...as the old Executioner - now on this Death bed - has forever planned so.
Not having a son to follow in his father's footsteps to do the bloody work for the Jolly Mayor of Khaim, he forces his daughter - mother of two sons, Set and Duram, to answer the "call of the bell". Which announces that an execution has to take place. And it will be almost for sure a user of Magic that will meet his Creator. Magic is forbidden under penalty of death because it makes the Bramble grow - a highly toxic invading plant trying to cover the whole planet...
So Tana has to leave Lesser Khaim for Khaim to do the duty that once was her father's. And she does it with - unwilling - bravura born out of her inexpertness. And obtains the applause and rewards from the Mayor and his followers for the "Great Show" she had made of the execution.... Coming home she will find her house burned down, her sons abducted - an incursion of the Raiders has taken place. Her badly burned father asks her to kill him, so for the second time on this nefariuos day she uses her axe.
And the parts to take her sons back. After a memorable fight with four Raiders she falls - bitten by Bramble - in a sleep lasting several weeks. Only to find herself on the Caravan, a treck moving up and down the coast for trading, and with the fame of a Raider-killer! And there she will find her real purpose of live: Getting to the Raiders whose real nome is Paikans, named after their enormous city on the coast: Paika. And she will go there to find her sons. Alone or with the help of an Army - a very but very very motivated army...
To disclose more of this fantastic story would be spoiling all the twists and turns the story has to offer. And it is a real good read!
This is my first story written by Tobias S. Buckell - but I will surely look for more from this talented writer. Having bought this e-book as a combination with The Alchemist I also reviewed written by Paolo Bacigalupi who is the author of The Windup Girl - I liked the "Executionist" a tad better... And both stories make appetite for more from this Bramble-infested world.
Ah, I have bought right now at a very low price Anakoinosis to see what else Mr Buckell has to offer. I will keep You informed!
I bought this on the strength of The Alchemist, and while The Executioness is still an excellent read, it lacks some of the finesse and depth of its twin. I would recommend reading The Alchemist first; it does a better job of world-building. After reading The Alchemist, The Executioness is a lovely way of spending a bit more time in the world Bacigalupi has largely fleshed out.