So the assassination attempt against Sunandi is all over the place and somehow she manages to convince Ehiru to give her what seems to be the equivalent of a “stay of execution”. But in trying to convince him, the story hits on something that I imagine will be a theme throughout. The narrative taps into the idea of religion and the slavish dedication that it can create. Ehiru doesn’t view what he does as murder in any way and his religious conformity has absolutely molded him into believing that what he is doing is right. You feel sorry for Ehiru because you can see the foundations he built his world upon crumbling down around him. He’s being forced to confront nasty truths and it’s causing old, darker feelings to come back to the surface.
Its understanding how religiously dedicated this society is that makes it hard for me to dislike the Sun Prince. The man seems determined to tear down the current system of government and I’m hard pressed to see why not. This society is a toxic one that sanctions murder and disguises it as religion. Why not tear it down and try something new? But it’s not the Sun Prince’s goals that are the problem. It’s how he’s going about them and what he’s using to make those plans happen. The interesting thing about him is that he seems unshakably cordial, even when sending his enemies to the death he still maintains decency. That makes him scarier in my book than your average antagonist.
Sunandi proves herself to be resilient and gets out of the city, but I like that she’s cognizant of her weaknesses. I think she’s probably bitten off way more than she can chew with this conspiracy the Sun Prince has brewing. The guy has manipulation down to a T. The way he twisted Ehiru against the organization he believed in totally for years is just genius. The more I read the more I find the Sun Prince to be quite the adversary and I’m not sure if Sunandi is up to the challenge.