In this epic fantasy series for fans of George R. R. Martin and Robin Hobb, Jewel Markess must contend with deadly court politics, and visions of looming magical threats.
When Jewel ATerafin returns home from the war in the South, she arrives moments too late to prevent the demonic assassination of Amarais ATerafin—The Terafin, head of House Terafin. Now the battle to become The Terafin and claim the House Seat will begin. Four candidates have declared themselves, but Jewel, The Terafin’s own secretly designated choice to become the next head of the House, has yet to announce her intentions.
Jewel does not want to make any decisions before The Terafin is laid to rest. But as enemies of the House and Empire mobilize, it becomes terrifyingly clear that everyone—including Jewel and her otherworldly allies—must survive the three days of the funeral rites before they can even be certain there will be a House Terafin left to fight over....
Jewel ATerafin returns home too late to see her mentor alive, but not too late to follow her as ruler of House Terafin. She collects magical allies and servitors: immortals Celleriant and Avandar, the white stag called the Winter King, and three giant, infuriating, talking winged cats. With the help of her den-siblings and a few other friends, Jewel battles threats to her House and city while negotiating hazardous political waters. The magic feels truly magical, luminous and confusing. Unfortunately Jewel's lack of conscious control over her powers often makes her more deus ex machina than active heroine, and the magical creatures upstage the human interactions that were at the heart of earlier books. West capably handles the shift, which almost feels like a change in genre, but for fans who liked the House War series as "mannerpunk" more than epic fantasy, that may not be enough.