Published: January 13, 2015
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: 608 (Hardcover)
My Rating: 5.0/5.0
Brian Staveley’s The Providence of Fire, the second novel in the Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, a gripping new epic fantasy series.
The conspiracy to destroy the ruling family of the Annurian Empire is far from over.
Having learned the identity of her father’s assassin, Adare flees the Dawn Palace in search of allies to challenge the coup against her family. Few trust her, but when she is believed to be touched by Intarra, patron goddess of the empire, the people rally to help her retake the capital city. As armies prepare to clash, the threat of invasion from barbarian hordes compels the rival forces to unite against their common enemy.
Unknown to Adare, her brother Valyn, renegade member of the empire’s most elite fighting force, has allied with the invading nomads. The terrible choices each of them has made may make war between them inevitable.
Between Valyn and Adare is their brother Kaden, rightful heir to the Unhewn Throne, who has infiltrated the Annurian capital with the help of two strange companions. The knowledge they possess of the secret history that shapes these events could save Annur or destroy it.
For the second time in 2015, I have been crushed by the ending of a book. Thank you, Brian Staveley for that utterly mind-blowing conclusion. Your book has joined Golden Son on my list of books that have horribly gruesome, tragic, heart-rending conclusions where I physically cringe for the characters. That’s a good thing though (sort of). It means you’ve written your story so well that I’ve emotionally connected to your character and feel badly for them when you do horrible things.
The Providence of Fire was a STUNNING sequel, with a plot that got so much deeper than I anticipated. People are captured, tortured, forced to fight in bloody combat, and are betrayed again and again. Have you ever felt that if the characters would all just sit down and let everyone else know what’s going on that 90% of their problems would be solved? Yeah, that would have really helped out Valyn, Adare, and Kaden. There was just SO much happening in this book that once I got to the end it all just seemed blurred together in awesomeness. Brian Staveley has done such a fantastic job of weaving together a masterpiece and I’m really looking forward to the rest of his series!
Seriously, if you don’t want the ending spoiled, don’t read any further.
Okay. I simultaneously loved and loathed the ending. I loathed what happened to Valyn and Triste and Laith and maybe the rest of the Wing. VALYN IS BLIND FOR GODS SAKE. I mean, I know he’s going to end up being 10x more potent than he already is, but I can see him going through a period of bitter self loathing that is just painful to read about. He’ll blame himself for Laith’s death, which is kind of his fault, but not completely. Personal choice, and free will factored into it as well, not to mention a hundred thousand screaming savages. And he’s probably going to have this grudge against Hull for making him live and carry on when he just wanted to lie in the murky lake waters and rot. The effects of that big black Slarn egg are really going to be a game changer in The Last Mortal Bond.
Triste also suffered major mental and physical damage this time around. She was tortured for what may have been months by the pain maddened Ishien and she’s found out the hard way that she’s a leach. Oh yeah, she’s also possessed by Ciena, who happens to be holding a grudge against dear old Meshkent. Triste is a broken soul and I’m curious to see what role she’ll play in the future, especially since the gods are coming out to play. This is about to reach Malazan levels of immortal interference and complexity. I’m loving every single page of it!!
That’s it for the spoilers for now. I could go on and on, but there’s just so much to say!!!