Blades of the Old Empire: Book I of the Majat Code [NOOK Book]

Overview

Kara is a mercenary - a Diamond warrior, the best of the best, part of the Majat Guild. When her tenure to Prince Kythar comes to an end, he wishes to retain her services, but must accompany her back to her Guild to negotiate her continued protection.

When they arrive they discover that the prince's sworn enemy, the Kaddim, have already paid the Guild to engage her services ...
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Blades of the Old Empire: Book I of the Majat Code

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Overview

Kara is a mercenary - a Diamond warrior, the best of the best, part of the Majat Guild. When her tenure to Prince Kythar comes to an end, he wishes to retain her services, but must accompany her back to her Guild to negotiate her continued protection.

When they arrive they discover that the prince's sworn enemy, the Kaddim, have already paid the Guild to engage her services - to capture and hand over the prince (who she has grown very fond of).

A warrior brought up to respect both duty and honour, what happens when her sworn duty proves dishonourable?


From the Paperback edition.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Both Kyth and Ellah are likeable characters and it is a joy to follow their stories…A solid start to what looks to be an exciting series.”
– The British Fantasy Society

“If you’re in the mood for a fun fantasy with mercenaries, an evil brotherhood, then, yes, give Blades of the Old Empire a try.”
- Tenacious Reader

“Another great book from Angry Robot…I enjoyed this book and would recommend it for anyone who likes a good swashbuckling storyline.”
- Every Book Deserves to be Read

“Strong roots and parallels to history keep the reader grounded and enrich the world of this novel while magic and the characters keep it fresh and interest.”
- Heather McCorkle

“This book is action packed from the very first page, and is a good start to a series that I will look forward to reading more of.”
- Avid Reviews

“You get fast-paced travel with political intrigue and danger, amazing martial arts fights of extreme skill, cultural immersion from around the world, and a little hint of romance without ruining the tough fighter feel… I really cannot express enough times how highly I recommend this story to everyone.”
- In Pursuit of My Own Library

“I really enjoyed this book despite not being a huge fan of romance-themed novels. I feel it is for those who want more romance in their fantasy while also getting a hefty dose of action, adventure, and intrigue… It was a good book, and well worth the read. I’ll be reading this one again.”
- R.J. Blain

“Each scene is very well written. Action and dialog keep the story moving at a fast clip. The fight scenes were especially well written making it easy to see what was happening. Now I want to see what happens in the next book.”
- Mixed Book Bag

Praise for Anna Kashina:

"Kashina's Arabesque novel ... will have readers dream of summoning their own djinn."
-Publishers Weekly

"Substantial and vivid ... Enthralling" -RTimes Book Reviews
"A rich treasure trove of imagery, color, romance, intrigue, and mystery"
- ForeWord Reviews (Featured Review)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780857664136
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 2/25/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 23,931
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Anna Kashina grew up in Russia and moved to the United States in 1994 after receiving her Ph.D. in cell biology from the Russian Academy of Sciences. She works as a biomedical researcher and combines career in science with her passion for writing. Anna's interests in ballroom dancing, world mythologies and folklore feed her high-level interest in martial arts of the Majat warriors. She lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


From the Paperback edition.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 7, 2014

    The tale is well written but verbose and tends to go a bit too m

    The tale is well written but verbose and tends to go a bit too much into various politics with lots of point of view switching. I gave up after 32% as it got a bit boring for me.

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  • Posted July 8, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Solid Start to a New Epic Fantasy
    Kara is a mercena

    Solid Start to a New Epic Fantasy

    <blockquote>Kara is a mercenary – a Diamond warrior, the best of the best, and a member of the notorious Majat Guild. When her tenure as protector to Prince Kythar comes to an end, custom dictates he accompany her back to her Guild to negotiate her continued protection.

    But when they arrive they discover that the Prince’s sworn enemy, the Kaddim, have already paid the Guild to engage her services – to capture and hand over Kythar, himself.

    A warrior brought up to respect both duty and honour, what happens when her sworn duty proves dishonourable?</blockquote>



    Certainly the beginning of an excellent fantasy series, if not an epic fantasy series, <em>Blades of the Old Empire</em>
    is a well thought out and delivered first book in a series. It sets the scene and tone for the ongoing story, while ensuring the reader is engaged in the story from the very beginning. In some ways this story reminded me of Kristin Cashore's <em>Graceling</em>
    series. Most specifically of the first book, <em>Graceling</em>
    , where the focus is on Katsa and Prince Po. Between discovering the full extent of their fighting Graces, as well as other situations, the similarities between the two stories are difficult to miss...

    Between the lovely word building and exquisite characters I thoroughly enjoyed this book. With much of the focus being on Kara, often thought to be the most lethal warrior of the Majat Guild. No wilting flower, Kara is much closer to a finely crafted blade that bends rather than breaks. However she has an imperfection, as she discovers she is unable to adhere to the mandates of her guild. The Majats are mercenaries, selling their skills to the highest bidder. Their only concern is their guild, remaining emotionally detached from events in the outside world. It is this attitude that makes them such an effective force. With no emotional attachments aside from their guild they are better equipped to face prior clients on the field of battle should they ever be hired by the enemy. Yet knowing all this, having been raised and indoctrinated into this set of beliefs, Kara is unwilling, or unable, to ignore her emotions. And a fearful enemy exploits this 'flaw,'setting into motion a lethal chain of events.

    Kyth is the heir to the Dorn King, and a talented young man in his own right. However he has developed a problem that impacts the kingdom. One their enemies are quick to take advantage of, some using it at face value, while others just use it as an excuse to make trouble. Alden and Ellah are his boon companions, and each have important roles of their own, which they discover as this story unfolds. And of course there is Mai, the only Majat warrior that is considered to be possibly as good as Kara - though of course all Diamond-level Majat warriors are supposed to be interchangeable regarding their skills and training. Yet for some reason both Kara and Mai seem to have an unknown quality that sets them apart, and above, their peers.

    With many more important characters, this book is well-rounded on that front. They are well developed, showing depth and dimension that is rather surprising for such a large cast. At least this is true of the protagonists. The antagonists are certainly scary, cruel, imperious, and evil. What they aren't is well developed. So far they appear to be simply bad guys, available to stir up trouble, but lacking a hard explanation for their motives. Their reason is given, yet it is never explained in any depth, and only briefly referenced when necessary. I am hoping that in the sequel they will become more than the one dimensional characters they currently represent, particularly now that the scene has been set.

    As for the arc of the plot, it is engaging and unfolds quite smoothly throughout the book, picking up speed as the story progresses. It provides us with many of the reasons for the conflicts within the book, but certainly not all of them, ensuring we still have questions throughout the story. Many of which remain unanswered by the end of the book. Thankfully there is a sequel, one we can hope will shed some light onto the remaining mysteries, as well as the new ones that are bound to crop up in the next installation in the series. 

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  • Posted June 14, 2014

    I bought this book by its covers, the front shows a very pretty

    I bought this book by its covers, the front shows a very pretty girl, like an assassin, with various blades and knifes, and the back cover description described her as a mercenary, so I had to buy it. I was not at all familiar with the writer, Anna Kashina, so it was a new venture for me, I tend to stick with writers I like and read all they write (Jim Butcher, Raymond Feist). I have to say that I really enjoyed the book, the action was good, the characters need a little more and the story took awhile to develop, but overall I give it four stars. I am not a good review writer, but I recommend you read the first couple of chapters and see if you get hooked.


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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

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