In the aftermath of the Ritual of Night, everything has changed.
The Eight Immortals have catastrophically failed to stop Kihrin’s enemies, who are moving forward with their plans to free Vol Karoth, the King of Demons. Kihrin has his own ideas about how to fight back, but even if he’s willing to sacrifice everything for victory, the cost may prove too high for his allies.
Now they face a choice: can they save the world while saving Kihrin, too? Or will they be forced to watch as he becomes the very evil they have all sworn to destroy.
Title : The House of Always
Author : Jenn Lyons
Series : A Chorus of Dragons (book four)
Format : eBook (overdrive)
Page Count : 523
Genre : fantasy
Publisher : Tor Books
Release Date : May 11, 2021
Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★.5
Hollis’ 2.5 star review
Welp, just when I had come to terms with the storytelling formula, Lyons shifted the method a bit. We’re still reliving and piecing things together but at least they aren’t sitting around reading to each other. No, they’re just all experiencing snippets of events from each other’s perspectives. I don’t know if this is better or worse. Maybe it just is.
But after just having been pleased that I’d been having a good time with the characters again? Well, we brought back a whole bunch who had been having adventures off-page (hence the memory catch-up game) and unfortunately some of those are ones I would’ve preferred never see again. These names obviously won’t mean anything to anyone who hasn’t read but : Qown. I hate you so much you dramatic coward (yes, it’s a thing). And Kalindra you were a pain. Dramatic in your own way but mostly just a bitch. You both exhausted me.
Bonus though? The thing I had anticipated not happening for a while romantic dynamics-wise based on how book three ended? Well, something allowed for some of that to happen in book four and.. I’m not mad at it.
Beyond that, the only fun part of this was how most of the story felt like a spooky locked room haunted house horror show with a ticking clock counting down the seconds until they were all.. well, killed. And the way some people were taken away was clever, too. I enjoyed that. The downside is some of the filler during the less tense scenes, between memory sharing flashbacks, was spent debating everyone’s horribleness. As in, who had done the most awful things and why. Who deserved what. Who had the most blood on their hands. Who deserved to feel guilt and shame and who didn’t deserve happiness. Who deserved to sacrifice themselves for the greater good. Who would then get mad about it all. It got tired pretty quick because this isn’t a new dialogue for this series, we just had a lot of people who had betrayed a lot of the same people, who had all or were still working against each other whilst convinced it was for the greater good, in one space for an extended time.
Also, for a book about the end of end of end of end of days (IYKYK), only 1% of people die. And even then, half of them still manage to come back to life. Talk about taking the wind out of your sails stakes and tension-wise. Either we have to assume literally everyone important will survive book five for the happiest of HEAs ever or the author is going to pull something where everyone dies. Maybe not surprisingly, I’m finding my preference is for option two.
Oh, and okay I guess one other fun part was the twist. I didn’t see it coming.
So, yeah, most of this was a pain. But that kind of tracks if we look back at the pattern of how these instalments have gone. So I guess that means we’re ending on a high note for book five? Maybe? Please.