Picking up in the aftermath of the previous book, the Remanant are settling into Er'Rets, and Trevyn is king of Armania, and he must set up his government, make alliances, and know his enemies. He struggles to make peace with the nobles and prove himself as a warrior and king, as well as learn to use the new magic that Arman has given them, in preparation for the coming war against Barthel Rogedoth.
I was thrilled to read the conclusion of The Kinsman Chronicles. It had been a year since I read the previous book so it did take some time to orient myself again with the characters and what was at stake. I really liked how this book makes the connection to The Blood of Kings Series more clear as they settle into Er'Rets and learn more of the mysterious blood voicing, and establishing the House of Hadar.
One of my favorite characters in this book was Olli Argos, which really surprised me, but his character arc was so well done, when I met him in King's Folly, when he was a mantic,I had no idea what his future would hold. Olli struggles to feel worthy of Arman's love, he is faithful and self-sacrificing, discerning, and is genuinely grieved by his past. I especially admired his choice to continue to stand with Trevyn against even his own family.
Grayson, though he has the body and responsibilities of a man, is still a boy. I liked how he continued to mature into his destiny, and gaining wisdom, with a pure, child-like faith, he bravely meets every challenge head on.
Trevyn also is faced with many new responsibilities as king, he has many enemies, and many of the nobles doubt his qualifications to sit on the throne. He works to show himself a leader, I admired his ability to take charge, unafraid to change tradition, forging a new way into light. It's amazing how he has grown throughout this series from the adventurous rooftop jumping boy to a king.
The books also follows Kal, Onika, Charlon, and a few more. I liked even though I there was a lot to not like about Charlon, I still cared for her as a character, she is strong and loves fiercely. And I really liked how the whole Shanek storyline came together throughout the book, intriguing, yet heartbreaking and bittersweet.
This is a challenging book to review, because so much happened within 672 pages, and there's so much I want to say. Jill Williamson has outdone herself in taking us back to Er'Rets and the origins of the House of Hadar, with fantastic world-building, character development, and faith. Multiple storylines entwine and diverge with complexity all leading up the the culmination with the battle between Armania and the dark powers from the Lowerworld. Old Testament themes set in a new fantasy world, full of adventure, daring, betrayal, magic, faith, friendship, and love. A fantastic conclusion to a worthy saga.
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