It’s all celebrations and disasters this week. Diane and Kaab are tempted to question just how secure they are in their recent successes. Rafe is left questioning how well he knows a dear friend – and Tess must confront the murky underside of progress…
Welcome back to a City in the grip of progress. Driven by the vision of the Duchess Tremontaine. Enriched by the commercial success of the Kinwiinik led by Ixkaab Balam. Enlightened by the intellectual patronage of Far-Reza. Made – day by day, page by page – more equal by the open door policy of Rafe Fenton’s City Academy. Rain-soaked and miserable after a wet season. What new challenges lie ahead in this final season of my beloved serial?
The Hexarchate is no more. Only two Hexarchs survive: slippery Shuos Mikodez, backing Cheris’s nascent democracy; and immortal Nirai Kujen, determined to resurrect the high calendar to maintain his grip on life. And even Protector-General Kel Inesser and her fleet don’t back him. Kujen isn’t worried: he has another incarnation of Shuos Jedao at his command…
San Francisco, 1939. Treasure Island glows in the Bay, a beacon for Man’s perseverance and ingenuity. The vibrant City itself is full of immigrants and free spirits, shielded from the shadows of war. Anything can happen in San Francisco: forbidden love, illegal shifts in gender, and maybe – when you really need it – some actual magic.
In the wake of tragedy, Mokoya the former seeress has abandoned her family and joined a mercenary group who hunt naga. Stalked by grief, she struggles to care about Akeha’s concerns or the slow-burning rebellion. But even in the outer marches of the Protectorate, there are causes worth dying for.
Akeha and Mokoya are the twin children of the Protector, sold to the Grand Monastery in exchange for military support. But Mokoya is a prophet, a resource too valuable for their mother to let go, while Akeha has the heart of a rebel. In a country ruled by fear, can they find peace for themselves – let alone for the rest of their people?
I’ve fallen behind on Tremontaine, so it’s time to quickly catch up! In Into the Woods, a party of nobles celebrate midwinter at Diane’s hunting lodge in the woods, but the Land calls for blood during the White Days and someone will have to pay the price. Behind the Mask sees Kaab closing in on the rixinkun’s secrets, whilst Rafe suffers a disappointment. Will Micah ever master the peculiar game of Social Graces?
Formidable Commander Rallya needs a new First Officer for Bhattya; talented young webber Rafe needs a new berth. But Rafe is an Oath-breaker and few crews will consider taking him on. Worse, he was identity-wiped: he has no idea who he was or why he broke faith. But there are those who do, and they aren’t finished with him – or with Bhattya if she takes him on… Excellent story with bonus pulp scifi cover art
Rafe and Reza are men about town, while Kaab gains a startling insight into the Duchess and hunts down her wayward spy. We’re coming up to mid-season and inter-relationships are starting to get complicated, with hints of unexpected alliances as new friendships develop.
This week’s episode is a warning to guard our hearts. Diane’s former mantra – attachment is a weakness – may come back to haunt all our beloved characters. Their affections and their assumptions make them vulnerable. I AM WORRIED ABOUT EVERYONE, OKAY?
While Riverside revels in being released from its siege (and Tess tries to keep it from revelling in ways that would see the siege reinstated), the City – and Rafe – prepare to party through the Night of the Flames. But some fires have a sadder purpose, as the Kinwiinik release Ixsaabim’s spirit to rejoin her ancestors at last. How can Kaab satisfy everyone who is now watching her?
In Riverside, the only true loyalty is to Riverside. Tess and the Salamander give Shade an impossible choice in an attempt to end the stalemate. Meanwhile, Rafe’s plans for his school begin to take shape, while Kaab continues to grow into her new role.