So, it is now revealed that R’helm, the creature literally made of blood, is the father of Chosen-One-Turned-Not-Chosen-One Henrietta Howel. Henrietta is now berothed to George Blackwood, who she used to have a big rivalry over but they’re now in love, though Etta can’t help but worry each day for her beloved Rook, completely stolen by a curse from Korozoth, the deity of darkness and fog. Well, we now know Maria is supposed to be the chosen one according to the prophecy, but it also says something along the lines of she’s supposed to unintentionally take a life...and a portal is threatening to open; the same portal that turned Henrietta’s father into R’helm and
Mickelmas, Blackwood, Magnus, Rook, Maria, Wolff, Lambe, Eliza, Lilly, Dee, and the returning Aunt Agnes...as well as the wretched R’helm and Korozoth...They’re certainly on my list of characters I would love to meet in real life. Blackwood is the sort of person scared to show weakness so he disguises it with too much masculinity. Magnus is a guy who used to hit on a lot of girls but has tried what he can to get over himself. Wolff and Lambe are quite cute as the series’ only LGBT couple...or so we think.
Aunt Agnes ends up delivering Henrietta a note that turns her entire world upside down, and normally it would be hard to strike up loads of emotion from one letter but this is the saddest one since Alex Sawyer read his farewell to his parents in the last Escape from Furnace book, Execution. This is also definitely not a straightforward romance and adventure novel. It’s not a straightforward anything. The people Henrietta love test her to an unbearable point, for her and us too, as we realize how little time there actually is left. People's arms get cut off, people get married right before one of them dies, people have to abandon the city and go off into the woods on their own as forces chase them down, and there's even a political vote on how best to do the ultimate battle that has tension that chills to the bone.
Now I’ll admit something; I don’t remember an awful lot of what happened in A Poison Dark and Drowning. I’ll also admit the Kingdom on Fire series is not the most unforgettable book series out there. But that’s primarily becasue it’s harder for me to get invested in fantasy novels, than, say, sci-fi or contemporary. Sometimes it’s the names, or the strange actions, or all the confusing folklore come alive. But this series is one of the easiest out there to get through. It’ll shatter your reading slump with one flick of its wand and every chapter will make you bite your nails wondering what will happen next...and always following up. The pages in this series fly by so fast, so many events happen, that sometimes something can be missed. All the better to go back for a second read.