While the tortures of slavery remain fresh in Kholster's mind, most of the rest of the world has moved on. Almost six hundred years after the Sundering, an Eldrennai prince carelessly breaks the truce by setting up a surprise museum exhibit containing sentient suits of Aernese armor left behind, never to be touched, lest Kholster kill every last Eldrennai. Through their still-existing connection with their ancient armor, the Aern know instantly, and Kholster must find a way to keep his oaths, even those made in haste and anger. While Kholster travels to the Grand Conjunction with his Freeborn daughter and chosen successor Rae'en, his troops travel by sea, heading for war.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-06-09
- Reviewer: Staff
The Aern race were created as slaves to the hot-blooded Eldrennai. They earned their freedom, but the Aern, now called grudgebearers, are still bound to their oaths. When an arrogant Eldrennai prince breaks the ancient truce, he provokes the wrath of Kholster, the first Aern and one of the few who’s telepathically connected to sentient Aern armor. Stubborn Kholster, a sympathetic character despite some unsavory dietary habits, must kill all of the Eldrennai or break his oath. Accompanied by his daughter, Rae’en—one of many refreshingly strong and complex female characters in this nuanced fantasy epic—Kholster sets off to the centennial Grand Conjunction, where he will announce his knowledge of the prince’s treachery. The well-worn framing device of a game between disappointingly one-dimensional gods is the weakest part of this otherwise complex trilogy opener from Lewis (the Void City series), which features a particularly interesting and thoughtful exploration of slavery. (Sept.)