Ash is a member of the Roshun – a highly skilled group of assassins. Suffering from a medical condition that will one day rob him of sight, he decides to take on an apprentice.
Nico lives in city of Bar-Khos, currently besieged by the Holy Empire of Mann. When he is caught trying to steal from Ash, instead of losing a hand he finds himself being offered a chance to learn how to be a Roshun.
But when the son of the Mann’s Holy Matriarch kills someone under the Roshun’s protection, Ash and Nico embark on a mission of revenge that may very well be impossible.
I find myself conflicted with this book as I liked the world that the author built for the most part and many of the characters, though the villains were very one-dimensional, but I just couldn’t accept the central premise of the Roshun. They are a weird cross between assassins and bodyguards but they don’t really do anything to protect anyone. People are said to be under their protection in the books, but all that means is that if the person is killed the Roshun will avenge their death. For me it just seems ridiculous and pointless.
The ending of the book did have a twist I wasn’t expecting, but I don’t think it was enough for me to continue with the city.
I think I would have preferred a book set in this world without the Roshun. If the series had focused on the Holy Empire of Mann and their war of conquest and on the people trying to resist them, I think I would have liked that book.