Ok at first I admit I thought, 'Ho Hum, whipswords that reform themselves to be daggers or even claymores and disrupters that unmake.' Then I was caught up in the melee of the harsh lives of the trainees, in their ambitions. No time to think, just act. It's all cold and calculated, lightening directed chaos, programmed survival. It's about trying to stay alive even if your practice partner is your father. It's about attaining the goal. Quin Kincaid has been training since she was eight years old to be a Seeker.
A Seeker, a guardian of truth and justice. All that Quin has dreamed of. When the dream turns to ashes one can choose to retreat or advance, to go with the status quo or to turn aside. You may try to escape, but can you?
Three young people training to be Seekers; Quin, John and Shinobu. What theses three choose is core to all. As the action continues our understandings mutate. We are cognizant of families vying for power, families regrouping to strike again, of justice becoming muddied by greed, where avarice, ambition and revenge can lead.
Secrets are many and deep. Secrets that gradually unfold. The greatest just maybe the secret of the athame, it's purpose and use, or misuse.
When the action shifts to Hong Kong in the 'here and now' I found that completely believable. I could see the action being played out in the parkland behind Victoria Peak and along Victoria Harbour, under the bridges, down crowded lanes and alleyways. That's when the story came alive for me. I didn't really become 'hooked' until about here. That being said, once hooked I found myself wanting more.
And then there's the Dreads! Young Dread, Maud, must also choose. A character of interest. Indeed, I'd go as far as to say that there's a touch (just a touch, not a comparison!) of Mazalan about her. Obviously she's more than first observed. In fact Maud fascinated me right from the beginning. Way more than our trainee seekers.
Betrayal--of love, of secrets, of oaths, of sacred trusts are central.
And really (as others have said), enough already with the Hunger Games and Game of Thrones comparisons! This is a very different work.
A NetGalley ARC