The story is set on a world where demons come from the sea and attack people. Years ago they were pushed into the sea by Ramrowan, who came in a black steel ship and built weapons to defeat the monsters.
People later forgot the gods and started to follow the law. Religion is illegal and one of the magically enhanced Protectors, Ashok, is the best at enforcing the law.
Unfortunately for Ashok, a dark secret is revealed and he goes from celebrated warrior to outcast criminal. He has to overcome the fact that he is no longer an enforcer of the law, but also that maybe his entire world is a lie.
One of the things I really loved was just how singular Ashok is when it comes to his belief in the law (which we learn is intentional). As that foundation starts to crack, it is cool to see him understanding that there is a difference between the law and justice.
Here are a few things I really loved (and maybe some things I did not like), there will be spoilers:
-The opening battle with the demons. It was great because we did not really know how amazing of a warrior Ashok is, so by the end of the book, when we learn that he is pretty much unstoppable, it makes that fight even more impressive.
-It made sense why he was so unstoppable, his sword and his connection to the Heart. Combining those two things gives him an advantage on just about everything and everyone.
-The big reveals in the book were pretty good, I never saw the Ashok secret, but the one of the prophet was a little telegraphed.
-I am sure this is just background stuff to make us wonder, but my guess is that Ramrowan came from Earth and used some superior weapon to defeat some alien monsters. I wonder if the black steel and Ancestor Blades are some kind of science-based weapon that retain memories (or is really just magic?). At one point, the Inquisitor sees a picture and remembers that one of the homes he is in was once a temple that sounds a bit like some of the Buddhist (or Hindu?) deities. I hope there is an explanation at some point.
Hopefully someone else read this book (I am looking at you Ryan and Greg) and could offer some thoughts about it…