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Spoiler Recap: The Ruin of Kings

Can’t wait for The Name of All Things? Same. But don’t worry, it’s just a few more months.

We know the wait is hard though and that details are sometimes even harder. So just in case you’ve forgotten any details from February’s blockbuster epic fantasy The Ruin of Kings, we’ve got you covered. Or well. Senera has you covered. But she’s really only cares about her side of the story, so she leaves out some important details about sea monsters and dragons and zombie choirs. But she gets the gist.

Spoilers for Book 1 below, so read at your own risk.


Excerpted from a letter to Lord Var:

…one last thing, my lord.

I suppose I should explain what really happened in the Capital.

Long story short: this is all Gadrith’s fault. Our favorite undead necromancer decided that he and he alone was the answer to all those prophecies. Thirty years of him plotting to snatch Urthaenriel away from everyone, us included, just came to a rolling boil in the Capital. It didn’t work out well for Gadrith. Or for the Capital.

Gadrith needed the Stone of Shackles, which was a problem, because he had no idea where it was. We did—but he didn’t ask us, did he? No, instead he plotted and schemed and recruited a couple of royals to his cause—Darzin D’Mon must have been a real coup—until he finally figured out where it was: around the neck of a High Lord’s long-lost son, Kihrin.

Except that to get to that point, Darzin D’Mon’s mimic Talon had killed, oh, pretty much anyone Kihrin had ever spoken to. Kihrin hated Darzin’s guts. Still, Darzin claimed Kihrin was his son and laughable as that idea is, Kihrin’s real father let Darzin get away with it. After that, Darzin tried to mind fuck the poor kid into giving up the Stone of Shackles, mostly using Thurvishar D’Lorus and some slave girl Kihrin was sweet on.

It didn’t work. Kihrin gets no credit here. It didn’t work because Talon screwed it up, as you’ll find she’s in the habit of doing. Talon is the one who put Kihrin on that slave ship, and ultimately who we can thank for letting the Black Brotherhood get their claws into him. And while Kihrin did come back to the Capital eventually, it was four years later, with friends, and having been trained by literally the best swordsman in the whole world. Nice job, Talon.

But Kihrin underestimated Gadrith’s willingness to break the rules of polite villainy. The wizard took over the Blue Palace and started executing Kihrin’s family until he finally agreed to hand over the Stone of Shackles. Which Kihrin did. After which point Gadrith promptly killed him.

Or rather, Gadrith had Darzin kill him, sacrificing Kihrin to the demon Xaltorath during what was no doubt stage 517 of Gadrith’s great ‘conquer the world’ plan. You’d think being sacrificed to a demon would be enough to kill Kihrin for good, right? No. Once again, we can thank Talon. Neither Gadrith nor Darzin realized Kihrin had been gaeshed while he was away. Talon knew. So she’d grabbed Kihrin’s control talisman as a souvenir. Combined with our very own Janel personally escorting Kihrin’s soul to the Land of Peace in the Afterlife, it was enough for Thaena to bring Kihrin back.

And that, as they say, was that.

Sure, Gadrith probably thought his plan was coming up rainbows and puppies. Xaltorath had started a Hellmarch in the Capital, luring Emperor Sandus into the open. Gadrith then tricked Sandus into killing him while Gadrith wore the Stone of Shackles. And–since that’s what the stone does–that meant Sandus was now dead and Gadrith, now living in Sandus’s body, was the newest Emperor of Quur. Nobody could stop him–he’d killed his own daughter Tyentso when she tried and left her body to rot on the Arena floor. Everything was going great.

Funny how quickly your fortunes can change when you’ve just murdered one of the Goddess of Luck’s favorite people. Kihrin might have been too weak to stand after being Returned, but he still managed to kill Darzin, find Urthaenriel, and destroy both the Stone of Shackles and Gadrith at the same time. Destroying the Stone broke every gaesh made using it, so that means all the demons are free now too. So’s Kihrin’s mother, Khaeriel. Who, by the way, killed every single member of House D’Mon Gadrith hadn’t already finished off except Kihrin’s father, whom she’s kidnapped. Pretty sure she has no idea her son’s alive. Do with that as you will.

Just to add insult to injury, remember how I said Gadrith killed his daughter? Thaena returned her without even being asked. After Kihrin had slain Gadrith, and after the magical barriers had gone up to keep the Crown and Scepter locked away until the next Great Contest. All Tyentso had to do to crown herself Emperor of Quur was reach out and grab the damn things.

So good news: we have a new Emperor. One who hates the Royal Houses. I’m excited to see where that leads.

And Kihrin? Kihrin did one smart thing: he left town. I can’t use magic to find him because he’s wearing Urthaenriel now, but I have a pretty good hunch he’s headed to Jorat.

Which means everything’s going exactly as planned.

Ever your faithful and obedient servant,

Senera

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