Banished - book one of the Street Rats of Aramoor series

Posted by Lore on Fri, 06/18/2021 - 08:44

The Opakan are a race of contract killers with white eyes that live underground in the ruins of a forgotten city. They train from birth to be unrivaled warriors and it is whispered that if you ever do see the white eyes of an Opakan then that is likely the last thing you will ever see. Ayrion is a young Opakan who was born with a gift for magic as well as being a repeater, which means that he need only be taught something once for him to be able to flawlessly repeat the action. This makes him an incredible fighter and his skills should allow him to become the youngest Opakan ever to pass the warrior test, which is his goal. However, his astonishing skills also make him a target for the other young Opakans who resent his abilities and there are those with power who want to see him fail. This is a coming of age story that could easily been considered a YA book but it never insults your intelligence and it is easy to get wrapped up in discovering Ayrion's world from his limited perspective.

The Opakan society and Ayrion's struggles within it as an adolescent keep things interesting and when the story eventually opens up into the rest of the world things only get better. This book strikes a good balance between world building and character building and Ayrion makes for an interesting main character as a trained killer who is yet to come into his own. Needing to find his own way in a world determined to pre-judge him because of the color of his eyes Ayrion quickly finds that his naivete about his own people is both a blessing and a curse. I enjoyed all of his adventures in this book and I am looking forward to what comes next. It should be noted that although the series is named "Street Rats of Aramoor", no part of this book actually takes place in the city of Aramoor, although it is obvious that will be the locale for book 2. In that way that makes this book feel like a bit of a prequel, but one that is very well done.

Tim Gerard Reynolds narrates the audiobook version and then makes listening to this a pleasure. This story feels like a perfect match for Tim's amazing skill set.