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Fire & Shadow: The Hand of Kali #1 (The Hand of Kali Series) Kindle Edition
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Even though she's been raised by a family devoted to the Hindu gods, Maya Rao doesn't believe they're real. That makes it all the more shocking when she discovers that she was born to be the Hand of Kali - her warrior on Earth to battle the Rakshasa demons who can possess people in order to do their master's bidding and sometimes kill people just for the fun of it, so some serious evil here. Maya remains skeptical about her status even after she experiences her new-found abilities, but she soon comes to accept that what's happening is real. She also learns that while she may have a special connection to Kali, other gods and goddesses may need her help at times and will also assist and help protect her when possible.
I've only read the first book in this series, so this might change, but if I was the mother of a mid-teen to young adult daughter, I could see myself giving this to her and hoping she might find some inspiration in Maya. Even though she's still young, as Maya grows in her acceptance of her new reality, she shows a certain maturity in understanding the responsibilities that come with it. Sure, she has moments of doubt or chafes at times about some of what she's asked to do - she wouldn't be believable otherwise - but she doesn't allow herself to wallow in them. She also cares about others enough that she can put their needs first and is willing to take significant risks to help her friends if necessary.
The story itself is good, as are the other main characters. The plot and subplots mesh together well and each is interesting in its own right. There are a couple of times where something that happens in one part of the book seems to be contradicted later by something else but I enjoyed the rest of what was going on enough that it was easy to give it a pass. As I've come to expect from Ms Ayer, the side characters are well-developed and multi-dimensional. I really liked how loving and supportive Maya's parents are, and her friends are fun and interesting in their own right.
All-in-all, this is another good tale from TG Ayer
As always, a prose written by T.G. Ayer is a literary pleasure. She is master story-teller who manages to include an abundance of excitement in just a few short pages without all of the clutter and confusion. Fire and Shadow is a well plotted fantasy adventure perfect for lovers of creativity and the desire to find escape within a realm of infinite possibilities. A well-deserved 5 stars!
**Received the ebook for free as part of the book tour in exchange for an honest opinion.
Okay I totally love the book cover. It is beautiful and intriguing.
This book is beautiful written, and the author did a fabulous job. I love this world she created. This was new for me because I have not read about the gods of India before. This is a great start to a series. There is a lot of education built into this book, so you understand the culture of India and their Gods. I think this is why there were parts that were really slow, but it was definitely needed, and I have found this happens in new series. Initially, I didn't think much of Maya, but I can't imagine having people lie to you all your life. I really admired her selflessness, courage, and tenaciousness in the end. I'm curious to see where her relationship with Nik goes too. I liked Maya's friend Joss, and I'm not sure what I think of Ria or her family. I can't wait to see how Goddesses Chayya, Kali, and Varuni fit into Maya's future as well as Yama. I absolutely think this series is going to get better and better, and I will definitely be continue reading this series.
If you like stories of Gods/Goddesses from other cultures with mystically given powers & reincarnation, I think you will enjoy this story and series.
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I received an ARC and am giving an unbias opinion.