|Khantara by Michelle Franklin|
Khantara evokes the feelings that quite often lie dormant in the reader's heart.
The country of Haanta invades Thellis. It is an act of reprisal by an old enemy looking to make a direct statement of intent.
The rank of Khantara is an honor only given to the greatest warrior and tactition. The current Khantara, with all of his imposing stature, excellent credentials, and incredible aptitude for domination is the ideal candidate to represent Haanta and occupy Thellis. Ironically enough, Khantara did not like war; instead, preferring peaceful and non-violent methods.
"It could not be denied that war was something Khantara did rather well, though he had little taste for battle. Overshadowing and overpowering others was an easy office for him to fulfill, and he often preferred allowing his opponents to escape rather than using the extent of his immense strength to subdue them."
As Khantara and his imposing fleet of Haanta warriors invade Thellis, there is surprisingly very little resistance from the local populous. The sheer size of the Khantara was enough to quell any oppugnancy.
"He could not but observe their wide eyes and their trembling forms as he approached to address them. He bowed to them, assured them that they were not here to harm them, but they would not attend; they were too fixed on the giant’s gargantuan form and immense army to hear his explanation."
Thus begins the occupation.
Enter Anelta. A slave whose owner and "husband" barely provides for her, leaving Anelta to starve and live in her impoverished state. She is categorized as one of the Marked, and is regarded as a sub-species to the Thellisians.
"He had heard of Thellis’ self-oppression but had never conceived of its going this far. For a nation to refuse education to their own was to diminish the value of its people... To keep one so eager as ignorant, regardless of situation and consequence in society, was an attestation of Thellis’ unbidden
From Khantara's own sensitivities, stems a sense of compassion for the impoverished Anelta. She is not only at the very bottom of society's ladder but her inhumane treatment draws Khantara closer to her; the great warlord finds himself in a difficult predicament.
Michelle Franklin has created a touching story of love and war. Her writing flows in a poetic composition that wraps around the reader like a warm blanket, it is captivating and persuasive.
I was at a loss upon first view of the cartoon-ish cover. It reverted back to some type of Japanese comic book. But upon reading the story, I found a book well-written, detailed and flowing with calm sense of prose.
This was my first experience reading a Michelle Franklin book, but it will most certainly not be the last.
Khantara by Michelle Franklin, 2011 ebook