Now that I know most of the players involved, I found the politics interesting and the motivations of the people true.
I felt sorry for the good guys when real-world divisions turn them from their path, and force them to do things the hard way.
Because that’s what this world is about -divisions. Very few want to do what’s best for the world and its people.
It makes for a betrayal-filled story.
I lost my initial review of this book -gone somewhere in cyberspace, so this one is going to be a lot less detailed,
having to do it a second time…
It must have taken a lot of effort to unite the clans so long ago,
because even the ones that have things in common have trouble working
together, and most of them hate each other. There are a lot of petty
politics going on, which makes this feel like a very large world.
That world is going downhill, fast. The main demonstration of this
is the sleeper agent, the old woman who has been waiting all her life to
become active for the Black Road, reminding me of the movie Salt. She
kills the Thane of Kilkry, and just like that, the Blood goes into a
But there are two key scenes in this book. The first is
the infiltration of Aeglyss into the Dreamer of Highfast. The na'kyrim
allow this because they are curious, but it is to their detriment,
because he basically destroys them. They don’t understand what he has
done to the Shared, the supernatural mental space that they can occupy.
He seems to be introducing chaos, as the na'kyrim turn on one another,
the Kilkry soldiers, and they let the White Owl Kyrinin into the
stronghold. It makes no sense at the time, but makes more sense after we
see how the world is going crazy afterwards. It also allows Aeglyss, in
his enhanced mental capacity, to take control of the Thane of Thanes’
Chancellor, a man of extreme influence. This will probably be a disaster
in the next book.
The second is the battle between the Haig army
and the Black Road. Haig has sent their bloodheir to humiliate the
Lannis and Kilkyre Bloods, to do what they couldn’t do. But the madness
sweeps them, too, as does a freak storm, which scatters the army and
prevents it from being an effective unit. The Black Road, who are
already, it seems, crazy, are so undisciplined that it makes no
difference to them. But the Haig army is torn apart, and of course, they
blame the Lannis and Kilkry Bloods that they held in reserve, for
I’m not sure what to make of K’rina, the nakyrim who
cared for Aeglyss when he was young. She wanders off from her original
village, and is captured first by a mysterious Anain creature, then by
Orisian. I assume she will be the key to Aeglyss’ undoing, but in this
series I can’t take anything for granted. It’s also eerie that this
author has used almost exactly the same name as one of the main
characters in my own book.
One of my favorite characters was
underused, but Anyara struggles to be proactive, with the result that
she’s captured and sent south to the Haig stronghold.
there’s Kanin and his sister Wain. Kanin goes off the rails and abandons
the Black Road when Aeglyss takes control of his sister, and then kills
her when he transfers control to the Chancellor.
I wonder how
far down the black road the third book will take us.