Chaol Westfall and Nesryn Faliq go on an adventure come healing journey come request for the Southern continent to support against Erawan, in this book.
Technically speaking, this book and Empire of Storms go hand-in-hand as the events occurring on the northern continent are elaborated in the latter. I decided to read the two together and here is a link on how you can read the chapters of these two books without stumbling upon any potential spoilers: https://throneofglass.fandom.com/f/p/4400000000003175117
You can actually read about Lord Westfall smiling and joking, who could imagine the brooding hunk to be capable of this?
And humour, splitting humour! We know that Chaol is sarcastic many a times but humour?
The healer is actually able to get under the skin of Chaol which is an achievement in itself. For a person who does not talk much about his feelings unless goaded to death, the determined healer keeps pestering him now and then and he cannot help himself, of course.
And his guilt, my my, that killing guilt is revealed in his healing sessions. He feels guilty about every bad thing that has happened in the previous books and how this negative thinking is preventing him from healing and embracing life fully.
SJM has handled the disability and guilt of Chaol with sensitivity and care. It is so realistic to read that how one mishap after another can drive a person to irritation, guilt, negativity and expecting failure in every event.
The humour in this book is top notch – imagine a raging horse named butterfly and the satire woven around her temperament!
The world-building in this book is far better than the one in previous books – the Khaganate empire is elaborated very well and is inspired from the Mongolian empires.
Nesryn’s adventures are good to read about but somehow they seem monotonous.
The typical twists and political manoeuvres by Sarah are there in this book and they keep the reader interested to go forward.
There is a huge plot-twist-come-reveal about Queen Maeve and that explains many loopholes that eager readers might have caught in the previous books. Another revelation about healers can change the tide of the coming war.
The ruhkin – a special kind of huge combat birds are talked about and how they can counter the Ironteeth wyverns is touched upon.
Overall, this book is one of the most optimistic reads in the Throne of Glass series because when Chaol heals gradually, somehow, we too heal with him!