Tahniya: I did what they asked of me! I destroyed those who wished to cause our race harm!
A fantasy book released on the 28th of April 2011, following the adventures of Tahniya, Zan, Gwen, Lune and the resident Sapient Steed
The story starts with Zan and his score of mooks attacking the human town Tahniya is currently resting in because Zan's higher ups are aware of the town helping non-hostile Anshuba. Considering the current war going on, they don't take kindly to this and order Zan to go and slaughter the lot of them for such an offence. Tahniya and Muzok stave off the attack, and a beautiful relationship is born.
It follows from there as more is revealed about Tahniya, the Anshuba and the prophetic role Tahniya plays being the Chosen One
of her people meant to bring down the Humans in the ongoing war. That is until her people find out about her helping non-hostile Humans...
It was made into a kindle book a few months after release.
The Path to War contains the following tropes:
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Tahniya and Zan.
- Blind Seer: Etlassi.
- Break the Cutie: Quite possibly Gwen’s fate after the whole “fighting for your life against the undead and grinning out of fear” thing.
- Broken Bird: Suffice to say, Tahniya does not take to others or just simple emotions well and finds openly showing affection very awkward and difficult.
- Chained Heat: In a sense, see the Our Souls Are Different entry.
- Crapsack World: Fighting, fighting everywhere!
- Dark and Troubled Past: Tahniya.
- Despair Event Horizon: When Tahniya realized how much of a monster she was at 16.
- Enemy Mine: Tahniya and Zan, they cannot stand each other but by circumstance - and magic - are forced to work together.
- Eyes of Gold: Tahniya, unlike the rest of her kind aside from Lune.
- Fantastic Racism: Between Humans and Anshuba.
- Five-Man Band:
- Tahniya: The Hero of the driven, serious and amoral variety.
- Zan: The Lancer with a snarky and sarcastic if gruff attitude.
- Lune: The Chick of the most certainly not useless variety, but she is usually the one calming Zan and Tahniya out of their bickering.
- Gwen: The Smart Guy being the tricky rogue that she is.
- Muzok: The Big Guy mixed with Team Pet since he's a talking wolf-horse.
- Headbutting Heroes: Tahniya and Zan; they seem to get slightly better after a year of getting used to the other’s existence but not by much.
- Jerkass Façade: Tahniya and to a lesser degree, Kay, who was mostly taking her fear of dying out on the nearest "Acceptable Target" Tahniya.
- Icy Blue Eyes: Zan.
- Les Yay: Tahniya and a few of the major females she interacts with over the course of the story, a notable one being Etlassi when she strokes at Tahniya's face (she's blind) and Tahniya doesn't pull away or make her stop.
- Foe Yay: Ashia is a little too teasing and gets a bit close when they fight.
- Magic Pants: Apparently Anshuba have special magic charms on their clothing to avoid said clothes ripping apart when they turn.
- Moral Event Horizon: The reason Tahniya is now the Atoner is also the same moment her Despair Event Horizon occurred. Though one could argue she didn’t know any better being trained since birth to be a brutal killing machine towards those filthy worthless Humans.
- My Nayme Is: Tahniya = Tanya.
- No One Could Survive That: Zan + Waterfall + Violent Rapids = extremely battered body. He got better though.
- One-Winged Angel: The Xenkasha form, the meaning of the word in-universe is “Hellhound.”
- Our Souls Are Different: Apparently the Anshuban Princes know magic that will bind the souls of two people, forcing them to be within a set distance of each other, experience increasing pain if they exceed that distance and to die if one of them is killed.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Mardune is easily the friendliest "Prince" towards Tahniya, given their history as Mentor and Student.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Tahniya in her younger years had to do many things that she is most certainly not proud of and constantly has nightmares about. She lead a year long assault against a human city as a teen and won it by accidentally killing her father. Who was a human.
- Sibling Rivalry: Xeen and Tahniya
- Swiss Army Hero: Tahniya has five different forms, a white anthro tiger (her ‘soul form,’) Deshgaara (default land fighter), Hiendao (swimmer), Mieysharoa (a flying serpent) and Xenkasha (forbidden last defence.)
- Tall, Dark and Snarky: Zan and Muzok.
- Tear Jerker: The ending.
- Technicolor Eyes: The Anshuba has yellow eyes with red rings around the pupil. Most of them anyway not counting the sub-species that Lune came from.
- The Atoner: Tahniya to a degree, she feels no small measure of guilt over slaughtering an entire town of villagers. Now she’ll help Humans who clearly don’t want to fight her people.
- The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: Deshgaara amps up Tahniya’s ability to feel rage, but she can still control herself. The first time we see her in Mieysharoa however she nearly cleaves Zan in half in blind fury; let’s hope we never see Xenkasha.
- Tsundere: Some of Tahniya's behaviour can be taken this way. Type A specifically.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: The Anshuba race, all of them have a specific soul form that they can change into; joining a clan locks them into that clan’s signature form.