Like sands through the hourglass, so are the Rereads of the Ruins of Our Kings! Violins intensify!
This blog series will be covering The Ruin of Kings, the first novel of a five-book series by Jenn Lyons. Previous entries can be found here in the series index.
Today’s post will be covering Chapter 36, “Testing the Lock”, and Chapter 37, “The New Tutor.” Please note that going forward, these posts will likely contain spoilers for the entire novel, so it’s recommended that you read the whole thing first before continuing on.
Got that? Great! Click on for the rest!
Chapter 36: Testing the Lock (Talon’s story)
[In which we meet Kihrin’s evil stepmother. Except for how she isn’t. Except for how she is. Sort of. Maybe.]
Right, because, I remember that we find out that at some point Talon killed Alshena and started impersonating her (though not why she did that, if there even was a reason other than “for the psycho LOLZ”), but I’m not clear on when Talon replaced her, so I’m not actually sure if the Alshena who’s sort-of helping Kihrin in this chapter is the real Alshena or Talon-as-Alshena.
I kind of think it has to be Talon, though. Because even though Talon is a crazy-ass murderer/rapist/monster/cannibal/etc-etc-etc. horrible person, she is also invested in Kihrin’s survival, for reasons I feel like may not have been very clearly explained later on, possibly deliberately. Whereas the real Alshena would not have had any reason to want to help the punk street kid who just displaced her son as the heir to the House.
But hey, I could be wrong, and I would not be even a little bit surprised if I was.
Gotta give Kihrin points for boldness, though, trying to just waltz on out of there in plain sight like it ain’t no thang. Sure, acting like you have a right to be/do/go where you want when you absolutely do not have that right is the first rule of effective subterfuge, but you’d be amazed at how hard that is to actually pull off. The impulse to sneak and slink when you’re doing something underhanded instead of just act like a normal person is shockingly strong.
Not that I have ever personally had the opportunity to find out what it’s like to bullshit your way into somewhere you’re not supposed to be. Nope, not me. Newp.
Chapter 37: The New Tutor (Kihrin’s story)
[In which Kihrin gets a new teacher, and is just as impressed as every fifteen-year-old in history has been with their teacher. In a shocking turn of events, Teraeth acts like a douche.]
Though it seems like Teraeth may have come by his douchiness honestly:
“Do you have any idea—?”
“Who you are? You’re Teraeth. Your father was an idiot and a fool, and the fact you took his name instead of your mother’s means you’re an idiot and a fool as well.” Doc paused. “Or did you mean who you really are? Because I know that too. Still an idiot. Still a fool.”
Right, so, given this remark and the way Doc reacted to the news of Teraeth’s existence, the obvious conclusion to draw here, other than that Doc was absent the day they taught tact and manners, is that the “idiot fool father” is Doc himself. I honestly can’t remember whether that gets confirmed at any later point, but that’s what I would have immediately assumed on reading this chapter cold, so we’ll go with it until proven wrong.
[Doc:] “Let’s just say that back in the day, me and a nephew of mine used to run around the Capital with this low-ranked priest of Thaena and a fresh-off the farm kid from Marakor, who only barely just qualified as being a wizard.” He smiled, looking off into the distance. “Those were some days.”
“Is that—is that supposed to mean something to me?”
Doc shrugged. “Only as much as that low-ranked priest of Thaena ended up becoming High Lord Therin of House D’Mon, the fresh-faced farm kid became Emperor Sandus, and my nephew Qoran clawed his way into the High General’s chair. Me? I opened a bar.”
“So you’re the underachiever.”
“I didn’t have anything to prove.”
Yeah, this is about where I started to get seriously confused about the relationships here. Even aside from the “is he Teraeth’s dad or not” issue, the interpersonal relationships between all these dudes (and they were mostly all dudes) in Doc’s generation have sort of rendered themselves in my brain into what a skein of yarn looks like if you rub catnip on it and bring it within 500 yards of my sister’s cat.
‘Tis a tad tangled, is what I’m saying. Days of our Lives is looking at this and being like, damn girl, you complicated.
(Is Days of Our Lives even still on the air? Are any daytime soaps? *checks* Wow, yes it is. 13,500+ episodes and counting. You go, DOOL!)
Anyway, I’m hoping that the second time around I’ll gain a clearer picture of the, er, picture with the Dad RROK Generation. I’m certainly able to pay it more attention this time instead of when I was speed-reading through on the initial read.
(Didja see what I did there huh)
But that remains to be seen! WILL your intrepid Rereader ever figure out how the heck all these people know each other, or will she remain confused… FOREVER??? Tune in tomorrow to find out!
(Or, uh, next week. Or actually, not next week because Monday is Memorial Day and I will be doing something that involves barbequed meat and floppy hats and chlorine that weekend instead of writing a post, sorry not sorry. So come back in two weeks for more, yah? Yah!)