Reprising thier murderous roles as Bahdoon and Mr Muhammad respectively, Mustafa and son Adem find themselves in different countries risking their lives to rescue two women; for Mustafa its his cousins daughter illegally trafficked into the sex trade in the US, for Adem, its Sufia, a former beauty burnt by the life she used to lead yet one that still poses a possible future for Adem in Yemen.
Gang wars, torture techniques, CIA, and life on the cusp of conspiracy - ONCE A WARRIOR has it all. Much like its predecessor, this sequel has a lot going on. Author Anthony Neil Smith switches the narrative between his two protagonists as they each face thier own demons. The approach makes for a clearer rendition of events and provides readers with easily distinguished plot threads that both originate and culminate together.
One of the things I like the most about the second book to feature Adem and Mustafa is the growth of characters. While neither shys away from violence they are more mature in their outlook and dont actively seek bloodshed unless there is justification or it's entirely unavoidable. Added to that, the Mr Muhammad persona has got to be one of the most enjoyable personalities I've read, moreso because Adem, the character who slips into this guise is so vastly different.
Following the conclusion of the excellent ALL THE YOUNG WARRIORS, I wasn't sure where another story would take these two lead characters, now having finished ONCE A WARRIOR I am crossing everything humanly possible in hope of reading more. I get the feeling we haven't seen the last of these characters with a feeling of continuity and further exploration strong.