Law of Survival
Third in the Jani Killian series by Kristine Smith...
After all the legal questions in the first two books, Jani finally gets to be an upstanding citizen with an above-board job! And it seems like her health issues are settling down (for the most part, there's still some problems but nothing compared to the first two books). So of course the political stuff has to heat up and create all kinds of issues.
This one has a lot more about Nema and the Vyshnaara (I'm spelling that from memory, I'm quite sure it's wrong) and their caste system. There's this whole sub-group whose souls are already damned for whatever reason so they do all the "unclean" jobs so those who are still "pure" will stay that way. There's a generational aspect to it as well, it seems like once a person isn't pure any more their offspring are similarly screwed.
Which seems rather unfair!
As does the idea that the upper classes only keep their souls because other people take care of the "unclean" jobs. If your existence depends on other people giving up their souls, there is something wrong with the system! How can you benefit from their work and not also become unclean? It seems to me like there ought to be some kind of transitive property going on there. (yes I know, I'm a geek, I'm using a math concept to explain this)
The whole issue of Jani as Nema's successor gets shoved right smack into the middle of everything too. She seems like she's starting to accept what's been done to her even though she doesn't like it. There just isn't a heck of a lot she can do about it at this point.
What else... Shroud still fascinates me, and I want to know more about Lucien. Is he really as without empathy as he claims? He seems to genuinely care about what happens to Jani and I have a hard time believing that's just a self-serving interest on his part.