Vahn learns many things he was ignorant of as a prince through his experience serving the countess (read my synopsis and intro to the book) and comes to appreciate the sacrifices his own slaves make for him as well as realizing that his house allows privileges and freedoms that most if not all others deny with the assent of the law. Kee, the Itzi optimess, learns through an excursion to Ganluc that many places do not even enforce their laws or they enforce them selectively to serve their own purposes. Will there be a happy ending for anyone or everyone? Can Vahn and his searchers find and reclaim the two children who have been stolen? What will Vahn do about his own household practices after seeing slavery from the inside? Read this novel and its prequel to find out how Vahn and Kee as well as other characters change and grow through some very difficult circumstances.
Despite the disturbing nature of this subject matter, the novel also provides a glimpse at how character and prejudice can influence people’s attitudes and behavior. It clearly displays many evils of slavery and arbitrary law enforcement as well. Kee and Vahn both learn many things about their world and themselves in addition to recognizing and appreciating the blessings they both have in their situations. Despite the unpleasant tone and topics addressed in this fantasy there is still a pleasant twist to the story by the end. Since this is intended as a trilogy the ending still leaves much unresolved and I am curious to see how things truly end for these characters.