The conspiracy is building. Sunandi finds herself a dinner guest of one of Gujaareh’s Generals, where he warns her of what looks like an impending war. I like the idea of the author and what he represents. So often in fantasy, you never see any real cultural mixing. The Elves aren’t culturally influenced by the Dwarves and vice versa. In this story, the cultures of Kisua and Gujaareh have actually interacted and left their marks on each other. I think that’s a point of view so often missing so it was pleasing to see that come into play here. And again, I enjoy that Jemisin is cutting right to the point here. She’s giving us plot points straight, no chaser.
Nijiri becomes a more likeable character here as well. He was a bit prickish when first meeting him so I think it was good to see him somewhere that made him uncomfortable. It was interesting to see the role of some women in Gujaareh and the role that sex seems to play in the narcomantic magic system being created here. He definitely felt like how I would imagine a sixteen lost in this new world would come across. It was also good to see Rabbaneh act more like a mentor instead of an interrogator.
I almost thought that Ehiru wasn’t going to come out of the shadows until later on in the story, but we get him back. He’s definitely a pensive guy. I can’t help but to envision The Vision or Spock in some ways when I read Ehiru. He has this kind of emotional distance and expectation of perfection that makes him honorable, but frustratingly so at times. He recognizes the politics of the world he’s in and I imagine he might have pressed harder about some of the issues dealt with in these chapters if he wasn’t so broken about his own failure.
But things are tying together rather quickly so I’m interested to see where we go next from here.