The Nameless City:
Kai travels to the Nameless City to reconnect with his father and be trained as a warrior like all the other sons of the Dao elite. He finds a palace that has high walls, sheltering its people from the natives outside. Kai is curious of what lies in markets and alleys and ventures out. He meets Rat, a street girl who teaches him a thing or two about friendship and politics.
There’s a balanced tone about this book. Lots of humor mixed with some very serious subjects of segregation, the “unclean,” and greed.
I loved the training sections of the book. Hicks does not focus on the formal warrior exercises, but on the street calisthenics devised by Rat. Each day food is exchanged for a lesson in how to be quick, but there are plenty life lessons along the way. Perspective and humility.
I enjoyed every page. The artwork and the message.
The Stone Heart (Some Spoilers from The Nameless City):
It has been three months since the assassination attempt. Kai and Rat build upon their existing friendship, and represent a cultural tie that might be possible for all in The City. Kai’s father is working hard to build a council of representatives from the collective tribes. But Erzi, the son of the General of the Blades opposes such a plan. He feels that the Dao should not give up their grasp on the government. His whole life’s plan is on shaky ground. What is he willing to do to keep his future intact? Who is he willing to push out of the way?
Book 2 brings a couple dark actions to the story. The villain is not a faceless enemy, but a person from the inner circle. Kai and Rat will face new challenges, but their link is never stronger. The book ends with great anticipation for the next title.
Loving this entertaining and thoughtful story!