Friday, October 19, 2018

The Black Khan (The Khorasan Archives #2) by Ausma Zehanat Khan

Title: The Black Khan: Book Two of the Khorasan Archives
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Fantasy
Series: The Khorasan Archives (Book 2)
Format: Paperback; 496 pages
Publisher: Harper Voyager (October 16, 2018)
ISBN-10: 9780062459206
ISBN-13: 978-0062459206
ASIN: 0062459201
Author's Website:
Notes: I received a copy of the ARC from the publisher.

The land of Khorasan is slowly being overtaken piece by piece by a powerful and volatile group known as the Talisman. They are led by a man known as the One-Eyed Preacher. Arian has been tasked with finding the Bloodprint so she and the other Companions of Hira can protect themselves and the people of Khorasan from the deadly intentions of the Talisman.

Rumor has it that verses from the Bloodprint, the oldest written compilation of the Claim, are being sold letter by letter. The Claim is a magical text written in an ancient language whose verses, when spoken, have the power to make things happen. It's from the Claim that the Companions of Hira gain their power. The search to find the Bloodprint, however, has cost Arian and her friends greatly. Arian now finds herself at the mercy of the Authoritan, the ruler of North Khorasan, and each of her friends have found themselves captives of the Ahdath, the suicide warriors of the Wall, at one time or another. Betrayal, lies, and deceit all play a role in this intricate game for power and survival. To survive, Arian and her friends will need to save themselves, and then maneuver a precarious power struggle where the lines between friend and foe are often times blurred.
This book picks up where the last novel, 'The Bloodprint', left off. If you haven't read 'The Bloodprint.' then I HIGHLY recommend that you do. You'll be lost if you go into this one without the knowledge you'll pick up in the previous novel. There is quite a lot going on in this series.

'The Black Khan' is a very dark story with most of the violence in it geared towards women. This novel centers on the Black Khan, the current ruler of West Khorasan. My opinion of him was not all that high going into 'The Black Khan'. I personally felt there were no redeemable qualities to this ruler especially after what he did to Arian in the last book. Suffice to say, I intensely disliked the man and would never trust him. My opinion, after reading this book has not changed. Besides being a ruler he is also the Dark Mage, but it appears he hasn't fully come into his powers or at least doesn't know how to use them. He is desperate to save his kingdom and prove himself which seems to impair his judgment. The bits revealed about his backstory were interesting, but I can't help but wonder if the book had been told from his point of view, and we'd been able to get inside his head if that opinion would have changed? Additionally, I wonder how exactly the Mages gain their powers. It appears there may be a familial link involved, but I'm not altogether sure about that. I wish the author would have explored this a little more in the novel.

Arian is still my favorite character. I have to admit I kept wondering why Arian gave her trust so easily. I kept wanting to ask her why she would trust someone who has betrayed her, and it happened time and time again. It was painful to watch her being taken down so low in this novel, but it made the moment when she reclaimed her power all the more sweet. I would love to know more about how the Claim works. There just isn't a lot revealed about this ancient language. I'd love to know where it came from and why it died out.

Overall. I gave this one 4 out of 5 roses. I love the overall story, but there was just so much violence and the treatment of women was deplorable. It was hard to get through the first couple hundred pages or so of the book because of it. I could see why Arian would be so passionate in her crusade to stop the Talisman, but I believe the Talisman are not the only ones who need to be stopped. I'm beginning to believe something a little more drastic is in order such as a restructuring of the government or an overthrow of the present monarchies. I look forward to seeing how all this plays out because Arian and crew have their work cut out for them.

Order of The Khorasan Archives:

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