Saturday, April 16, 2011

Review: 2nd in Series Grabs Heather Graham's Attention - Mine Too!

Centurion (Roman army) historical reenactment ...Image via Wikipedia
Maliha Gains a Roman Centurion Immortal Partner!
Sacrifice:


Mortal Path Book Two


By Dakota Banks




A favorite author of mine, Heather Graham, uses "chilling" as one of her descriptors for Sacrifice. Indeed! Maliha Crayne has "seen the light" you might say as, in Book One, she chooses to save a child rather than allow it to die along with the mother that her demon had ordered her to murder. She had been an assassin for Rabishu, a demon who controlled her for hundreds of years, but had played the one card that could allow her redemption--and she took it. Now she had lost her immortality, her complete ability to heal and many of her powers.

Sacrifice (Mortal Path, Book 2)But she was still fighting and killing--only now it was against evil!

And fighting to balance the scale from all of  her former misdeeds is, surely, hell to pay! To clarify, the god Anu, who is allowing her the opportunity to redeem herself, sits in judgment as to what counts in the balancing act. Carved into her chest is a set of scales, with tiny figures on each, now seriously one-sided after the thousands of deaths she has caused. But, whenever she saves one or more lives, the figures actually move from one side to the other...each carving the way, to the agony and torment of Maliha, as an emphasis, I suppose, to the importance of what she is now doing to atone for her sins...

Sometimes saving the individual gets personal, as her friend Hound begs for her assistance to save his lover after she was kidnapped while delivering medical supplies for the World Health Organization. They got Glass out, but it took outside help to save Maliha--a Roman Centurion! A very handsome one...

Strangely enough, though, he was only there to save her life, so that she could continue to do part of her assignment from Anu--the part where she would acquire certain items that an unknown demon wanted--who just happened to own the Roman Centurion. Just to add a little spice to that, though, both Maliha and the Centurion discover a little more personal reason for the Centurion to be around her!

I found the most intriguing part of this book to be when she sets off alone to deal with a group of men who were out to rule the world through the use of nanites, something so small that they cannot be seen, but so deadly that they can not only kill but destroy the bodies of those affected--was that Maliha did not want to have her new friends see her as she used the skills and power gained while she was an assassin. While admitting she welcomed the power she used to help take care of the evil she fought, she also wanted to shield those closest from that former self that she had been. Surely the god Anu looked upon her feelings with a measure of wonder...

Banks has set a delicate balance for Maliha to follow--she assassinated thousands during hundreds of years, with honed skills and an aggressiveness that surely came from her being immortal and ultimately forced into a life of control and power. Yet, now, with loss of immortality and with fewer skills, she has agreed to "balance the scales for good--using exactly those same skills needed as an assassin. Who among us could easily walk her new road?

I love this series! It's jammed with action and adventure that moves quickly from one harrowing event to another. Maliha is a strong kick-ass woman who survived not only a demon's control, but earlier the fires of burning after a false accusation of being a witch. Now she's a woman who, perhaps, is in full payback mode, while attempting to appease a god watching and judging her every move. And yet, there are people who love and help her and parts of herself that pause and listen so that she knows what and how to do things...for instance, would you be able to have the faith to step into a lake of boiling water? I can't wait to read the next Mortal Path novel!

Highly recommended for fantasy lovers as well as action and adventure fans...and more!

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