The battle lines have been drawn. The people of Russalka turn upon one another in a ruthless and unwavering civil war even while their world sickens and the deep black ocean is stained red with their blood. As the young civilisation weakens, its vitality fuelling the opposing militaries at the cost of all else, the war drums beat louder and louder.
Katya Kuriakova knows it cannot last. Both sides are exhausted. It can only be a matter of days or weeks before they finally call a truce and negotiate. But the days and weeks pass, the death toll mounts, and still the enemy will not talk. Then a figure from the tainted past returns to make her an offer she cannot lightly refuse: a plan to stop the war. But to do it she will have to turn her back on everything she has believed in, everything she has ever fought for, to make sacrifices greater even than laying down her own life.
To save Russalka, she must become its greatest enemy.
In an appealing and endearing departure from his dark comedy novels starring the necromancer and detective Johannes Cabal, Jonathan L. Howard engineered a wonderful underwater world in the fun-filled first volume of The Russalka Chronicles.
Katya's World introduced us to a girl who had to grow up fast when she was drawn into a conflict that spiralled out of control quickly, and has continued to do so since. Colonised by human forces many moons ago before being abandoned, and at the last attacked, Russalka was recently rocked by an uprising of rebels determined to wrest control from the FMA. It follows, then, that in Katya's War, we see this world at its worst.
The world had been much simpler then. Now, however... now she'd seen the kind of people who start wars at first hand. The experience had not filled her with confidence that they would be doing everything in their power to bring things to a peaceful conclusion. The FMA was furious with the Yagizban because the Yags had betrayed them not once but twice, first conspiring with the Terrans during the war, and then by preparing for a Terran return that never came. For their part, the Yagizban were sick of the Federals for getting into a war with Earth in the first place, and then using it as an excuse for never-ending martial law. They would fight like zmey over a manta-whale carcass, until one of them was dead, and the manta was torn to pieces. (p.46)Very sensibly, Katya has kept her own council since the war kicked off. Just making her meagre ends meet has been enough to keep busy with, and were it not for the insistence of a few familiar faces, she'd have been happy to keep at this neverending quest for cargo to transport.
The legendary Yagizban pirates Havilland Kane and Tasya Morevna have other plans for her, however. They capture Kayta and forcibly escort her to a fallen facility where the awful cost of the war is in evidence: the bodies of innocent men, women and children are everywhere. Why? She can't help but wonder. And for what?