll be curious to see what Mehrotra does now that this duology is complete. Thank you to Edelweiss and Harper Collins for providing me with an eARC to review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kayla

    I'm so excited to have won this in a Goodreads Giveaway! Will definitely be reading book one and this one before pub day :D

  3. 5 out of 5

    Adah Udechukwu

    Mahimata is a nice end to the duology.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

    *Source* Publisher *Genre* Young Addult, Fantasy *Rating* 3.5-4 *Thoughts* Mahimata is the second and final installment in the Asiana series by author Rati Mehrotra. Filled with terrific characters, expansive world-building, a tough heroine, a formidable hero, and thrilling action, Mahimata has everything fantasy readers want. The story continues where Markswoman left off. The series focuses on two main characters: Kyra a Markswoman from the Order of Kali which happens to be the oldest Order of Peac *Source* Publisher *Genre* Young Addult, Fantasy *Rating* 3.5-4 *Thoughts* Mahimata is the second and final installment in the Asiana series by author Rati Mehrotra. Filled with terrific characters, expansive world-building, a tough heroine, a formidable hero, and thrilling action, Mahimata has everything fantasy readers want. The story continues where Markswoman left off. The series focuses on two main characters: Kyra a Markswoman from the Order of Kali which happens to be the oldest Order of Peace in Asiana, and Rustan, a Marksman from the Order of Khur, the only Order of Peace composed of men. *Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews* https://gizmosreviews.blogspot.com/20...

  5. 4 out of 5

    ❆Francesca (Mother of Cats) Selina❆

    Thank you Harper Voyager for sending me an advance review copy through Edelweiss. Mahimata is the conclusion of the Asiana duology, after the cliffhanger ending of the first book the reader is brought up to speed in the first chapters of the book: which made the writing seem even more clunky and alienating, but it loosened up later and had some wonderful descriptions of the geography of Asiana....which was all pretty and charming but it still gave the impression of being there just to fill the pa Thank you Harper Voyager for sending me an advance review copy through Edelweiss. Mahimata is the conclusion of the Asiana duology, after the cliffhanger ending of the first book the reader is brought up to speed in the first chapters of the book: which made the writing seem even more clunky and alienating, but it loosened up later and had some wonderful descriptions of the geography of Asiana....which was all pretty and charming but it still gave the impression of being there just to fill the pages. The main protagonists didn’t develop much: Ruston continued being the living personification of the YA genre’s male hero, Kyra fully became a special snowflake and the “new” villain was as bad as the previous one. The romance still felt forced into the plot and the dislike for the characters made me feel not invested in it. The finale left me with more questions and the vague idea of HEA was rather unbelievable. Mention of honor for the wyr-wolves because they were the only part that grabbed my interest. This was a frustrating book on so many levels and it never managed to grab me.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Wyble

    So excited I won a copy of this ARC in a giveaway!! Time to binge the 1st book so I can read this ASAP! Thank you, Avon/Voyager!!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Beth Cato

    Full disclosure: I provided a blurb for the first book of this duology and the publisher also supplied me with a gratis copy of Mahimata for review. Rati Mehrotra's Asiana duology comes to a fantastic conclusion in Mahimata. In this Asian-inspired fantasy settings with unique sci-fi twists, Kyra is a highly-trained assassin telekinetically bound with her blade. Her world has erupted in war. Her sect has fought against local wyr-wolves for centuries, but now a greater--human--threat has emerged an Full disclosure: I provided a blurb for the first book of this duology and the publisher also supplied me with a gratis copy of Mahimata for review. Rati Mehrotra's Asiana duology comes to a fantastic conclusion in Mahimata. In this Asian-inspired fantasy settings with unique sci-fi twists, Kyra is a highly-trained assassin telekinetically bound with her blade. Her world has erupted in war. Her sect has fought against local wyr-wolves for centuries, but now a greater--human--threat has emerged and threatens to take over Asiana. In the turbulence of the first book, Kyra met and fell for Rustan, of a rival sect--and also almost died. As Mahimata begins, she struggles to recover physically and reconcile herself with what she has learned about her sect, her power, and her world. The action is intense and well-grounded in genuine emotions. I especially love how the wyr-wolves developed. This is a book all about maturity and growth for both Kyra and Rustan as they fight to save their people at great cost. I'm sorry to see the series end, but this conclusion truly hits all the right notes.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Queen Cronut

    I didn't love it as much as the first book but it was a worthy sequel. Mahimata had a very strong beginning but began to decline afterward. Admittedly, this book gave me a reading slump because the plot seemed to drag on and on. I was very invested in the conflict from Markswoman yet that quickly went away when I started reading Mahimata. Additionally, Kyra was never a special snowflake in Markswoman which I loved and why I admired her character so much. She made mistakes and wasn't overly idolize I didn't love it as much as the first book but it was a worthy sequel. Mahimata had a very strong beginning but began to decline afterward. Admittedly, this book gave me a reading slump because the plot seemed to drag on and on. I was very invested in the conflict from Markswoman yet that quickly went away when I started reading Mahimata. Additionally, Kyra was never a special snowflake in Markswoman which I loved and why I admired her character so much. She made mistakes and wasn't overly idolized on the pages. However, she's gone from a socially awkward, likable girl to a full-fledged, special snowflake warrior in this book. I mean, I still liked her but not as much as before. The romance between Kyra and Rustan is very prominent here. I was not a big fan of that. And the deus ex machina fills every single plot hole. Not a terrible plot, just not very good either. What I did like was the further development of minor characters and worldbuilding. Loved the writing style and the unique setting building from the Hub to the Hall of Mirrors. This world certainly stands out in the myriad of fantasy universes. The ending... very abrupt and kind of confusing. Rustan and Kyra get an ending but not much is mentioned about the other characters leaving me wanting more and hoping for a possible sequel/novella/footnote/epilogue. *Thank you to GoodReads and Avon/Voyager publishers for providing a free ARC*

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tim Hicks

    [adjusts filters because this is a YA] Disappointing. #1 was so good ..... but perhaps this stew has too many ingredients. Let's see: telepathic flying swords; shapeshifting wolves that can also do magic; time-travelling monks; a dormant spaceship; transporter gates, but also camels and spears; specialists in Mental Mojo At A Distance. We have a battle in which one side has ALL of the above and everyone is a martial-arts expert, and the other has peasants with swords, except a few guns. How did [adjusts filters because this is a YA] Disappointing. #1 was so good ..... but perhaps this stew has too many ingredients. Let's see: telepathic flying swords; shapeshifting wolves that can also do magic; time-travelling monks; a dormant spaceship; transporter gates, but also camels and spears; specialists in Mental Mojo At A Distance. We have a battle in which one side has ALL of the above and everyone is a martial-arts expert, and the other has peasants with swords, except a few guns. How did that split come to be? Surely the Baddies would think, "der, we might should look into that kung-jitsu stuff, huh, bawss." And why wouldn't the peasant army be TERRIFIED of the magician-ninjas? And don't get me started on the guns, that Make Their Own Ammunition Out Of The Life Force Of Their Holders. AND they are telepathic (which we allow because of the katani) but also EEEE-vil, with no explanation why or how. Also, if the katani can fly back to their owners, why can't the guns? At least twenty times in this book, young Kyra faces the hierarchy of a rigid society, proposes an outrageous change, and three minutes later everyone's all "yeah, cool, OK." We Need To Explore Her Alpha-Plus Powers of Persuasion! Galahad, I mean Rustan, is much like Captain Carrot from Discworld. Highly capable, but dim, and horribly constrained by a constant need to Do The Right Thing Because I *MUST* [poses in heroic profile]. Got a bit dull after a while. Amid all this, Rustan and Kyra have that special YA love where they get within three feet of each other and go all swoony, with brains disengaged. Old as I am, I still remember that this actually happens to some people. And if you're as old as I am you might remember the old movie thing with the couple facing each other: "John!" "Marsha!" "John!" "Marsha!" [repeats until someone else enters the scene]. Like that. Anyway, the entirely predictable* plot rolls out. Reader, were you surprised about what happened to Barkav and Nenith, to name only two? * one exception, see below And finally we meet Mai Tai, no, Tai Chi, no, wait, Kai Tau. Or should I call him Kurtz, from Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" and Coppola's "Apocalypse Now"? (The horror, the horror!). Kai's guns have (view spoiler)[grown into his arms (hide spoiler)] , JFC on a tricycle, come ON! And he has the same need as Kurtz did. I quite liked that, and it was one thing that was NOT predictable. I applaud the decision to stop after two books, though, because the story arc was well drawn to end here and it wraps up in an acceptable way. Except who WAS the last thingy on the spaceship meant for? But this author has talent, and I look forward to a subtler, non-YA from her.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Schaff-Stump

    Disclaimer: I was sent an ARC for an early review. This is my honest, early review. It is always nice when I can leave as positive a review as this one. If you have read Markswoman (and if you have not, go away right now and remedy that problem for a richer reading experience), you know what a rich, immersive world Rati Mehrotra has created in the Asiana series. It scans as both science fiction and fantasy at the same time. Although I find myself drawn to the fantastic elements more, the book su Disclaimer: I was sent an ARC for an early review. This is my honest, early review. It is always nice when I can leave as positive a review as this one. If you have read Markswoman (and if you have not, go away right now and remedy that problem for a richer reading experience), you know what a rich, immersive world Rati Mehrotra has created in the Asiana series. It scans as both science fiction and fantasy at the same time. Although I find myself drawn to the fantastic elements more, the book supports its science fiction elements beautifully as well. However, what really pulls me into a book are characters, and the reader can feel these characters speaking to the author, telling their story, and she delivers. I actually kind of dislike Kyra Veer, the main character, although I understand her and am compelled by her story. I suspect everyone who reads this book will like Rustan, a complicated and heroic character. And I am always a sucker for a good redemption arc, of which there are at least two in the story. I could go on and on about the beautiful imagery of the story, the skill with which the author teaches us about the cultures of Asiana, the textured support characters that are never an afterthought, and the symbolic nature of items aligned with character journeys. I could do that. Or you could run out and buy this book when it comes out in March. March 5th. Put it on your calendar. And remember, while you´re waiting, go read Markswoman. Or read it again.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Anne - Books of My Heart

    This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart   Review copy was received from Edelweiss. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.   3.5 hearts   I read the first book, Markswoman,  getting it on audio from the library.   I really enjoyed it and was excited to see what would happen now. I knew there would be challenges for Kyra and a big battle against Kai Tau.  I wanted to know about Nineth and Rustan.  The character development in both books was well done. (T This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart   Review copy was received from Edelweiss. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.   3.5 hearts   I read the first book, Markswoman,  getting it on audio from the library.   I really enjoyed it and was excited to see what would happen now. I knew there would be challenges for Kyra and a big battle against Kai Tau.  I wanted to know about Nineth and Rustan.  The character development in both books was well done. (The publisher told me there won't be an audio of Mahimati at this time) It's my understanding Mahimata is the sequel and end of the Asiana series .  While we learned more about this world and the different clans, there is much yet to understand.  Kyra barely took the role as Mahimata. She spent much time recovering and preparing to fight Kai Tau.  The further developments with the wyr-wolves were great.  I loved knowing more about them, just as I loved learning about the Marksmen in the first book. There is a huge battle where so many lives are lost.  I enjoyed this story but I still have so many questions.  How do the clans get along now?  Who will make the kataris?  Will the Orders allow marriage or relationships to bring new children with talents to life?  The ending for Rustan and Kyra was too vague for me.  

  12. 4 out of 5

    Audrey

    3.5 Stars. This was a solid 4 star read until the end. I was really enjoying the book, despite too many love longings that Kyra and Rustan both had for each other. The plot was fast moving and the author incorporated slight retelling from the first book to help the reader. I loved how strong and determined Kyra was but her constant longing for Rustan just became distracting. The wyr wolves and their story was an excellent addition to Kyra and Asiana’s goal to rid the land of the evil instruments 3.5 Stars. This was a solid 4 star read until the end. I was really enjoying the book, despite too many love longings that Kyra and Rustan both had for each other. The plot was fast moving and the author incorporated slight retelling from the first book to help the reader. I loved how strong and determined Kyra was but her constant longing for Rustan just became distracting. The wyr wolves and their story was an excellent addition to Kyra and Asiana’s goal to rid the land of the evil instruments. But the ending fell flat for me as did the romance bw the two leads. I received an arc from a goodreads giveaway but all opinions are my own.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    I wanted to like this book so much more than I did. The first one was really good and the second one didn't quite deliver on what I wanted. In part, I'm just tired of YA novels about how the heroine needs to do things alone and carry all the burdens until she finally learns not to. Yes, it's a good message, but would it utterly destroy the genre to have a heroine start out with "look, friends, I need your help." Also, the most interesting part by far was the aliens and the weird tech and what the I wanted to like this book so much more than I did. The first one was really good and the second one didn't quite deliver on what I wanted. In part, I'm just tired of YA novels about how the heroine needs to do things alone and carry all the burdens until she finally learns not to. Yes, it's a good message, but would it utterly destroy the genre to have a heroine start out with "look, friends, I need your help." Also, the most interesting part by far was the aliens and the weird tech and what the heck is going on anyway and we did not get enough answers at all. I love long dead civilizations and the world is weirder than we knew and there was way too much pining and nowhere near enough research. (Another review that can be summed up with "this YA novel conformed too much to the genre". Meh.)

  14. 4 out of 5

    Forever Young Adult

    Graded By: Mandy C. Cover Story: Pretty Deadly BFF Charm: Natalie Imbruglia Swoonworthy Scale: 6 Talky Talk: Futuristic Science Fantasy Bonus Factors: Aliens?, Changed Minds Relationship Status: Remember Me Fondly Read the full book report here.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Stacey Berg

    Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher. Telepathic knives (and guns), shape shifting aliens, mysterious portals left by an ancient race, technology so advanced that it functions as magic-what's not to like? The story is a fast, fun read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    I received this books as an ARC from Harper Voyager. Even without reading the first of this series, I did enjoy it. I wasn't terribly attached to the characters or the plot, but I was interested in them. The worldbuilding was very creative, and I appreciated the female characters that weren't always cliche (definitely some though). What I didn't really like was the generic feel I got from the plot despite the setting being so interesting. I felt like I had already read the book, and it was only t I received this books as an ARC from Harper Voyager. Even without reading the first of this series, I did enjoy it. I wasn't terribly attached to the characters or the plot, but I was interested in them. The worldbuilding was very creative, and I appreciated the female characters that weren't always cliche (definitely some though). What I didn't really like was the generic feel I got from the plot despite the setting being so interesting. I felt like I had already read the book, and it was only the worldbuilding that kept me reading. The protagonist Kyra spent an excessive amount of time pining over her love interest, and I would have preferred something that moved the plot along quickly. I like romance, but you can show that a couple is in love without them constantly thinking about it. I was also disappointed by the lack of plot twists and unexpected events. At times, I thought I could feel a plot twist coming, because everything seemed too easy. But they never came, so it really was just that easy. Probably the most exciting part was *spoilers?* Kyra's betrayal of her love interest, because there was actual tension and conflict that wasn't completely cookie-cutter. But even this felt a little too easily resolved. Overall, an entertaining read, but not one that I found myself extremely invested in.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Marlene

    Originally published at Reading Reality The Asiana duology (yes, this is the second of two and there are only two) is set 800 plus years after a global catastrophe on our Earth. This is the story of the fantasy-like (or fantasy-lite) “civilization” left behind after a war that almost literally ended all wars – by wiping out a huge chunk of any population that might fight those wars. But human beings are stubborn, in both good and bad ways. We came back as a species, and as this story begins, it lo Originally published at Reading Reality The Asiana duology (yes, this is the second of two and there are only two) is set 800 plus years after a global catastrophe on our Earth. This is the story of the fantasy-like (or fantasy-lite) “civilization” left behind after a war that almost literally ended all wars – by wiping out a huge chunk of any population that might fight those wars. But human beings are stubborn, in both good and bad ways. We came back as a species, and as this story begins, it looks like yet another war to end all wars has already begun – complete with weapons of mass(ive) destruction. That the guns are called “kalashiks” is kind of a dead giveaway that this is our Earth and not someplace else. It’s not that another race of bipeds won’t/wouldn’t/hasn’t come up with the equivalent of assault weapons, it’s that this reader doubts that said other race would also spawn the languages that gave birth to the name “Kalashnikov”. I digress and yet I don’t. The long-ago and long-lost past is part of the deep background of this story – and in a strange way also a part of its future. I’ll come back to this in a bit. The story in Mahimata is a continuation of the story from Markswoman, and this can’t be read without having read the previous. Nothing will make sense otherwise. I’m actually glad that my reading of Markswoman wasn’t all that long ago, because Mahimata drops the reader right where that book left off. This is a story where what goes around ultimately comes around, and karma is indeed a bitch. But our heroine Kyra is as much its victim as anyone else in the story. Once upon a time, a man kidnapped and raped her mother, resulting in, well, Kyra. That same man returned to her mother to kill everyone in her clan, except Kyra. Who is, in the way of such stories, fated to kill him in his turn. It’s what happens in the middle that makes the story. And one hell of a story it is. Escape Rating B: I’m giving the rating early so that I can talk about what I did and didn’t like about the book. Because there’s a whole lot of like and not much dislike, except for one thing – which I’ll get to in a minute. This is a story that put me in that rare approach/avoidance trap. I desperately wanted to know how it ended but I didn’t want it to end. The world that has been created in the wake of exactly whatever the apocalypse was is fascinating. The Orders of Peace, of which our heroine’s Order of Kali is just one of several, are dedicated to keeping the general population of the tribes safe from predators both without and within. But while their purpose is a noble one, so much of their origin and history has been lost that much of what they have come to believe is neither true nor in the best interests of either the orders or the general population. They’re slowly killing themselves off, leaving the field wide open for a tyrant to bring unity through subjugation. The Orders are no longer strong enough to take care of such problems before they become big ones. Which leaves our heroine and her friends and companions in a position where they will have to throw away much of what they think they know in order to face a danger which will overwhelm their world if they don’t act. At the same time, the Asiana duology is also Kyra’s coming of age story. When we began in Markswoman, she was just about to take the step that graduates her from apprentice to markswoman. As her story continues, she finds herself in almost a constant state of examining the acts she has already committed with eyes that have become sharpened by experience. An examination which often leaves her wondering just how she could have made so many huge mistakes, or have been so much of a fool. Her experiences may not have brought wisdom, but they have certainly brought clarity – even if nearly always too late. However, and this is where we get to the things that gave me mixed feelings, while the epic battle and everything that led up to it was awesome and fascinating and grabbed me completely, the SFnal elements that underpin the way this world works felt more like a tease than anything that gelled into coherence. I realize that is also how it is for the people of Asiana, that their scientific past has moved into myth and legend, but the way that Mahimata comes to its epic conclusion relies on those SFnal elements – and it didn’t stick the dismount. The story is great, the war has consequences, evil is vanquished – in a way that was very cool – and good, or at least not-evil triumphs. But the extremely understated romance between Kyra and Rustan came to a kind of forced happy ending, using those SFnal elements as a kind of deus ex machina. It would have felt better, or truer, or more realistic, if one of them had paid the ultimate price for their victory. Or at least that would have made more sense. Your mileage, as I always say, may vary. The ending doesn’t erase just how much I loved 90% of the story. In the end, in comparison with an Olympic gymnastic routine, the routine was beautiful, but viewing this story as the gymnast in the analogy, it just didn’t stick that dismount.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Salma

    super excited to read this book! the first one was so beautiful <3

  19. 5 out of 5

    s.alnasri

    Yeah..... this was not a fun book to read for me, also felt way longer than it needed to be. ─────────────────── I really really don’t think that this is a bad book, it’s got an interesting mix of sci-fi and fantasy while having assassins as the main characters. Yet, the book is still incredibly boring to read with the amount of things added in, that makes them feel like nonsense to me. I absolutely love journeys in books because of the revealed information through them, but here, we get some in Yeah..... this was not a fun book to read for me, also felt way longer than it needed to be. ─────────────────── I really really don’t think that this is a bad book, it’s got an interesting mix of sci-fi and fantasy while having assassins as the main characters. Yet, the book is still incredibly boring to read with the amount of things added in, that makes them feel like nonsense to me. I absolutely love journeys in books because of the revealed information through them, but here, we get some information about the Ones (which I correctly guessed the origins of from last time and written in that entry), but it doesn’t go into that depth about their motives or reasons for coming, to name a few. Instead the book focuses more on the characters, which is never a bad thing, IF it was handling their development more than anything else and while this book does start off with that focus, it quickly becomes secondary to other things. I really wish that those other things were just about the efforts to destroy Kai Tau and the threat to Asiana, but to be very honest, this felt more like a contemporary with a sci-fi and fantasy sprinkles. The romance in this book is such a big focus that I’m taken a back a bit, the first book didn’t have that to the same extent (even when the relationship there was because it’s “YA” and not much else to go on) and you’d think that with the looming threat, it’ll be even smaller here but I guess that’s just my way of thinking. Pages upon pages are wasted on Kyra thinking about Rustan and vice versa, it’s not fun to read and with a base this weak to begin with, it’s just downright boring. Because these instances were added everywhere, Mahimata felt as if it’s got them to get extra padding and make it a thicker book than it needed to be. I mean, yes, Kyra now has to understand more about her own duties and what not. But then again, the snowflake-y feel to it all just kills it for me. It doesn’t even help when Kyra comes off as incredibly self entitled, who thinks that this new position means you “receive” respect and makes up new rules to be followed because she can. It doesn’t work like that and I wanted to slap her when she was actually surprised that no one respected her whatsoever, you’re a child darling, who in their right mind would when you’ve done nothing to deserve it yet? Rustan on the other hand, may have been the one who got to show me the information I wanted to learn, albeit it not being in that much depth, but overall, all the time devoted to him in this book was pointless. He’s incredibly boring as a character and other than actually moving on, there weren’t any noticeable changes to him. After all that buildup in the book, you’ll think that the upcoming final confrontation would be so badass and filled with excitement. But to me personally, it was just anticlimactic. Hundreds of pages of build up for a final fight that was more words than nothing else, does a final fight have to be filled with action? If you’re dealing with assassins as your main characters then hell yes it does, talk no jutsu can stick to psychological battles. That’s not the worst part for me though in that fight, no, the more bad part here is the existence of Mental Arts and how the lack of usage of said arts is just for the convenience of the plot. I mean if everyone using them can make me, a civilian, do whatever they want, then why in God’s name did Kai Tau last this long?? He may have been a marksman previously and might’ve been hard to kill in a one to one, but his people surely aren’t the same as evident in some encounters here. It’s not fun whatsoever when a book hypes up something for the entirety of its series, just to have it end like this, it’s not fun. Why sacrifice this for romance? Why have me meet so many characters who won’t end up doing much just for me to forget them when the new batch comes along? Reading this book was a very frustrating experience for me, I hoped for so much more than what I received and I’m honestly so glad that it’s a duology because one more DNF would have probably thrown me into a reading slump. Final rating: 1.5/5

  20. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    Note: This review is based on an advance review copy obtained from the author. Markswoman, Rati Mehtrotra’s debut novel, introduced a unique world, a post-apocalyptic fantasy-Asia that was a bewitching blend of science fiction and fantasy. In the aftermath of a distant Great War, five Orders keep peace among the numerous clans of Asiana—Orders of warriors telepathically bonded with their magical knives, which are made of a metal called kalishium that was left behind by a mysterious alien race. B Note: This review is based on an advance review copy obtained from the author. Markswoman, Rati Mehtrotra’s debut novel, introduced a unique world, a post-apocalyptic fantasy-Asia that was a bewitching blend of science fiction and fantasy. In the aftermath of a distant Great War, five Orders keep peace among the numerous clans of Asiana—Orders of warriors telepathically bonded with their magical knives, which are made of a metal called kalishium that was left behind by a mysterious alien race. But the outlaw Kai Tau threatens Asiana’s peace; he has stolen terrible dark weapons—guns made of kalishium. Kai Tau has raised an army and means to destroy the Orders and take Asiana for himself. The first book was a strong debut, with engaging characters and a fast-paced, twisty plot. The sequel, Mahimata, is even better. Mehrotra carefully set up her game pieces in Markswoman. Now the game begins in earnest, and the plot flies. There are twists and turns, and revelations within revelations. There is a major plot point in Markswoman which seemed just slightly “off” to me. Here, it’s explained in a way that makes utter sense. The pieces fall into place with a satisfying click, even as the revelations remain a surprise. The world of Asiana is also expanded; our main protagonist, Kyra, finds new friends and allies. Her true love, the Marksman Rustan, also finds new friends and mysteries as he goes on a personal quest for penance. His journey and experiences in a mysterious monastery in the mountains were some of my favorite scenes; here we find intriguing glimpses of answers to the history of Asiana, of who the mysterious alien Ones actually were, and how this world came to be. In the end, of course, Kyra and Rustan’s journeys intersect, and a number of different Orders, clans, and allies rally for the climactic battle against Kai Tau and his dark weapons. The battle scenes are full of action; I particularly appreciate the way in which the Markswomen and Marksmen use a combination of telepathic Mental Arts and knives in what would seem a hopeless battle against an enemy armed with guns. And yet I find myself thinking of the quiet scenes as some of my favorite in the book. Those scenes of friendship and tenderness, which show the bonds that Kyra has to her Order, and Rustan to his. I love the development of secondary characters; I love seeing the reunion of old friends. And although not all characters are able to achieve redemption, I’m glad to see that some do. Even toward the end, there are some final twists. I won’t spoil them here. Let’s just say that the world expands yet again for our protagonists, and that though there is a bittersweetness to the last pages, there is also new wonder. Mahimata is a wonderful, thrilling conclusion to the journey started in Markswoman.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Amy A

    Originally posted at Vampire Book Club After killing the usurper who murdered the former Mahimata and seeing justice served, Kyra Veer has returned to the Order of Kali to rest and recuperate. Unfortunately, Kyra must acknowledge how much has changed since she’s been away: her teacher is still dead, one of her best friends went missing and is still unaccounted for, and Rustan, the Marksman who trained her in preparation for her duel is gone—they had formed a much deeper bond than just trainer and Originally posted at Vampire Book Club After killing the usurper who murdered the former Mahimata and seeing justice served, Kyra Veer has returned to the Order of Kali to rest and recuperate. Unfortunately, Kyra must acknowledge how much has changed since she’s been away: her teacher is still dead, one of her best friends went missing and is still unaccounted for, and Rustan, the Marksman who trained her in preparation for her duel is gone—they had formed a much deeper bond than just trainer and trainee. Rustan, after questioning the killing of an innocent man—as well as shaken by his developing feelings for Kyra—has imposed a penance upon himself. He’s left the Order of Kuhr to travel Asiana looking for answers to questions he doesn’t yet understand. This leads him to discovering and ancient sect tied to the mysterious Ones that left the world eons ago. Before either Kyra or Rustan can settle themselves, it becomes apparent that the time to fight for Asiana is now. And the time for Kyra to avenge her murdered family is quickly approaching as the man responsible for their deaths, Kai Tau, is the same one who is leading an army to desolate the land of Asiana. How much of themselves will Kyra and Rustan have to sacrifice in order to ensure that Asiana lives on? I don’t typically get a chance to do a reread before delving into the next book in any series, so I really appreciated how easy is was to slide right back into the very complex and interesting world created by Rati Mehrotra here. I struggled a bit trying to figure out where the story was going to take us and I think, for the most part, this is an apt description of how the characters felt as well for a good majority of the book. I felt like both Rustan and Kyra are struggling with what happens next. Where to go from where they’ve been, so to speak. Of course the main conflict on the horizon is the inevitable battle with Kai Tau. But before that both Rustan and Kyra have to find peace in what their futures hold. For Kyra, this is the mythical “door” she has seen at various times in visions and dreams. It’s been a background fear for Kyra for a while now, and I think it’s one of those things where once you conquer your fear then you reach enlightenment. I really loved how Rati Mehrotra built up the relationship between Rustan and Kyra. Their star-crossed love of sorts is sweet, but I really enjoyed seeing how often their goals didn’t align yet they still hold love for each other even with the opposition. In the end, they’ll still fight on the same side even if they’re each getting to that side by different means, means which they each might not understand, but still encouraging one another even if it takes them away from each other. It’s bittersweet, yet beautiful all at once. In reading Mahimata I didn’t really find the ending to be too surprising. I think if you’ve read the first book, and as you’re reading this one, it’s built up in a way that the ending is expected, but it’s seeing the journey that’s the real treat. At the start, it felt like the beginning of the end, and Mahimata definitely provides an ending to this duology. I would love if Rati Mehrotra revisited this world because it’s certainly full of history and mystery I’d love to have explored more.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Crazy4Books

    I enjoyed Kyras chapters a lot more than Rustans since some of his chapters didnt feel necessary. Just like in the first book I wasnt super invested in the romance. I cant really say why exactly I didnt love Rustan, but maybe its his self righteous attitude. Their duel definitely didnt help. He does get some developpement as he learns to come to peace with himself and his past. I enjoyed seeing Kyra learning to be a good leader. Not only did she stick to her beliefs, but she was also the first o I enjoyed Kyras chapters a lot more than Rustans since some of his chapters didnt feel necessary. Just like in the first book I wasnt super invested in the romance. I cant really say why exactly I didnt love Rustan, but maybe its his self righteous attitude. Their duel definitely didnt help. He does get some developpement as he learns to come to peace with himself and his past. I enjoyed seeing Kyra learning to be a good leader. Not only did she stick to her beliefs, but she was also the first one out on the battlefield. Besides that we get some great female friendships. I loved Elena, Nineth, and even Akassa. They each had their own personalities that made them distinct from one another. Its never really confirmed, but I think Akassa and Elena are a pair and I seriously need a spin off following that romance. I thought Kyras part of the story had an engaging pace with action and tension throughout. I enjoyed her journey to rid Asiana of the evil former marksmen spreading death and destruction in his wake. I was confused as to why Kyra was determined to keep Tamsyns blade, but when we eventually learn why I was happy with the explanation. It actually surprised me along with a few other reveals we get throughout the novel. The only part of Rustans story I found compelling was the time he spent with the monks, but I still wish we got more of an explanation as to how that encounter was even possible. The battle scenes were also exciting. I dont agree with the message this book was sending. I believe weapons are only as evil as the people who use them, but since its a fictional story it wasnt a big deal to me. I also dont believe in assassination, but I still love those books. This story is set in an asian inspired world where the people were visited by aliens who shared some technology with them and then an extremely devastating war broke out which led to a major lost in all technology. The only thing left really is the portals that can teleport you from one place to another and the special material used to forge the markswomen blades. This material allows the warriors to bond telepathically with their blade which enhances their own telepathic abilities. I just loved the mix of scifi and fantasy. I also really enjoyed getting to know more about the wyr-wolves and their goddess Kali. I thought it was neat how the title was such a big part of the story. This did not feel like 480 page book. I loved the quick and easy writing so much Id definitely pick up another book by this author. *This book was received for an honest review

  23. 5 out of 5

    K. Lincoln

    This is a true sequel in that it picks up where the first book left off: Kyra defeated the Order of Kali's upstart Mahimata in a duel, but the evil Kai Tau who murdered her family is still on the loose and consolidating power. The marksman who helped her win the duel, Rustan, is off on his own quest. In some ways, the first part of the book is a restart for Kyra. She's back in the caves with the Elders of her order, trying to become the kind of Markswoman who can be Mahimata enough to take on Kai This is a true sequel in that it picks up where the first book left off: Kyra defeated the Order of Kali's upstart Mahimata in a duel, but the evil Kai Tau who murdered her family is still on the loose and consolidating power. The marksman who helped her win the duel, Rustan, is off on his own quest. In some ways, the first part of the book is a restart for Kyra. She's back in the caves with the Elders of her order, trying to become the kind of Markswoman who can be Mahimata enough to take on Kai Tau. There's some interesting stuff with the wyr-wolves, but I wanted to delve much deeper into their story and the kind of relationship they could have with the markswomen. The really interesting stuff happens with Rustan and his quest. Here is where the book unravels some of the history behind the sentient knives and rifles that create political power and chaos in Asiana. When they finally come together again, the book becomes a chronicle of the strategy and battle of taking down Kai Tau. It was quite cool seeing all the Markswomen and Marksmen from the first book teaming up here for the battles. There's a late hour save in the form of a friend from book one that felt a bit deux ex machina, and some of the emotional turmoil from what happened to Kyra when she trusted and was betrayed was smoothed over in a way that felt dissatisfying because it was lost in the battle bits. However, the battle was sufficiently difficult and the horror of Kai Tau in the end satisfyingly evil. There's some rehashing of same themes as the first book in this one, so at times I did a little skimming, but the surprises Rustan uncovers, and the battle scenes where Kyra fully embraces herself were terrific. Loved the mask of Kali as she fights! And then we get the ending...which while emotionally satisfying...gets a bit foggy for me. It felt like an ending for the series, so it makes me think this is a duology, which is fine, but I hope the author might expand some of the fascinating stuff she came up with in side projects or other novels. (Like the wyr-wolves or other places the hubs take you!)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra

    3.5/5** Full review here: https://www.allcharacterswanted.com/b... Huzzah for Canadian authors! I'm so sad that I've never had the chance to meet Rati Mehrotra, but every time she does a book launch I'm never in the city (*sigh*). Mehrotra wastes no time jumping back into the story, because there are a lot of problems to solve before this series can end! Most Loose Ends Tied Up Markswoman ended on a cliffhanger and left readers with a series of questions (who is Rustan's father? Is Kyra alive? Who 3.5/5** Full review here: https://www.allcharacterswanted.com/b... Huzzah for Canadian authors! I'm so sad that I've never had the chance to meet Rati Mehrotra, but every time she does a book launch I'm never in the city (*sigh*). Mehrotra wastes no time jumping back into the story, because there are a lot of problems to solve before this series can end! Most Loose Ends Tied Up Markswoman ended on a cliffhanger and left readers with a series of questions (who is Rustan's father? Is Kyra alive? Who will become the next Mahimata? Will Rustan and Kyra ever be together?), so I was really happy that Mehrotra jumped right into answering most of them. Ruston's mysterious background is explained, but only as he begins another strange journey that only he can finish. Ultimately, we find out where Kyra and Rustan's lives will lead them and if they can save the world from a tyrant with access to guns. Not Enough Kyra & Rustan Time ​I really enjoy getting to see Kyra and Rustan's relationship develop, and I felt like we didn't get as much opportunity to see it in this book. Although their love is just as strong, it didn't feel as organic as Markswoman, largely because they really don't spend that much alone time together; the time they do spend together is filled with a lot of disagreements, as both of them are fighting for what they believe it, but that doesn't always line up with each other's views. The Ending Was Abrupt I was so confused the first time I read the ending...and I'm still a little bit stumped over it. I think because I keep imaging this world as some kind of dystopian-fantasy future, I was completely thrown by where the end brings Kyra and Ruston. It felt very abrupt and it made me wonder if Mehrotra had written herself into a corner. Overall, this was an interesting way for the series to end. I'd recommend this book to people who enjoy a blend of fantasy with light dystopian undertones, or those who read and enjoyed Markswoman and want to know how the story ends.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dharani Persaud

    I received this book in a GoodReads ARC giveaway. I was drawn to these books because of the intriguing mix of spirituality and sci fi/post-apocalyptic content. I am always on the look out for books with women protagonists of colour, AND this series draws on Hindu mythology which struck my interest even more, since I am South Asian. There are a great deal of amazing YA books about girls going through something to gain confidence or inner strength, but what I liked about these books is that Kyra al I received this book in a GoodReads ARC giveaway. I was drawn to these books because of the intriguing mix of spirituality and sci fi/post-apocalyptic content. I am always on the look out for books with women protagonists of colour, AND this series draws on Hindu mythology which struck my interest even more, since I am South Asian. There are a great deal of amazing YA books about girls going through something to gain confidence or inner strength, but what I liked about these books is that Kyra already has quite a lot of confidence. She is a trained fighter and knows how to take care of herself. Instead her journey involves many moral decisions which often hinge on her desires versus what is best for the greater good. Mahimata was well-positioned to have a more intricate storyline because Markswoman had set up the characters very well. I liked the exposition on the wyr-wolves, as well as the inclusion of the Sahiru monks. I do feel like I was hoping for more things to be explained by the end of Mahimata, except that the end already felt like there was a lot crammed into it. For me, it felt like the author wanted to explore far more of this world than was allowed in just two books, and mentioning certain details off-hand sometimes took away from the central focus. I hope there will be more books in the future exploring the history of how this post-apocalyptic Earth came to be, and why certain traditions and beliefs lasted while others disappeared. The writing felt a little forced at the beginning, especially when attempting to recap what happened in book 1, but it loosened up later and had some wonderful descriptions of the different terrain and weather that occurred in different parts of Asiana. Overall, an enjoyable read!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Thanks so much to Goodreads for this giveaway!! About the ending.... what the crap was THAT? No clue where they are, no clue what happens. Truly a cliff hanger that Rick Riordan would be proud of. But you know what Rick did really well? He wrote more than two books before leaving everyone hanging! Yes, I’m slightly mad, but in my defense it’s after one in the morning and the book hangover has only begun. Don’t misunderstand me, this thing was so good. I read Markswoman just before and the sequel Thanks so much to Goodreads for this giveaway!! About the ending.... what the crap was THAT? No clue where they are, no clue what happens. Truly a cliff hanger that Rick Riordan would be proud of. But you know what Rick did really well? He wrote more than two books before leaving everyone hanging! Yes, I’m slightly mad, but in my defense it’s after one in the morning and the book hangover has only begun. Don’t misunderstand me, this thing was so good. I read Markswoman just before and the sequel was so much better than the original! Couldn’t. Put. This. One. Down. What did I like? Action, mystery, adventure, travel, the characters, the different perspectives, all the plot twists, and the what-will-happen-next moments. Seriously, phenomenal storytelling. What did I dislike? Well, the ending, obvs. But I’ve already established that bit. Can’t think of much else. I will say that just like in Markswoman, the romance aspect still felt very forced. Not as bad, but still forced. Like, “Oh, well it’s YA so of course Kyra HAS to go gah-gah for the first male she lays eyes on. Anything else won’t do.” Do I ship it? Yes. 100%. Just make it believable. The same with her killing Kai Tau. That felt very... well easy. It was over really quickly. It was like everyone talked about him and then in wizard of oz fashion, there wasn’t much behind the curtain. And nothing much behind the curtain meant it was over quickly and it was kind of a let down. And it wasn’t exactly believable or realistic. Still mad. Still want answers that I know I’ll never get. But it was definitely still worth the read. I would recommend it and would read it again. I would also definitely read a third book!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Heikemarie

    Mahimata and its predecessor Markswoman take place in Asiana, which is meant to be a far-flung future time on Earth, after the arrival and subsequent departure of alien life (The Ones) and our own self-destruction at the hands of guns and armed violence. There are Orders that protect the common people and provide law and order, and the evil influence of guns is prohibited. This book continues where the first leaves off. In the first book, Kyra has had only one quest for as long as she can remembe Mahimata and its predecessor Markswoman take place in Asiana, which is meant to be a far-flung future time on Earth, after the arrival and subsequent departure of alien life (The Ones) and our own self-destruction at the hands of guns and armed violence. There are Orders that protect the common people and provide law and order, and the evil influence of guns is prohibited. This book continues where the first leaves off. In the first book, Kyra has had only one quest for as long as she can remember: because he killed her clan, Kyra must kill Kai Tau. While she grows ready for this all-important mission, Kai Tau grows an army and arms them with forbidden weapons, ready to take over Asiana. The first book was a significant investment in worldbuilding and character development. As Kyra matures, her singular mission becomes more complicated. The people in her life harbor secrets, and the pieces of the puzzle start to slowly come together. That makes this book so much more compulsively readable - by book two, the reader knows the characters, the world, its history and the mission. The writing in this story is an excellent vehicle for a world that can be sparse and rough, but beautiful nonetheless. It felt a little ambitious, by the end - it was squeezing a lot in - but invested me in the story for all characters involved. I am unsure if this is a trilogy or a duology, but there remains more to say, so I hope I'll get to follow Kyra into a third book. This review was originally posted on my blog, https://ireadthereforeiam.wordpress.com/ I received this book in advance in exchange for an honest review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Elisabeth

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The ending of the first book really had me excited for a good second....and that all fell flat. Any good part of the first book that had me excited for the second book was depressing and frustrating in the second. The characters got worse, more annoying, more dreary. First of all why do I need to recap a book in a series? I literally could have picked up this book and started out just fine without even touching the first one. It was frustrating to have completed the first book, start the second The ending of the first book really had me excited for a good second....and that all fell flat. Any good part of the first book that had me excited for the second book was depressing and frustrating in the second. The characters got worse, more annoying, more dreary. First of all why do I need to recap a book in a series? I literally could have picked up this book and started out just fine without even touching the first one. It was frustrating to have completed the first book, start the second and get a full recap of it in the next book. I understand there are times where you need to explain some references, but not to the extent that it did! Here's some questions that still don't make sense to me!! How in the world would Rustan be fine leaving and going on this solitary mission??? How could Kyra ever be in charge of the clan...she's barely made it to Markswoman and now she's a leader?? The elders all just jumped behind Tamsyn and now they really do think the Kyra should be in charge? Everyone is fine with all of this? Did not make sense on any level! How are the guns having their own minds plausible? And how was she walking though doors to a lilac sky and all able to make any sense? The ending....ugh. I really don't even know what to say about the disappointment of this book. I feel robbed of my time and energy. This was a frustrating book on so many levels.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey

    For more thoughts on Mahimata, please visit https://unlikely-allies.tumblr.com 4.5/5 I received this book as part of the Goodreads Giveaways. Receiving this book is actually what prompted me to purchase and read Markswoman, so this is a giveaway win that I am very appreciative of. This duology is rich in culture as well as magic. Kyra is a strong female protagonist who must overcome her age, inexperience, and desire for revenge in order to protect Asiana. In Markswoman, Kyra befriended the Marksm For more thoughts on Mahimata, please visit https://unlikely-allies.tumblr.com 4.5/5 I received this book as part of the Goodreads Giveaways. Receiving this book is actually what prompted me to purchase and read Markswoman, so this is a giveaway win that I am very appreciative of. This duology is rich in culture as well as magic. Kyra is a strong female protagonist who must overcome her age, inexperience, and desire for revenge in order to protect Asiana. In Markswoman, Kyra befriended the Marksmen of the Order of Khur and dueled her own Mahimata Tamsyn to avenge her mentor Shirin Mam. I wanted to give Mahimata a 5, but some parts of the middle were a bit too slow moving. Without giving away any spoilers, the last part of the novel involves a great deal of loss. It was not until I got to this part in the book that I realized how invested I had become in not only the main characters, but the secondary ones as well. I have mixed feelings about the ending of the book, but I can’t really discuss my frustrations without completely giving away the end. Regardless, Mahimata was the best novel I have received so far as part of the Goodreads Giveaways. I highly recommend this book, as well as Markwoman, to anyone who enjoys the fantasy genre, a little scifi, and a badass female main character.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Raymond Thompson

    This sequel to Markswoman continues the story of Kyra Veer and her struggle to defeat the evil Kai Tau, whose murderous horde and fearsome weapons threaten the stability of Asiana. Like most sequels, it starts slowly as it fills in the backstory and important information about this post-apocalyptic world, and there is much to cover: not only the various plot strands, but the strange creatures and high-tech artifacts left behind by ‘the Ones’. And then there are mysterious otherworlds that Kyra k This sequel to Markswoman continues the story of Kyra Veer and her struggle to defeat the evil Kai Tau, whose murderous horde and fearsome weapons threaten the stability of Asiana. Like most sequels, it starts slowly as it fills in the backstory and important information about this post-apocalyptic world, and there is much to cover: not only the various plot strands, but the strange creatures and high-tech artifacts left behind by ‘the Ones’. And then there are mysterious otherworlds that Kyra keeps stumbling into. The author draws upon Hindu and other traditions to create a sprawling canvas with intriguing echoes from our own world’s past, but once the action starts, the pace builds steadily until it culminates in a fearsome pitched battle. There is much here to fascinate readers: relationships between the characters, the conflict between tradition and change, difficult choices between divergent loyalties. Will Kyra and Rustan find happiness together? And what is the explanation for the strange phenomena that keep intruding? They will, however, have to wait for the next book to discover how these are resolved. An impressive performance that blends elements of science fiction and fantasy. Highly recommended.

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