Kihrin D’Mon is a wanted man after killing the Emperor of Quur – and not in a good way. So he heads for Jorat, to find the fourth person named in prophesy, who will either save or damn the world.
He meets Janel Theranon, who claims she already knows him. And she wants Kihrin’s help in saving Jorat’s capital from a dragon, who can only be slain with his sword’s magic. Unwittingly, Kirin also finds himself at the centre of a rebellion. One which puts him in direct opposition to Relos Var, his old enemy.
For too long, Janel’s battled the wizard alone – even betraying her ideals to bring him down. However, Var owns one of the world’s most powerful artefacts: the Name of All Things. It bestows knowledge, which Var uses to gain what he wants most. This is now Kihrin D’Mon – and the world may not survive the consequences.
Thank you to Stephen Haskins, Jamie Lee Nardone and Tor UK/Tor for giving me an ARC of this book.
The second entry into the Chorus of Dragons triology is by far a mystifying and enchanting exploration of fantasy and combines the gender aspects into a wonderful narrative. This story is told through a flashback, which as you guessed, Janel narrating her story. Combine that with Brother Qown, and there a backstory is filled out for you.
In some aspects, I think the story could have been shorter. Most of the time, Janel presents herself as a devoted person, a heroic person. I’m getting the feeling that after finishing this book, she’s not that heroic as she presents herself. Sure, she questions the reader, forcing us to think on dilemmas that are very important. This book focuses on gender aspects a lot, and focuses on the role of women within society. Does freeing a band of women that are married to a Duke cause more issues for a male-dominated society? Or is Janel using them to cause something else? I feel she is the secret villain of this story. Some would agree with me, some would disagree with me. But as you’ll read on, you’ll figure out a lot of secrets for sure.
Kihrin’s story itself is under-developed – but there is a reason for this. To understand Janel’s relationship with Kihrin, this backstory has been developed. After all, it was Kihrin who was being tracked down by Janel and Qown to remind him of his past life. And all of this happens, dear reader, in three days. The fact that the entire flashback is narrated within the essance of three days is a brilliant writing technique. It’s hard to do. It’s not easy to do. It would involve the revision of writing many times as this story loves to jump forward in time. My favorite villains themselves were Relor Vars and Duke Kaen. I felt more affinity for them in some aspect. Because this story itself has dragons and battles, it has a badass Janel slaughtering demons in the afterlife. There are so many hidden secrets its a lot. The worldbuilding is extensive and it would be a lot for me to write it down. Therefore you’ll be able to figure out once you read. I do feel the story could have been shorter in some parts.
The writing is great, the story illustrates a tale of woe, tradegy and conflict. This is bascially the Crusader Kings III of fantasy. Recently, Crusader Kings III got praise for its marvellous handling of combining family dynasty politics and the Sims mechanics (As in you should play the game as if you were playing the Sims). I’ve been reading a lot of stories of players that have had wonderful interactions with their family trees, and a reviewer on IGN noted that the game’s potential had the ability to make well crafted historical fiction novels. He gave it a 10/10. I feel if there is an overhaul fantasy mod for CKIII, it should take some inspiration from her novel. Plus! This will be a fascinating discovery but Jenn worked at EA Games and the Lord of the Rings. So from me, I think she’ll be familiar with CKIII 🙂
So far, I like this story. I did feel there’s so much story contained in this that it could be a series running on forever. Mind you, it wouldn’t be bad for a Netflix adaption or a HBO adapation for that matter. The series has that right potential. It feels like there needs to be even more lore. I will be reviewing Book 3 on September 4th. This book, is the novel version of CKIII combined with breath-taking lore and a lot of gore and blood. You really should get this.
I agree with your assessment of this trilogy.
Yes! I love this book, as well.
Realms of My Mind says
The Name of All Things has been my favorite of the series so far, I really enjoyed Janel. Great review!