A Warrior’s Path by Davis Ashura
The Castes and the OutCastes #1
Sweeping from the majestic city of Ashoka to the perilous Wildness beyond her borders, enter a world where Caste determines mystical Talents, the purity of Jivatma expresses worth, and dharma may be based on a lie.
Rukh Shektan has always understood duty. As a member of Caste Kumma, the warrior Caste, nothing else is acceptable. He is expected to take part in the deadly Trials, to journey the Wildness and protect the caravans linking Humanity’s far-flung cities. Though the mission is dangerous, Rukh’s hope and optimism are undaunted. Karma, however, is a fickle fiend. His caravan is destroyed by the monstrous Chimeras; twisted servants of their fearful goddess, Suwraith. While Rukh survives the attack, events force him along an uncertain path. Morality becomes a morass – especially when he encounters a mysterious warrior, Jessira Grey, a woman whose existence ought to be impossible. The holy texts warn against her kind: ghrinas, children of two Castes, abominations. They are to be executed whenever discovered, but for the first time in his life, Rukh defies duty. Jessira may be the key to his city’s survival.
Meanwhile, a secret society seeks Ashoka’s demise; foul murders cloak a deadlier purpose; and behind it all looms Suwraith. But it is the Baels, the leaders of Her Chimeras, who may hide the greatest deception of all.
This story is one event after another. Not all high stress, but certainly will keep you reading.
Rukh struggles as after an intense battle, he becomes a morass. Basically someone with abilities they should not have for their caste. After him and a few of his buddies survive the attack, they discover they’ve somehow received the ability to do an ability belonging to one of the others in their group. They then get very close as they struggle with this together and teach each other their new abilities.
This leads to other events, and since Rukh is now a morass already, he begins to struggle and question what to do in situations. Such as when he meets Jessira, who is someone of two castes. Those found, are to be killed on site. If he were home, those born of two castes are thrown out into the wild and are expected to die. Rukh finds it hard to believe she exists since everyone thrown out of the village is expected to die.
I enjoyed the discussions the characters have, and challenge each other to think more deeply about the topic. It made me start thinking about my everyday life, and reminded me a bit of some discussions I’ve had with people.
I am looking forward to picking up the next book at some point soon, although it probably won’t be until early next year.