Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Author Guest Post by THE GUILD OF ASSASSINS's Anna Kashina

Kinky Vanilla Romance is pleased to share The Guild of Assassins by Anna Kashina. The cover of the book caught my eye immediately. I'd like to think that I could have been a warrior in another life. Of course, I'd be a Diamond assassin in the Majat world ;-) I hope that you enjoy the peek into warrior ranks in the Majat Guild.

The Guild of Assassins

Majat Code #2

by Anna Kashina

Kara, an elite warrior from the Majat Guild, has escaped execution and achieved something that no Majat has ever managed – freedom from the Guild!

But the Black Diamond assassin Mai has been called back to face his punishment for sparing her life. Determined to join his fight or share his punishment, Kara finds herself falling for Mai.

Is their relationship – and the force that makes their union all-powerful – a tool to defeat the overpowering forces of the Kaddim armies, or a ploy sure to cause the downfall of the Majat?

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Guest Post

Warrior Ranks in the Majat Guild
(by Anna Kashina)
Thank you very much for hosting my blog post. I appreciate this opportunity to talk about the Majat Code series and my newest novel “The Guild of Assassins”.
In “The Guild of Assassins”, a large part of the events revolves around the Majat Guild, a fortress that trains warriors for high-level mercenary services.  The value of the Majat warriors is not only in their exceptional combat skill, but also in their full political neutrality. They have no loyalties to anyone except their own Code. And this means, once a Majat warrior is hired, he or she will not deviate from the contract, and cannot be bribed or swayed to change sides. A prototype for this type of warriors actually existed in Europe: Swiss guards, hired for protection by many European monarchs, and still composing the ceremonial guard in the Vatican.
The Majat warriors all train together since childhood, but much as it happens in sports, some are better than others, and some show tendency for a particular type of weapon. When their training is complete, they undergo a ranking, which is equivalent to graduation and signifies their transition to the warrior status. Majat warrior’s ranks are a direct reflection of their fighting skill, driving their assignments, and ultimately, their price. Perhaps not surprisingly, the Majat tend to think of these warriors in terms of the money they bring to the Guild. For this reason, they equal their warrior ranks to gems. There are five: Jades, Emeralds, Sapphires, Rubies, and Diamonds.
Jades and Emeralds specialize in internal security, favoring ranged weapons and comprising the Majat Guildmaster’s personal guards. The other three ranks, as well as some of the non-Gem warriors, go out on assignments, for pay.
Rubies and Diamonds are the best. Accordingly, they cost a fortune to hire, so that common people can rarely afford one. They are used mostly for running assignments for the high nobles, and more often than not, these assignments require assassination of a rival or someone who stands in the way. Thus, in common speech, people refer to Diamonds as “assassins”, and the Majat Guild became known as “The Guild of Assassins”.
In my novel, two top-level Diamond assassins, Kara and Mai, go against their orders and must face the ensuing actions from the Guild. All this is orchestrated by a powerful enemy, who is acting behind the scenes with a goal of bringing about the downfall of the Majat Guild--the only power that stands in their way of usurping the kingdom. My book has lots of action, adventure, and romance, and is set in an intricately built world that draws on the history of Medieval Europe, Middle East, and the Orient. I hope readers enjoy it, along with its prequel, “Blades of the Old Empire”, which has been released earlier this year.

About the Author

Anna Kashina grew up in Russia and moved to the United States in 1994 after receiving her Ph.D. in cell biology from the Russian Academy of Sciences. She works as a biomedical researcher and combines career in science with her passion for writing. Anna's interests in ballroom dancing, world mythologies and folklore feed her high-level interest in martial arts of the Majat warriors. She is a recent medalist in the ForeWord Book of the Year and Independent Publishers Book Award contests.

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