I can see you’re out of aces, Tor.com, but don’t worry, I’ve got a RROK up my sleeve! AND, a special announcement at the end about my other project, take a look!
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 66, “The Game”, and Chapter 67, “The Destruction of Ynisthana.” 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 66: The Game (Talon’s story)
[In which Kihrin has clearly never imbibed the ineffable wisdom of Kenny Rogers.]
Seriously, know when to walk away from a poker game, kid. Or when to never sit down to one in the first place, like when an at-least-evil-adjacent wizard is playing.
Especially considering Kihrin’s advantage re: luck—which can turn out to be a disadvantage, really, as Thurvishar demonstrates. It’s a thing worth considering, that having too-consistently-good luck can equate to the opposite. What good does it do to be unnaturally gifted at games of chance if all it does is make you a target for accusations of cheating?
Jarith, meanwhile, is busy demonstrating the truth of the old saw about no good deed going unpunished. I feel bad for him that he got demoted and shipped off to Quur’s equivalent of Fuckoffistan for dueling above his station or whatever stupid aristocratic nonsense General Dad was mad about, but on the other hand I was initially convinced that Thurvishar was actually going to kill him, so all things considered Jarith lucked out, ha ha.
I have no earthly clue what Thurvy’s plan here is, either. The footnotes make it clear that he does have one, but aside from getting Kihrin in trouble for cheating, what was the purpose? Was he trying to get Kihrin mad enough to attack him, or challenge him to a duel on his own? If so, I can’t remember why this would be something Thurvishar wants, since I don’t think Thurvy wants Kihrin dead. So, in conclusion, I dunno.
However, it’s interesting that once Thurvishar (apparently) explained his mysterious plan to Jarith, Jarith was on board with it. Which suggests that whatever the goal was, it was actually beneficial (or at least not harmful) to Kihrin, because otherwise I don’t think Jarith would have been cool with it. Veddy interestink indeed.
Chapter 67: The Destruction of Ynisthana (Kihrin’s story)
[In which Ynisthana is destroyed.]
…Okay, and we also learn some important stuff about The Old Man and dragons in general. It looks like they were also Relos Var’s fault; I’m starting to wonder if there’s anything that isn’t that dude’s fault in one way or another.
It seems like, fittingly, just as the gods were once vanilla humans, so were dragons. It’s just that Relos Var turned them into monstrous dragons instead of (un?)monstrous deities, so sucks to be them, I guess. Whether or not he did it on purpose is a little less clear; Kihrin and Sharanakal certainly think so, but who knows. Why would you want to create giant crazy flying monsters, for the LOLZ?
(Yeah, I mean, it totally could be for the LOLZ. I think we have established that Relos is not exactly on the same moral plane of existence as normal people. If he’s willing to tear his own brother’s soul in half to create a demon god, what’s a few dragons?)
Speaking of which, I’m not sure what’s up with the dragon’s assertion that Kihrin is to Vol Kalroth as a tsali stone is to a regular soul, but it certainly seemed to alarm Thurvishar, and thus we should all be alarmed on general principle. It’s definitely worrying that the comparison seems to indicate that of the two, Kihrin is the “shell” and not the substance.
Also, I can’t remember whether this is explicated further on or not, but it is worth noting how often the number eight keeps coming up. Eight gods, eight dragons and now eight Cornerstones. I’m just saying.
The rest of the chapter is about how Kihrin and his friends do totally blow up the island, which like most action scenes is fun to read but doesn’t really lend itself to analysis the way the talky bits do. That said, I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen a scene which can be described as “music demolishes the savage volcano” before, so that was fun.
And that’s the size of that, kids! The RROK will be taking a brief hiatus the next two weeks, but that’s because I’ve got something else up my sleeve: advance reviews of Robert Jordan’s Warrior of the Altaii!
That’s right, next Tuesday you can expect my spoiler-free advance review, followed the next week by a more detailed (and spoilery) review on October 15th. Orange you excited? I am! Be there or be square!