This is the story of Commander Torien Berio Risto. The second son of Lord Risto of Cesin. An unfortunate event led him to make a blood oath to a girl named Lida. In order to perform his promise, his journey brought him to the Salt Road or more popularly known as the Blood Road. Named so because of the rampant killings and blood shed on this road. Torien Risto wants to get to the bottom of the corruption in the government involving kidnapping of Imperial citizens. His search will lead him to a very deep hole with very influential and filthy rich individuals involved.
Wow! This is like one man versus a world of corrupt government officials. Torien's oath opened up a canned of worms with people bent on killing anyone who will expose their dirty deeds. The rich and the government holds all the power. The high and mighty. While the ordinary citizens are eating scraps. Not exactly far from the real world--might be the same scenario in any third world country. Torien's crusade brought on by an oath to a poor girl lead him to deadly situations and ambush. Along the way, he finds good souls who share the same aspiration as his and they try to topple the vicious and corrupt system. In the end of this story, their efforts seem to have paid off but they are not sure if the problem has really ended. It's obvious that new adventures and deadly situations are going to be waiting for Torien.
One of the most memorable characters in this story is Torien's adjutant--Lt. Senna. He is also from a rich family but was disowned by his father. I like his and Torien's relationship. Honest and loyal. Lt. Senna can be blunt with Torien about anything. He can speak his mind and truth without fear. These two have each other's back and would lay down each other's life for one another. I just hope that the author will not kill Senna's character in the next stories.
I have observed that throughout the story, Torien kept passing out. He lost consciousness a lot of times. More than I could count. Maybe it's due to the fact that Torien has it in his personality to try to take on the world alone. He is often blind-sided though he also often escapes those very tight situations with help from unlikely and unexpected sources. The propensity for him, more often than not, ending up unconscious bothered me. It seems like a flaw to his very admirable and strong character. I am not sure if this flaw will eventually lead him to his end or will continue to save his butt. I am dying to know if this will continue to be Torien's trademark in the next books. I am not sure if the author is even aware of this. I hope she is.
All in all, this is a very inspiring story. I can't help but be moved by Torien's strength of character and convictions. He is a new hero to watch out for. A new champion! He has a heart for the oppressed and the forgotten. He is bound to breach every wall that stands in his way against his fight with corruption. Though stubborn, he doesn't just go to any battle unprepared. He tries to weigh some facts and information at hand. I think his success is due to using his brains and not pure brawn. And yes, fainting. I wish there's someone like him in real life. One who would stand bravely and stubbornly, against all odds, to remove all the corrupt government officials and individuals and end their hemorrhaging of the nations coffers.
I give this book 4/5 open palms. I am open to read the next books in this series. I want to continue Torien's fight for a slave-free empire.
Prudence is groveling. Wisdom is holding your tongue until this passes over and we can all of us act on reason, not impulse.
- Amanda McCrina, Blood Road -
Thank you, RockStar Book Tours for the copy.
This is a voluntary review. I was gifted a copy.
Nineteen-year-old Torien Risto has seen dissidents dealt with before. He knows the young local girl who just knifed him will hang for assaulting an Imperial officer, unless he can stop it. Someone inside the provincial government is kidnapping Imperial citizens and selling them across the desert to the salt mines, silencing anyone who tries to intervene. The girl’s brother is one of those who has been taken. Rejected by the corrupt courts, she’s waging a personal war against the Empire. Determined to save her life, Torien sets out in search of answers on the Salt Road, the ancient trade route running deep into the heart of a desert—territory claimed by the hostile Mayaso tribe. Now, Torien is no longer sure where his own loyalty lies, or how far he will go to break the cycle of tyranny, political bullying, and social injustice in an empire that seals its borders in blood.
About the Author
Amanda McCrina was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. She received her BA in History and Political Science from the University of West Georgia. She lives in Madrid, Spain, where she teaches middle- and high-school English at an international school. She writes stories that incorporate her love of history, languages, and world travel. She drinks far too much coffee, and dreams of one day having a winning fantasy-hockey season.