Banished by Michael Wisehart
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
13 year old Ayrion is so skilled at his tasks that people believe he's a cheater or a liar, at least that's what the head of his clan believes. Ayrion has a gift others in his clan don't have, he has the magical powers of a wielder. Ayrion tries to live in a world where doing his best gets him into trouble.
Banished is the prequel to the upcoming Street Rats of Aramor series. This story focuses on Ayrion's life with the Upaka. A few aspects of the Upaka's way of life surprised me. One of them being they live underground in the city once known as Rhowynn before it's destruction by the volcanic Ash Mount. The city is now known as the Lost City.
Another aspect of Upaka life I didn't realize in The White Tower is that the Upaka are more than just mercenaries or they can be. I didn't understand the reaction Ayrion received in The White Tower and when he left the Lost City in Banished, but now I realize that Upaka are generally called in when killing needs to be done. They will take any job except killing one of their own if the money is right. That's the basis for their civilization so it's not hard to see why people would react negatively to their presence.
Ayrion literally suffers for being too good. He suffers for that in The White Tower and he suffers from that in Banished. He's so good others can't stand it. It's truly a shame as he's just trying his best, his best is just so much better than others that it causes resentment. I just hope that every story about him doesn't involve people hating him because he's better than them.
Banished is a solid look at Ayrion's youth and the Upaka society.
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