The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons

Rereading The Ruin of Kings: Chapters 56 and 57

Hey howdy hay, Tor.commers, it’s a RROK post. There’s a snake in your boot!

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 56, “The Octagon”, and Chapter 57, “Ghost Walk.” 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 56: The Octagon (Talon’s story)

[In which we meet our chronicler, but not my expectations.]

[Footnote:] It’s very odd to read a description of oneself written by other hands, although I must admit Tishar’s description flatters. She had a keen eye for detail, or more likely, Talon gave her one in retelling her story. I find it curious that Talon would paint any part of me in a pleasant light: we were not exactly friends.

So it was something of an interesting choice, how Thurvishar’s footnotes remarking on his own portrayal through Talon-via-Tishar’s eyes deliberately spoiled what otherwise would have been the cliffhanger reveal at the end of the chapter. It works, though; the last sentence of the chapter, instead of being a hammer drop, is the closing beat of a longer, more drawn out but just as effective cadence of revelation. If that makes sense.

Thurvishar’s description was also nothing at all like I’d originally pictured when envisioning the character. If you go back and look at my early remarks on him it’s pretty clear what I was picturing: a fussy, middle-aged, overly pedantic scholar, the kind who cares more about grammar than daylight. To find out that he apparently much more closely resembles a young Yul Brynner threw me for a loop, not gonna lie.

But hey, you know, if I were a guy and had a choice between looking like a pasty bookworm or Yul Brynner, I know which one I’d pick, so you go, Thurvy. Be your startlingly badass self!

(Still gonna call him Thurvy, yes. I have to get my kicks somewhere.)

Not to mention he’s the son of Gadrith the Twisted, aka Dead Man, aka Darzin’s cohort, aka Tyentso’s ex, which is not exactly the most reassuring of lineages and/or associations. Also, the black-on-black eyes thing is freaky and should be reserved strictly for demons on some show on the CW that I certainly don’t watch. Ahem.

And who also bought Kihrin’s would-be rescue slave away from him, wah. I don’t remember why at the moment, but Thurvishar’s remarks on how Talon apparently arranged for Talea’s hair to be distinctive to Kihrin means that for whatever reason, it was on purpose. I guess we’ll see.


Chapter 57: Ghost Walk (Kihrin’s story)

[In which possession is nine-tenths of a major freakout.]

Not that you could blame Kihrin for losing his shit upon realizing he no longer had control over his own body, or at least I can’t. I’ve had nightmares like that and let me tell you, DO NOT WANT. Yeek.

[Tyentso] laughed, bitter and hard. “You could heal the body but then what? Return my soul without Thaena’s permission? It wouldn’t be life, Scamp. I’d be some horrible parody of it, while my lower soul drained away to nothing.”

[Footnote:] This is, incidentally, exactly what Gadrith the Twisted is.

What, you don’t call him Dad, Thurvy? Can’t imagine why. Guess Kihrin’s moniker of “Dead Man” for him was pretty darn accurate, then.

It does beg the question of how exactly one escapes death, even half-assedly, without the Goddess of Death’s permission. Seems like it would be a fairly essential criterion for resurrection to me but hey, what do I know. Your Death Myths May Vary.

Tyentso glared at me. “This isn’t a fucking contest, you ass. I’m not going to drag out my sins to see whose graded higher on the awful person test. It doesn’t matter anyway. You think Mother Death is going to leave one of her special prophecy brats to rot in the Afterlife? Not likely. Me? I’m disposable. You aren’t.”

LOL, Tyentso, who was more right about Kihrin than even she knew at that point, I think. Also, “Special Prophecy Brats” is the name of my new Goth Ska band.

Annnnd then Possessed Kihrin flipped the fuck out and snapped something and they’re not in Kansas anymore, and I don’t remember exactly what happened but I think this is about the point where things started to get seriously Serious.

Yes? Yes! Come back next week and find out if I’m right!


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