Saturday 5 June 2021

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Review: The Blue Eye by Ausma Zehanat Khan

The Blue Eye by Ausma Zehanat Khan

The Blue Eye by Ausma Zehanat Khan

Published: 20th August 2020 | Publisher: HarperVoyager | Source: Bought
Ausma Zehanat Khan's Website

The Companions of Hira have used their cunning and their magic in the battle against the patriarchal Talisman, an organization whose virulently conservative agenda restricts free thought. One of the most accomplished Companions, Arian, continues to lead a disparate group in pursuit of the one artifact that could end the Talisman’s authoritarian rule: The Bloodprint.

But after a vicious battle, the arcane tome has slipped once more beyond her reach. Despite being separated and nearly losing their lives, Arian’s band of allies has remained united. Yet now, the group seems to be fracturing. To continue the fight, Arian must make a dangerous journey to a distant city to recruit new allies. But instead of her trusted friends, she is accompanied by associates she may no longer be able to trust.

Building on the brilliance of The Bloodprint and The Black Khan, this third volume in the Khorasan Archive series ratchets up the danger, taking the conflict to a darker, deadlier place, and setting the stage for the thrilling conclusion to this acclaimed #ownvoices fantasy.
From The StoryGraph

My other reviews of The Khorasan Archives Series:
The Bloodprint | The Black Khan

WARNING! I cannot review this book without spoiling the others in the series. Read no further if you're planning on reading this series and don't want it spoilt for you.

Having adored the first two books in The Khorasan Archives series by Ausma Zehanat Khan, I eagerly dove into the third and penultimate book, The Blue Eye, and bloody loved it!

Interestingly, despite the previous book in the series, The Black Khan, being quite action-packed with a lot happening, The Blue Eye felt like it suffered similarly as some middle books in trilogies. The pace was slower, it wasn't quite as action-packed, and it felt a lot like a story to get characters from one place to another, ready for the events of the final book. Saying that, that's just in comparison to the previous book; there's still enough going on to keep the reader gripped, and there are a lot of revelations in The Blue Eye, and some questions.

It's quite an emotional one. Darya, The sister of Prince Ruhk, was killed towards the end of The Black Khan, and Rukh is really mourning her death, despite how he treated her. Rukh is trying to deal with his grief while keeping on top of the siege on his city, and the meeting of the Council of Mages, to try and awaken his powers as the Black Khan. But the Assassin has his own plans, and using the knowledge he gained from the Bloodprint in the single hour Rukh allowed him to have with it, he reanimates the Black Khan's sister. But Darya is changed through being brought back from the dead. It's not just her spirit occupying her body; she doesn't have complete control, and sometimes her thoughts and feelings are confused with that of the ghul she shares her body with. Rukh is happy to see she is alive, but Arsalan feels the opposite, knowing it could only be dark magic that brought her back. It's soon apparent that Darya is now dangerous, and until they can subdue her, the only way to stay safe is to placate her. This brings about terrible, devastating consequences that completely broke my heart. It's absolutely terrible. And still the battle rages on, and with Arsalan busy trying to deal with the situation with Darya, there are consequences.

Meanwhile, Arian, along with Sinnia and Wafa are heading for the city of Timeback. Now the Bloodprint has been stolen by the One-Eyed Preacher, the only hope against the Talisman is a second book, the Sana Codex, known to be in the keeping of the Blue Mage. Their journey is fraught with danger and delays as they cross the Rising Nineteen, a cult-like warrior force who have their own interpretations of the Claim. It's an encounter that has destruction on their tail - Najran, a man of magic unlike anything Arian has ever seen before they are unable to shake. Crossing the lands of the Negus, Sinnia's people, they stop to pay their respects and ask for access to their library, the ark. But they get caught up in celebrations culminating in a race in which the king, Negus, declares the prize will be Sinnia's hand in marriage - despite her having made vows as a Companion of Hira.

There are so many other things that happen, with twists and revelations I didn't see coming at all. I was completely gripped, and I have so many questions! I'm not completely certain of everything that happened at the end, but I'm pretty certain the fourth and final book, The Bladebone, will start right where The Blue Eye left off, and we'll get some answers. But what I do know has blown my mind, and I am so damn eager to get to read The Bladebone! But only a few more days to wait until it's published in paperback on 10th June, and I can see the result of that cliffhanger ending, and what will happen when Arian finally confronts One-Eyed Preacher. I've been completely blown away by this incredible series, and I can't recommend it enough!

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