This kicks off with River and Kamzin climbing the Mount Rakhsha. Kamzin is excited to be doing this but more than that, she is excited to be doing it with River! They continue throughtout the day and eventually at night set their tent up (they have to share as they had to have a light load to carry). They share another moment and Kamzin finds that she feels comfortable with River and feels safe with him as she hadn’t done during the expidition.
The next day, River and Kamzin are climbing when River stumbles and falls. He cuts the rope that ties him and Kamzin together as a reflex and is found hanging onto a ledge. Kamzin doesn’t think twice about going down.. some very skillful action and nearly a disjoint shoulder later, River looks at her with awe and thanks her for coming down to save his life. Kamzin is embarrassed and questions him on why he cut the rope and he says he didn’t really think about it. Now of course this pleases her (and me :D) and they continue up until they reach a cave!! River piles up snow so they can have some warmth at least and they go to sleep. Kamzin wakes up during the night to find River gone, but when she steps outside, ghosts of previous explorers who died at the mountain carry her away to some distant part where she is brought and left to die in a dark hole. Now I may have forgotten to mention this but Kamzin has a familiar, which is an animal that stays with her and protects her. Hers is a fox (of sorts) and he finds her in the dark hole. He helps her climb out but the ghosts find her once again. She later recognises the ghost who was the reason she had been carried off in the first place and he is Mingma, the explorer who had drawn the map she was following. He mentions something about whether she had “seen through it” and of course she is confused. For a moment, he seems to lose his hard edge but later mentions the ghosts are the Guardians of the mountain, which has the sky city at the top (a place which had once been occupied by witches.) Kamzin is tossed into water and nearly dies when River saves her and has Azar-at to do a spell that locks the ghosts in the chamber forever. River and Kamzin continue and later walk into Mara. This then leads to them discovering Tem and Lusha as well, with all acting or behaving hostile towards River as Lusha had seen something (I shall not say what as I feel as though I’m giving far too much of the book away 😂) in the stars. At night, Kamzin wakes up to find River gone and of course this leads to a revelation scene where it is discovered River is actually a witch! Kamzin attempts to hide and leave after feeling intensely betrayed by him. Lusha and Kamzin hug and have a bonding moment (finally!!!!) And Kamzin sets off to find River and stop him. When they eventually meet again, they attempt to kill each other (my heart died a little when i read this) and of course River beats Kamzin. Kamzin survives and reaches higher up and eventually manages to reach the sky city quicker as she remembered Mingma’s words before he attempted to kill her. She has the bird the Lusha sent with her (Biter) to try and hunt for the talisman which shares great power but this shows River where it is. River and Kamzin race to the talisman but River beats her and gains a loooot of power. He looks back at Kamzin and quickly looks away again. He then ends his contract with Azar-at, which is oddly an emotional kind of scene. River then transforms into a black leopard and leaves Kamzin in the sky city with her familiar and Azar-at. The fire demon convinces her to form a conract with him and she does so afraid that Azmiri will suffer at the witches’ hands, despite River’s side of the story (of how witches had been stripped of their powers) being shared. She then leaves the sky city with the fire demon by her side.
My opinions…. are all over the place. I absolutely loved and hated this ending in equal parts. I loved it becausr despite how River left her, I was left with a strong impression on how he did have feelings for her otherwise he would’ve found it easy to kill her and get rid of her and her group from stopping him and revealing to others what his intentions (give witches their rights back) were. I hated it because I need the secons book nooooow!! On a diffrrent note, I enjoyed the cliffhanger for a change as it showed a bit of insight what may be coming up! I loved how Lusha and Kamzin were finally given their moment in this last part!! It’s like Heather heard my pleas 😂😂 This part receives full 5 stars from me and overall the book is being given 4.5 stars!! Cannot wait to get the sequel and thank you to the team over at Fairyloot for including it in September’s box!!