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Çeda, now a Blade Maiden in service to the kings of Sharakhai, trains as one of their elite warriors, gleaning secrets even as they send her on covert missions to further their rule. She knows the dark history of the asirim - that hundreds of years ago they were enslaved to the kings against their will - but when she bonds with them as a Maiden, chaining them to her, she feels their pain as if her own. They hunger for release, they demand it, but with the power of the gods compelling them, they find their chains unbreakable.
Çeda could become the champion they've been waiting for, but the need to tread carefully has never been greater. After their recent defeat at the hands of the rebel Moonless Host, the kings are hungry for blood, scouring the city in their ruthless quest for revenge. Çeda's friend Emre and his new allies in the Moonless Host hope to take advantage of the unrest in Sharakhai, despite the danger of opposing the kings and their god-given powers, and the Maidens and their deadly ebon blades.
When Çeda and Emre are drawn into a plot of the blood mage Hamzakiir, they learn a devastating secret that may very well shatter the power of the hated kings. But it may all be undone if Çeda cannot learn to navigate the shifting tides of power in Sharakhai and control the growing anger of the asirim that threatens to overwhelm her....
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By superstardrifter on 10-09-17
Wonderful addition to the story!
Oh Çeda. I missed you! But… and I feel a little bad for this, I missed Emre more (<3). But they’re back, and are both in pretty deep with their respective factions. Things are really starting to come to light in this volume, especially regarding the various magics and magical beings of this world. Blood mages are described in more detail here, as are the asirim, the kings, and the gods of this world.
I’m not going to spoil this one for you, and I’m even trying to not spoil the previous one for anyone reading this who hasn’t read Twelve Kings in Sharakhai (do give it a listen though, it’s awesome). Let me just say that this was, plot wise, a very thrilling addition to the series. It’s told from several points of view, but mainly from the POVs of Çeda (obviously), Emre, and Ramahd, and all kinds of craziness happens between the three of them. Lots of intrigue and plotting and sailing across the desert.
The world itself is so richly described, I felt that I could clearly imagine myself in this vast desert with Çeda and company. Yet again, just like in the first book, I got legitimately misty-eyed here a few times, as emotional things took place. This book, as the one before it, has such intense feeling, and I don’t know that I can describe that in a way that does it justice. I got very, very emotionally invested in these characters, and this lead to quite a thrilling listen, for me. This sort of investment in a fictional character is not super common for me, but it’s common enough that there are a few other books this year (I can think of 4, out of 90) that have also elicited this reaction from me. When I am this invested in a character, the relationship I hope for them going sideways and then up and down and round and round, wrenches my poor little heartstrings. When thrilling things happen to Çeda and Emre, I am also thrilled. When Çeda gets upset, I get upset. It’s not exactly a bad thing (though it can admittedly be a bit exhausting), but most of all, getting me this invested says a lot for the character development here.
Sarah Coomes once again completely nails the narration here. There were times I totally chided myself for waiting even a second between these books, nevermind two entire months. My bad! :D She puts so much emotion into her narration, that my emotional reactions just might be enhanced because of it. Sarah Coomes uses emotion. It’s super effective! Kristen bursts into ugly tears at work. You’d think that I’d just shrug it off, because all my coworkers have to be used to this by now. Really there is a certain amount of… risk in listening to audiobooks like this at your place of employment. I will happily take that risk any day. :)
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