It was a chance encounter with "Soulless" that landed me at the doors of the character that is Sia Sampath. A woman who has it all yet is haunted by demons that are beyond her control. I must confess the title had mislead me into believing this book to be one of those cliched romance novel that ends with a "happily-ever-after". I am glad that the story made me eat my words.
If Soulless had introduced us to the demons that Sia had to fight in order to survive, Ruthless gave a face to them all. Child sex abuse is a topic we often shy from and it is this shyness and taboo association with it that makes us fail to see the grim and filthy reality of survivors. Be it Sia or Varun, their inability to embrace life's happiness was a stark reminder of what our inaction towards child abuse can do.
While the novel had a happy end, I can't help but feel happy that character arc of both Sia and Ajay was never abandoned in process of creating the story. Ajay grew from being a mere pawn to the master of the game and Sia evolved into a woman who could finally leave her past behind.
This probably was my first read where the book centered itself around the point of view of the survivor than the more common societal norm. The fact that Sia wasn't magically cured and held a part of her past, the fact that Ajay didn't let the blackness of his heart fade was a realistic reminder that this wasn't just another fiction looking to escape reality.
I am glad I came across Sia and Ajay's story. May every Sia find her Ajay and win over the demons haunting them for so long. I look forward to reading some more by Miss Kasi.