Sunday, 4 February 2018

Review: Markswoman by Rati Mehrotra

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.

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Markswoman is the first book in a planned duology and I absolutely loved it. It takes place in Asiana many centuries after the Great War. There are several orders which protect the land from crime and outlaws, and Kyra is part of the Order of Kali.

The book is mostly told from Kyra's point of view, but it does occasionally flip to Rustan -the love interest's- point of view. I liked this as I always find it interesting getting a glimpse inside the love interest's head. Kyra is 19 and Rustan is 21, I think, which is quite unusual for YA. It does, however, give it a cross-over appeal.  The world building in Markswoman was well done, there was enough of it to get a general picture of what the world is like like, but it also leaves you with a desire to learn more - especially about the past, which I'm hoping will be explored in the sequel. 

Kyra and Rustan were both complex and likable characters, and I found myself easily rooting for them. I liked that Kyra didn't excel at everything, and that she struggled as it made her more relatable. I also enjoyed Kyra's friendship with Ninthe and Elena, and after a certain scene involving one of them am intrigued to see what role they will play in the sequel. 

Something I found refreshing was the role of women and men. In this world women are in power - all the Orders except one, the Order of Khur, is made up of women.

"Mere men, sitting here as if they are our equals."

"Men wielding kataris, it's a disgrace." 

The only thing I disliked about Markswoman was how rushed the romance was. As I mentioned I adored both Kyra and Rustan, and I was fully ready to start shipping them. The problem was, however, that there was no build up or tension between them. They meet 40% into the book and after a month they're suddenly in love having had only one real conversation (at about 63%) that wasn't about training. It just wasn't believable. 

Overall, a great read and I can't wait for the conclusion! 



  1. So glad you enjoyed this one! I also liked the roles of men and women in this world and felt the same way about the romance. It just didn't fit. Great review!

  2. Lovely review Renu :D YAY for enjoying this book a bunch and loving the characters. <3 But aw, I'm sorry you didn't love the romance all that much. How rude. But glad the book was great :)

  3. I have this book on my TBR! Glad you liked it!


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