The dragons and their keepers are finally at the end of their long river journey. The city of Kelsingra is just across the deep and fast-flowing river. But the grand city is currently asleep and there’s no sign of life there. The group has decided to stay on the opposite side of the river for now, considering only in this side that games are available. They try to get by hunting while some of the dragons are attempting at putting their wings to use.
Leftrin and Tarman have left the group to get back to Cassarick to replenish their supplies and to gather their due payments. Only to find that there’s a complexity in its execution. The Cassarick Council demands for complete information including map of the voyage to the new settlement, knowledge which Leftrin is not ready to disclose. But until their demand is fulfilled, the Council is holding the recompense.
At the same time, Reyn and Malta Khuprus and their unborn baby are at Cassarick for a different meeting, when they learn that Leftrin has come to town holding news of the dragons and their keepers’ fate.
Alas, a bad incident happens to Malta and her baby, forcing her and Reyn to run for their lives. One thing leads to another, a deal is made between Reyn Khuprus and Leftrin. Compensation money out from Reyn’s personal pocket in exchange for him and his family registered as the newest guests on Tarman following its journey back to Kelsingra.
Meanwhile back in Kelsingra, some discoveries are made. A dragon other than Heeby finally succeeds at flying across to Kelsingra, and somehow wakes up the city. The city is then flooded with lights, and just as the dragons do something to the city, the city reciprocates the gesture back to them. The beasts that have reached Kelsingra start to change further in size, colors and strength. And not only the dragons, the keepers are also transformed by the city. Some of them are now ready to embrace their future as Elderlings.
Now, the big question is, what kind of life is waiting for them all?
At this point, we are all waiting for the big conclusion. Which will be told in the next book. But for now, we have to bear with all the cliffhangers tossed in.
In terms of juice, I think this book stands out from the other parts of the series. Complexity is added up further to the story, and the plot is rolling more inevitably than ever. I really love that we get to explore Kelsingra this time, since it’s a place custom-designed for the dragons, which means we get to see the dragons be dragons against a more suitable background. I am still not fully satisfied with the rapport the humans have established with the dragons. There’s only so much resistance, ego, and cautiousness covering their relationship, and I am hoping that that would change into a better direction in the last book.
There are several old characters that are newly introduced and finally given proper stories. Prior to the third book, we only knew that Selden Vestrit, Malta and Reyn Khuprus were the only Elderlings left, but not much else. In this segment, two of them play a significant part in the tale, while one of them is prepared for a bigger revelation for the next part. This gives a new colour to the story because we finally can learn more about Elderlings.
While some characters are put under a better light, some other characters temporarily take a backseat. Other than being involved in a skirmish with Rapskal, and recounting her longing for her lover who’s far away, Alise has almost no role this time. Some of the dragons also don’t have anything new to tell, since most of them still haven’t succeeded at flying, and they’re currently in a comfort zone limbo where they don’t own their independence, but food and care are pretty much provided. But I have a feeling that the next part of the account would look very different than this one. Especially once Kelsingra is completely unlocked.
The Rain Wilds Chronicles is about a fantasy world with exotic elements, like dragons and dragon city. Several stories involving a lot of characters have been going on at different places parallelly in time. Though these tales are interrelated in some ways, until this point, they are still more separate than one big whole story. But all pieces are in progress of coming together and the final picture are starting to show lines. I personally think all the accounts involved, from the dragons and their keepers’, to the Duke of Chalced’, to Hest’s and Selden’s are equally intriguing, and I can’t wait for all pieces to be finally put in their right places and see how they’ll all end up intertwined at the closing door.
I am eager for the end of the series, but I am also sort of sad, because it’s been a great experience to be a part of this magnificent journey, and it’s always sad to see an amazing story coming to an end. I’ve grown attached to most of the characters, including the ones that aren’t exactly my favorites. All in all, this book has sent me to the last piece of the series with so much emotion and anticipation, I am just fingercrossing that the last part would be just as great as this one.
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