cover image The Bladebone

The Bladebone

Ausma Zehanet Khan. Harper Voyager, $17.99 trade paper (512p) ISBN 978-0-06-245925-1

The grand finale to Zehanet Khan’s Khorasan Archives series (after The Blue Eye) resoundingly rounds out the series’ fierce feminist themes. After completing the mysterious ritual of Ascension, heroine Arian, the First Oralist of Hira, swears herself in service of justice, equity, and peace. She sets to work with others in Hira, the Citadel of female Companions, to fend off the Talisman, repressive male invaders, once and for all. Meanwhile Daniyar, the noble Silver Mage Arian loves, leaves her to help cleanse the lands of Khorasan of evil as enemy hordes besiege the walls of Ashfall, the Black Khan’s capital. Sophisticated political intrigue within both Hira and Ashfall complicate their separate missions, which are both liberally sprinkled with thoughtful musings on religion and philosophy. Fantasy fans will savor the luxurious prose and insights into the profundities of love and sacrifice. Bringing such a complex series to a satisfying end is no small feat, and Zehanat Khan pulls it off with grace. Agent: Danielle Burby, Hannigan Getzler Literary. (Oct.)