'I loved these characters, even though I knew it was going to hurt. Heart-wrenching. Poignant. Lovely' - Brandon Sanderson
The final instalment of the heart-breaking Shattered Kingdoms series.
In the south, the Shadari rebels have thrown off their Norlander oppressors and are struggling to rebuild their desert kingdom - but King Daryan is about to discover a secret cabal that has been working against everything he is trying to do.
Lahlil Eotan has left her great victory in Norland behind her in the hopes of reuniting with King Jachad of the Nomas - before his transformation into a god separates them for ever. But somehow she's acquired a travelling companion in the form of one Rho Arregador, who won't let her forget her role in the Shadar's predicament or in her sister Isa's chilling transformation.
But Daryan is facing more than treachery and plague: an ancient enemy with unimaginable powers is sailing towards him, determined to claim his country and his people as her own.
'Inventive . . . absorbing and rewarding' - Kirkus on The Shattered Kingdoms
Manieri's third Shattered Kingdoms fantasy (after 2014's Fortune's Blight) is only moderately satisfying for returning readers and requires too much effort for newcomers; though she provides a multipage cast of characters before the text, she declines to explain who the various races are, or give a short pr cis of what happened before. The narrative starts with Lahlil, the sister of the Norlander king; she has a lot of blood on her hands and is desperate to prevent Ani, a woman with magical powers, from taking more lives. Ani is travelling on a ship, the Argent, with Lahlil's sister, Isa. Their plot threads eventually intersect with the story of Daryan, a leader of the Shadari race. Uneven prose is another minus: Manieri is capable of memorable passages, as when a character muses that the inaction of the gods may be due to their having grown old and forgetful, but also trite ones ("It was exactly like every other death Lahlil had ever witnessed and nothing at all like any of them"). Only devoted series fans will want to pick up this installment.