Choal, now Hand of the King, and Nesryn, Captain of the Guard, travel to the Southern Continent to convince the Khagan to join their cause and to find a healer for Choal. The healer assigned to Chaol is Yrene Towers from the short story the “Assassin and the Healer”. Yrene is initially distrustful of Chaol and doesn’t want to help him, but remains mostly professional. Through healing him physically, and emotionally, she heals as well from her past. They also become engaged in a finding information in the Torre’s library on the Valg and their history, and the importance of the Healers.
While Choal and Yrene are working together, Nesryn goes with Prince Sartaq to his Ruk aeries to learn what his Hearth Mother knows of the Valg. They find more than they bargained for when the Southern Continents version of Stygian Spiders attacks.
As a Chaol fan I was really looking forward to this one. I think his character took a 180 in Queen of Shadows and starting acting a off. Self loathing, and generally not acting like he did in the three previous books. I’m glad to see that by the end of this one he got is personality back.
I liked the growing relationship between Chaol and Yrene. I could see early one where it was going, and these two definitely had a bit of a Pride and Prejudice vibe going on. Yrene the prejudiced Fennharrow girl and Chaol the prideful Adarlanian noble. And I love that.
I was never a fan of his relationship with Nesryn. It felt forced and came out of left field in Queen of Shadows when it was suddenly announced that between finding his ex girlfriend in bed with another man and meeting Celeana/Aelin he spent the summer sleeping with Nesryn, not dating her, but sleeping with her. This was another thing I thought was against his personality as he’d seemed way to honorable and respectful of women until that point to do something like that. The fact that both he and Nesryn finally realize how wrong they are for one another was perfect.
Nesryn’s growing relationship with Sartaq is so sweet. He’s clearly smitten from the moment they meet and has some great flirtatious interactions with her, not to mention of the best love confessions when he confesses to loving her just on his spies stories alone.
However, must Maas pair everyone off?
The information the characters learn on their respective journeys is game changing and crucial to defeating Erawan and Maeve. I’m not totally geared up for Kingdom of Ash and can’t wait for my e-book to come in. I give this one Five Lightsabers.