In Gujaarah, the land is ruled by both the Prince (ruling in the stead of the Goddess Hananja), and the Hetawa – the priests of Hananja. (Think Pharoah and priests.)
Ehiru is a Gatherer – one of the priests that go out at night to collect the souls of those unable to finish their journeys on their own. The Gatherers are feared outside of Gujaarah – considered murderers, possibly taking souls without their consent, but in Gujaarah, they’re revered.
Sunandai is an ambassador from neighboring Kisua – sent to try to ferret out a great secret that her adoptive father, the previous ambassador, died trying to send back to Kisua. Ehiru is told to Gather Sunandai’s soul because she is corrupt, but she is awake when he comes for her, and because that means they must speak, he finds that something in Gujaarah has gone terribly wrong – a Reaper, a perversion of the Gathering gift, is roaming the street, and war may be in the horizon.
This was a really interesting book – like I said, it’s different than typical fantasy, though the themes aren’t actually that different when you start thinking about it. I’ve always enjoyed storied with very different systems of magic or religion – this had both. Definitely a good read.