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Raksha (Blood and Fire, #1) - Frankie Rose Originally posted at GingerReadImagine a world were your entire life is spent with a collar around your neck, injecting you with small amounts of drugs every time you feel emotions of any kind. Keeping you in a constant state of comfortably numb, keeping you in a constant state of comfortably controlled. You have no name, you have a family that only cares about what you can do for them, your life is spent fighting for your life, literally. Can you imagine it? Well, no probably not and that's fine. You don't have to because Frankie Rose has done it for you in her amazing new novel, Raksha.Raksha starts off with Falin Kitsch about to take on her most important fight yet. She will be pitted against her life long training partner, her best friend - if those exist in a world without feelings - and one of them will not be leaving the arena alive. At the eight percent mark on my Kindle, I had to pause. Set my Kindle down. Take some calming, healing deep breaths and remind myself that this is just a book and I can survive it. The first knife fight scene in a book about knife fighting and I was already an emotional mess. What did that say for how my emotions were going to handle the rest of the book? "You move like flowing water when you fight. It's breathtaking, really. You're so powerful. Graceful. I have to struggle not to touch you. All I want to do is reach out and run my hand through your hair. That's weird, right? Sorry..." he says, grinning. "But then you usually kick me in the face and, well...it's hard to feel romantic towards someone kicking you in the face."The fight has left our heroine with a broken halo (collar) and she is feeling everything. Guilt, pain, sorrow, loss, scared and an overwhelming desire to escape Sanctuary. This is where the story takes on a new feel. Raksha has elements of The Hunger Games, Under the Never Sky and maybe even a little Divergent and Delirium. But at the same time is nothing like any of those stories. Kit, the name she's decided on now that she is no longer controlled by a cruel government, escapes into the outside world. It is in the forest, as she's running for her life that she meets Ryka. FYI, all you ladies who love a good book boyfriend, Ryka is a great pick!Ryka takes Kit to Freetown, a town where girls don't carry knives and fight for their lives. A town with some deep seeded, somewhat archaic religious beliefs and nearly barbaric rituals. Kit doesn't fit in but has no where else to go and finds she is quickly becoming attached to Ryka and his family and these new feelings she is having may be enough to risk her life to stay with them. To learn what it means to love and be loved. "You'll spend all day every day imagining ways to make them smile. Imagining what their lips feel like on yours. Imagining ways to make them agree to fall as stupidly and painfully in love with you as you have with them."As she always does, Rose delivers some really wonderful characters. Some you love, some you adore and want to pinch their cheeks for being so cute, some you will admire for their absolute bravery and strength, some you will hate. One in particular, for me. I won't spoil anything but by the end of Raksha I was ready to throttle this 'someone'. On the other hand there were others that I just want to wrap up in blankets so I could cuddle and coo at them and tell them everything is going to be fine. Even if it's not. Because it may not. This world is rough, harsh and I see an epic battle coming and I have a sinking feeling that there are going to be some people in harms way that I don't want to be there. I am all too excited to see where this series is going. Filled with amazing fight scenes, beautiful characters, snide humor and honeyed moments...Raksha was an absolutely entertaining read.