Aw, our century’s about to not be a teenager anymore, you guys! Let’s get really drunk have a RROK post then get really drunk to celebrate!
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 78, “The Lighthouse at Shadrag Gor”, and “The Sundering”, a Part II aside. 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!
Before we begin, a note on the shed-jool: the merry hols, they are upon us, y’all! And as is my wont, I will be spending them making merry, as I hope all of you are too, in whatever way that works for ya. Therefore, the RROK will be on hiatus through the end of this shitty-ass decade, and pick up again shiny and fresh as a peach, hopefully, on January 7th, 2020.
Got it? Good! Onward!
Chapter 78: The Lighthouse at Shadrag Gor (Talon’s story)
[In which Kihrin goes to magic timey wimey jail, and Talon continues to be gross.]
“I’ve had time to research dealing with you,” Thurvishar said. “I took advantage. Do as you are told or I will destroy you. Understood?”
“I should have killed you in that bar when I had the chance,” Talon muttered, “but damn, you’re sexy.”
[Thurvishar’s footnote:] I can only beg your pardon: she really did say this. Believe me, my ego is not so fragile that I feel the need to invent compliments.
A) LOL and B) ew, Talon. Not that I doubt Thurvishar’s probably attractive, objectively (though subjectively I keep picturing him as a slightly-more-buff Jafar and that’s really not my cup of tea), but Talon herself is so comprehensively unsexy to me that, just, ick. No Thank You.
Anyway, most of the rest of the chapter is Thurvishar explaining why Kihrin can’t possibly win, because he is not up to date on “Utterances that will earn me an entry on the Evil Overlord List”. Even though Thurvishar is more Coerced Minion of the Evil Overlord than one himself (at least for the moment), I feel like Evil Overlording by proxy still counts.
And then several weeks go by almost instantly, because of timey wimey jail, while Talon and Kihrin record their rock podcast (no, not that kind), and at long last our outer flashback is caught up to the present, for lack of a better term (the inner flashback caught up a couple of chapters ago), and we end Part I of the whole book.
(Yep, 78 chapters in and we just got to Part II. Epic fantasies, amirite?)
Of course, Part II is only ten chapters, so it’s not like we were trying to be proportionate here with the parts. Still, I admit I snorted when I saw the “Part II” on the next page, because heh.
So before the first chapter of the second part, let’s have an aside!
Part II: The Sundering (Thurvishar – an aside)
Which is short enough that I might as well just quote it, in chunks:
There is a consensus held amongst most living beings that, given a choice between life and death, most of us will chose life. Life, with her bed mistress Hope, is laced with infinite more possibility than her sister Death. People address her as Queen of the Land of Peace but flinch when her name is uttered out of turn. There is, always, that nagging suspicion Death is a cheat, that the Land of Peace is anything but. Death offers no solace. Or worse, Death might truly be as the priests commend it: a place of justice where we get what we deserve.
And wouldn’t that be a kick in the pants for some folks…
And truly, few among us are willing to stare at that bright mirror and see our reflections. For all of us harbor that secret guilt, that nagging suspicion we shall be found wanting, shall be judged undeserving. Death is that last and most final of exams—and the majority of us, I suspect, would wish for a few years more preparation.
Not yet. Dear goddess, not yet.
My only quibble with this is that I have to be surprised that some people only have suspicions that they won’t measure up to a hypothetical afterlife worth-measuring. I don’t suspect I wouldn’t pass the Cosmic Goodness Test, I know it. I mean, I haven’t done any of the major bad stuff, and I’m pretty sure most of my worst offenses were/are against myself, but there is noooo way I am not chock full of flaws. As are we all, to one degree or another. And how could someone not be fully cognizant of that truth?
But then, I guess “surprise” isn’t the right word, there. It’s more like a kind of terrible bafflement in recognition of the real truth, which is that the people who most deserve a hypothetical Hell are almost certainly also the ones who would never see their divine thumbs-down coming.
Not that I’m thinking about anyone in particular, here.
I found myself thinking of this as I watched a boy of twenty years offer his life to save his family from certain death and oblivion. There were few in that room who would have volunteered to take his place. Darzin thought him a fool, no doubt. And Gadrith admired him as one might admire a strange, alien creature one could only study but never understand. I cannot say what I would do, were I given the same option as Kihrin.
But then, this is not my story.
And that’s why it isn’t, eh?
And rather than start Part II, I think we’ll stop here, as that makes everything nice and neat going forward. Have a de-gorgeous end of the year, O My Peeps, and I’ll catch you on the flip side! Cheers!