Review of Warriors by R.A. Denny

Let the battle begin! The vast Tzoladian army clashes with the Karsonian confederation in the valley of Mt. Sarmos. But the stakes are higher than a mere fight for power between countries. As the cruel emperor intensifies his persecution of the “subhumans,” the three chosen youths make tough choices that will decide the fate of the world.
Amanki is a soldier fighting for an empire that wants him dead. After losing her freedom and her seal, Brina faces the ruthless leader of the Sparaggi tribes. Tuka is surrounded by intrigue. Plots of assassination abound. 
Thrown into circumstances they never would have chosen or even imagined, the teens must adapt or die. Have they forgotten their true mission?

Warriors takes us into book 4 of the Mud, Rocks, and Trees series and the world is as deep and rich with mysticism and intrigue as it has always been.  In fact it’s probably my favourite of the series so far, maybe because I have become so connected now with these characters and the transformation they have undergone since starting out. It seems a long time now since that star first appeared. As you would expect from the title, war is upon land and all but Tuka find themselves on the battlefield. Brina has managed to gain freedom and she now fights with the Spraggi, Amanki with his “Duck Corps” and of course Metlan with the Cat Riders.  The battles are spectacularly written and you get the feeling of being there jump out of the page at you.  Amanki, really comes into his own as a leader, but has something more darker been unleashed in him?  Brina’s character as well seems to have a new resolve and sense of purpose, I’m loving how she has no qualms about who she speaks to and how when something is close to her heart.

Baskrod gives a handy history of Metlan and his family, which provides a background that was much needed and a new path to tread, which really then makes you wonder who the prophecy is really about.  With both Metlan and Amanki seemingly changing roles in the eye of this reader, i’m intrigued as to whether I’m being sent down a beautifully crafted distraction.  The prayer to Adon “When the son of a duck, the heir, takes the throne” now has a beautiful ambiguity.

For Tuka, he may not be on the battlefield but that doesn’t prevent him being in one of the most dangerous positions of all them.  Now working in the palace as an Artisan he is not only close to the Emperor but also close to all the guarded whispers and secrets.  The palace is beset with plans to double-cross across one another and the depth of the corruption and greed for power has left Tuka knowing far more than he should. With the lines blurred more than ever, knowing who to trust, not just for Tuka but for all of them, is becoming harder and harder.

Given the title, this is perhaps the most stark of the books for our travellers but it is also quite a hopeful one too, many questions are answered and it feels like a turning point has been reached .  As I said at the start, this is my favourite of the series and I will give this one 5*


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