“Every life is forged. We start with raw materials, and we are made stronger by the forging of life.”
Not your typical swords-and-sorcery fantasy. Oh, it starts like one, but evolves into something much deeper and richer. Big, gritty and brutal. A clash of cultures seen mostly from the side of the one which thinks it’s superior. A failure to communicate on many levels, intentionally.
“If I live through meeting my destiny, you might need to get out of here in a hurry.”
Realistic characters–well, some of them. Close and intense immersion into their point of view. They have trouble learning languages, though they learn combat skills too easily; they forget; they don’t know everything; even when it’s their job and supposedly position to know everything. People you care about turn or die.
“Hate was a foolish waste of energy. So, too, anger at what was already done.”
Cliffhanger ending, but the first installment was still a satisfying whole.
“It was hard to say which was more exquisite, the torture of shattered hands or the broken heart. Poets and physicians each have their own answers.”