Review by Booklist Review
In the exciting conclusion to the Khorasan Archives series (beginning with The Bloodprint, 2017), the Companions of Hira and their allies are up against the Talisman, an evil group that believes that women are impure, lead by the One-Eyed Preacher. But the all-female Companions of Hira, who control the power of The Claim, the scripture that has magical powers when recited aloud, must fight the Talisman for one extremely powerful set of verses, The Bloodprint. The group that controls this document will win the day and rule the world. The premise of the series that power comes from language is an awesome one, and it is not hard to pick a side in this battle. Still, all of the characters, even the Talisman, are sympathetic and complex; they are informed by their world as much as anything else. Ultimately, it is the feminist themes that shine throughout that make this not only a worthwhile read for any fantasy fan, but a series that will stand the test of time. Khan has proved herself a master of the genre by telling a timely, necessary story.--Emily Whitmore Copyright 2010 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Third in Zehanat Khan's Khorasan Archives fantasy series (after The Black Khan), this rousing quest celebrates feminist heroines Arian, First Oralist of Hira, and her companion, Sinnia, who struggle to overthrow the anti-intellectual and patriarchal Talisman. Ashfall, the Black Khan's capital, is being besieged by the Talisman and heroically defended by the Khan as well as Arian's lover, Daniyar. Arian and Sinnia travel perilously in search of the Sana Codex, which may hold the key to their eventual victory over the Talisman. These parallel adventures are hampered by continually shifting alliances and revelations of eerie and often malignant powers. Zehanat Khan's fondness for giving important figures multiple titles often dilutes her narrative pace, causing frequent references to her glossary and voluminous cast of characters. Her lush descriptive passages, echoes of Mideastern lore, and alluring glimpses of idyllic love ring true, and readers will linger on her central message of defiance against destructive book-burning purges and other violence meant to preserve the status quo. With strong writing and vigorous pacing, this is a satisfying addition to the series. Agent: Danielle Burby, Nelson Literary. (Oct.)Correction: An earlier version of this review incorrectly stated this book was the third volume in a trilogy.
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Review by Library Journal Review
The Companions of Hira, a team of powerful women wielding ancient magic, have splintered and scattered across the land as they seek a manuscript containing lore that can turn the tide in the war against the authoritarian Talisman sect. The Companions and their allies contend with political betrayals, undead threats, and vast deserts. Khan's (The Bloodprint) fantastic setting is vivid in its depiction of a world at magical war, inspired by Middle Eastern settings and Islamic folklore. Readers will want to start with the first book in the series, as the narrative drops straight into the action with little time spent catching up on previous events. VERDICT Fans of Saladin Ahmed's Middle Eastern fantasy worlds will appreciate this series for its non-European flavor; those who enjoy Katherine Kurtz's "Deryni" books will savor its detailed worldbuilding and shifting alliances. [See Prepub Alert, 4/1/19.]--Jason Puckett, Georgia State Univ. Lib, Atlanta
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