You had your chance to take the blue pill, Tor.com, and you screwed it all up! And here we are: nerds, the lot of us. I hope we’re happy!
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 83, “The Daughter of Xaltorath”, and Chapter 84, “The D’Lorus Duel”. 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 83: The Daughter of Xaltorath
[In which demons demons demons]
I mean, basically. Upgraded Kihrin and Elana (or at least that’s what Kihrin called her a couple of chapters ago; here’s she’s only referred to as “the woman”, maybe because she only used to be an Elana) slaughter a bunch of demons – who were, in fairness, trying to do the same to them – and then discuss why he’s weird and inconsistent with his demon-slaying behavior.
As in, she doesn’t get why he’s slaying all these other demons and not her. I’m not sure how that doesn’t make little Ms. Demon-formerly-known-as-Elana kind of a hypocrite, though, because she was clearly falling down on the demoning job by fighting with Kihrin instead of joining in the hunt for him. What’s her excuse, we ask you.
Also, talk about burying the lede, or rather leading with the lede and then doing nothing with it in the body: she’s Xaltorath’s daughter, according to the chapter title? But nobody says anything about this? I demand explanations! Because I forgot the ones I probably already got!
Meanwhile, we get more screen time with Upgraded God Kihrin, and it’s… kind of strange, I have to admit. For 95% of this book he’s been Clueless And Oddly Naïve Kihrin, so suddenly seeing him all confident and nonchalant in re: demons and killing demons and generally this whole thing where he’s in hell with demons is a bit jarring. It’s all very “Neo in the last scene of The Matrix”, and it’ll be a bit of an adjustment going forward, I can tell.
(Hopefully it’ll be a better adjustment for Kihrin than it was for Neo in the Matrix sequels. Not that there are any Matrix sequels. NEWP DON’T EXIST WHAT I CAN’T HEAR YOU LA LA LA)
Chapter 84: The D’Lorus Duel
[In which pistols at dawn, sirrah]
“Oh, is this where you reveal you’re my father?” [Tyentso] cocked her head. “I’ve known that for years.”
Uh, what. Gadrith is Tyentso/Raveri’s father? While… they were married? Ew? I am not following this at all. If this is something I should have known already I definitely missed it.
Also, to reiterate: Ew.
“Fortunately, Sandus provided me with a substitute.” [Gadrith] looked down at his borrowed body, then over at Thurvishar. “You know, it occurs to me you really are my son now. Isn’t that interesting?–”
It probably goes without saying, but introducing body-jumping as a thing in a story makes interpersonal relationships complicated af.
And anyway, Gadrith-in-the-body-of-Sandus and his wife/daughter (ew) Tyentso aka Raveri fight a wizard’s duel, and there’s a sentence you don’t see every day. And Tyentso loses and dies. The End.
OR IS IT
Honestly, though, the first time reading this, I really did assume she’d died, and was upset about it. Which demonstrates, in part, a thing George R.R. Martin has basically made a career out of proving, which is that the only way to generate actual tension about the fates of your characters is being willing to actually kill them regardless of how central they are to the story. Lyons isn’t quite as ruthless as good ol’ George in this regard (at least, not so far), but then, who is?
So! That’s what I got for this thang, my chickens. Come on back next week and see what happens!