The Blue Eye by Ausma Zehanat Khan, from Harper Collins, is the third book in the Khorasan Archives series. As depicted in the previous two books The Bloodprint and The Black Khan the series follows the quest of two powerful women warrior wizards and their allies as they seek the means to stop tyrannical forces from taking over their lands.
Arian and Sinnia are members of an all female order dedicated to preserving knowledge and the purity of its message as preserved in the sacred texts of The Claim. Set against them are the forces of The Talisman who destroy any examples of the written word they find, whether in books and scrolls or engraved on walls, in order to control knowledge and the continent’s population.
Lead by the mysterious figure known only as the One-Eyed Preacher The Talisman’s forces control most of the continent and are tightening their grip on the few strongholds of resistance left. Arian and Sinnia have just escaped the siege of one of those places, Ashfall. They are headed for the homeland of Sinnia’s people, Axum, in search of both a mage, who is known simply as the Blue Mage and another written relic – the Sana Codex.
With The Blue Eye Khan has not only managed to continue her protagonists’ story as they continue on their quest, but keep on expanding the scope and expanse of the world she has created for these books. As we see the world through the eyes of her characters we are discovering its beauties and mysteries as they do.
This type of structure pulls readers deeper into the story as we share experiences with the characters. Of course this makes any encounters they have with danger all that more exciting and realistic. While it might seem like a bit of a cliche that around every corner lurks a new danger, but the reality of the situation Arian and Sinnia find themselves in is such that this premise isn’t really far fetched.
So when Khan introduces a enemy, a member of an elite fighting force who serve the One-Eyed Preacher, his persistence and powers are not only believable, they are aligned with the world she has created. The same holds true for the new ally she brings into the story, The Blue Mage.
Not only are the his abilities consistent with the abilities of other magic wielders in Khorasan, he is also a scholar in his own right. This further cements the linkage Khan has created between the written word, knowledge, books and the ability to think for yourself with freedom and independence. For as The Talisman seek to curtail people’s knowledge in order to control them, Arian and her companions look to educate and enlighten in order to set them free.
The Blue Eye does a wonderful job of pulling readers deeper into the story and the lives of Khan’s characters. Arian and those who travel with her are complicated and conflicted characters. Like anybody else they are torn between their calling and personal desires. While fighting complicated and dangerous enemies they do their best to navigate the tricky waters of their personal lives.
The Blue Eye is another wonderfully crafted story by Ausama Zehanat Khan and will leave readers anticipating the release of the final book in the series, The Bladebone, in October 2020.