PositiveTor.comThe writing describing the clothing, setting, and texts that populate the world is...incredibly rich, especially in the decadent settings of the Authoritan and Black Khan’s courts ... Another great strength of the Khorasan Archives series so far is its exploration of faith, religion, and how those in power adhere and abuse both ... The Khorasan Archives series is an excellent one for readers fascinated with preservation of artifacts and the power of language, and The Black Khan takes readers even deeper into an exploration of precisely how the power of language is preserved through both artifacts and people. Despite its rocky start, The Black Khan is still recommended reading for fantasy fans seeking their next epic fantasy read.
Sergey and Marina Dyachenko, Trans. by Julia Meitov Hersey
PositiveTor.comThe novel reads at first like an ominous and mature Harry Potter: rather than an unhappy child transported to a magical school to explore almost endless possibilities, Sasha is taken from her fairly happy though mundane life and brought to a postsecondary institution with one course of study and only one possible outcome. The strangeness of the Institute is most apparent in the Specialty course, where students are given bizarre coursework: memorizing passages they can’t read and that make no sense, booklets of \'exercises\' that seem impossible to solve, even assignments given on CD audio tracks ... Maturation is itself addressed as a form of transformation over the course of the novel, explored through several facets of Sasha’s life as she departs girlhood and grows into womanhood while attending the Institute ... Like the exercises Sasha works through in the novel, Vita Nostra seems at first to be just beyond comprehension, but as readers proceed, it becomes more and more intoxicating as understanding blooms in the reader’s mind.