The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons

Rereading The Ruin of Kings: Chapters 52 and 53

A sweaty hello to you, Tor.com! Take some shelter from the swelter and sit with me a spell(ter), wontcha? Wotcher!

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 52, “Dark Streaks”, and Chapter 53, “Speed Training.” Please note that from this point 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 52: Dark Streaks (Talon’s story)

[In which Darzin medals in Horrifying Father Son Talk, and the progeny plot thickens, slime-like.]

Oooh, a Darzin POV chapter, JUST WHAT I ALWAYS WANTED.

No, actually. That is not what I wanted. That is not what anyone wanted. No one ever in the history of ever has wanted to be in this dickwad’s head. I’m surprised even Talon went there.

But then, Talon did just rape a 15 year old boy for, basically, the LOLZ, and then proceeded to cheerfully help Darzin mindfuck him about it, so if Darzin’s taking the gold in Absolute Bastard, she’s at least splitting it with him. Or maybe she’ll get the Cecil B. DeBitch Lifetime Achievement Award instead. Yes, I’m aware I’m mixing my award metaphors. No, I don’t care. Fuck both these assholes.

Seriously.

Ugh, I’m not getting into the details, if you want a comprehensive list of all the trauma-inducing things you can say to an already severely traumatized kid go read the chapter yourself.

The only other thing worth noting (for deeply reductive values of “worth,” here) in this chapter is that Darzin’s POV confirms (or reveals, actually, since this might be the first time we hear about it in the book), with airquotey glee, that Therin is Kihrin’s real father and Darzin is not. This was probably much more shocking the first time I read it, but at the moment I’m too busy fondly imagining Darzin and Talon getting tossed into a wood chipper feet first, so whatever.

But hey: Anything that gets Kihrin genetic space from you, Darzin, is A-OK by me. What a bag of dicks.

 

Chapter 53: Speed Training (Kihrin’s story)

[In which Kihrin continues Edging Tomorrow, Kihrin learns gaeshes suck even more than previously supposed, and that Tyentso wants to be the Sam Wheat to Kihrin’s Oda Mae Brown.]

If you got that second reference, congratulations, you’re old. Or you really like Patrick Swayze movies. Which means you’re old.

(If you got the first reference, congratulations, you are a much more dedicated Tom Cruise fan than I am. Or you cheated with Wikipedia like I did, whichever.)

ANYWAY. Gotta say, there’s a whole lot of *headdesk* worthy crap coming out of Tyentso in this chapter. I mean, I’m glad she got an accidental makeover and is getting the kinky assassin cult sexy times on the regular and all, but seriously, woman.

First of all:

[Tyentso] scowled. “When you finally die, you’re not going to the Land of Peace. No one who’s gaeshed does, apparently. I finally understand what the demons get out of it and why they ever agreed to allow us to summon them.”

I stared at her until her cheeks turned red, she cursed, and turned away. “Damn it all, I didn’t know! I knew damage to the upper soul could interfere with passage to Thaena’s realm, but I didn’t think a gaesh caused that kind of harm.”

Gosh, no kidding, honey, so it turns out selling bits of people’s souls to demons to enslave them is extra-bad, like, even more so than the obvious? SHOCKING. Really, just Shockarooni City over here.

Okay, granted, according to the footnote even Thurvishar didn’t know about this particular wrinkle, but come on, people. It’s a DEMON DEAL. Wake up and smell the sudden but inevitable betrayal!

I must say, Kihrin’s a lot more sanguine than I would be about learning his gaesh is going to fuck up his afterlife as well his actual life, but then, I suppose at some point it’s just one more turd to toss on the shitpile, isn’t it. He’s such a lucky kid!

So there’s all that, and then there’s the cockamamie idea to have Tyentso teach Kihrin magic by having her ghost possess him, which lemme tell you, I saw disaster coming on that front miles ahead of actually reading the result of this plan. The chapter may as well have been titled #whatcouldpossiblygowrong. Sheesh.

But, you know. I guess it’s nice that she’s taking such a risk on behalf of the kid she so terribly wronged, right? It’s more than most of the other jerkfaces who’ve wronged Kihrin in this book will do, that’s for sure.


And on that comparatively upbeat note, we out! Have a lovely end of July, and I’ll see you next week for more!

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