The first sentence describes how hard it is to behead someone, which I thought would lead to the darkest of grimdark novels. But the reason Rah cuts off the heads of the deceased is to release their soul. His culture believes the soul resides in the head, so if it is not cut from the body, Rah thinks the soul will be trapped inside the body for eternity. It's actually beautiful in a dark kind of way. Rah was also my second favourite character.
My favourite character was Miko, a young princess who is resilient, calculating and very powerful. Much more powerful than her overbearing, male dominant society thinks. She comes into her own at about Chapter 20 (where she plays her ace card). What a fantastic character arc she has.
The book in its entirety is a brilliant journey that ducks and weaves between hope and complete gloom. I look forward to reading more of this series.
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