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Obsidian: Awakening (Book one of Obsidian Series)

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Their sexuality is never a point of contention in the story and also doesn’t become their entire personality, which I found made that representation feel so authentic and refreshing. The book follows multiple point-of-view characters, including male escort and assassin Hasheem (who is very pretty), Shakshi princess Djari, her brother Nazir (who is very pretty), and Muradi and Zahara’s son, Lasura (who is also, I think, very pretty). The Black Tower is my home, Rasharwi is my city, he is my father as much as you are my mother and for the very least he wants me to live! One was that there were a few action scenes that I really struggled to picture as I was re The story is as real as one could hope for, very much in part because the characters are very people-like, making their own decisions and choices, wherever those lead.

Obsidian: Awakening is every bit as dark, with every bit as much horror and brokenness in it, maybe more, than the disclaimer would suggest (of course, no disclaimer could capture the fullness of it).His life is overwhelmed with an anguish that compels sympathy, as he has seen so much of the future, far more than any man ought to have to see, robbing him of so much of life. The character dynamics are so complicated and I was especially impressed with the nuanced depiction of familial and romantic bonds in this story. The storytelling is impressively bold, unconventional and intricate, which is exactly what makes this book stand out from the crowd. Instead, the resolution of the book was driven by the delayed working through of the Zahara-Muradi romance. And on top of that, there is also some casual and quiet representation of queer love that I was not expecting, but pleasantly surprised by.

From a distance, the Salar of Rasharwi is nothing more than a monster, a tyrant who slaughters and who uses every available weapon of manipulation and torment to get what he wants. In some ways, it makes what he expects to become, what he fully determines to be, even more monstrous. She also remembered how Muradi had stood in the middle of the rubble, in a field burnt to ashes littered with corpses you could no longer recognize, staring down at a charred figure of a mother holding her child as though it had been someone he knew, and had seemed to forget she was there entirely. It’s visceral and unflinching in its brutality, and that beautifully sets the tone for the rest of the story. I picked this book up originally as a filler of time, and hoped for "good enough" - and instead found a well developed plot, believable and relatable characters and a story i couldn't wait to keep reading.He’s set up, after all, as an utterly ruthless man who executes political opponents by throwing them off a railless balcony. An assassin turned bodyguard, a teenage 'royal', a wayward prince, and a concubine queen all find themselves at the center of a dangerous game of war and politics. It had slipped out of him before he could stop himself, the words he’d been trying to hold back for her sake, words he might have still been able to swallow had he not been so drunk, so tired from the climb.

He has been through a lot, including prostitution, before becoming a first-class assassin and protégé of Deo di Amara. There are so many superb examples of clever metaphors and similes which beautifully enrich the descriptions like a desert rose without ever being overly flowery. However, she has a lot of universes and while not all of them have giant balls floating in space, most of them have dragons of one sort or another! Yet the humanity, tortured and twisted and anguished but still humanity, that lingers and hangs on and is why even their darkest, most monstrous deeds happen, screams that they can be redeemed.With being in a desert, the city would also need to draw resources from an enormous area, probably by boat.

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