Review: Asylum (The Ferryman + The Flame, #5) by Rhiannon Paille @RhiPaille

When all they could be was broken . . .
For fans of The Shannara Chronicles, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Sword Art Online

All Kaliel has left is the lingering scent of Krishani. Suicidal, hopeless and deserted, Kaliel wanders her old life with fresh new eyes, her memory like jagged shards. She has never been so alone, so afraid and in so much danger.

Krishani is a broken boy on the wind, slave to the masters who would rather use his soul as the destructive thing it’s become than allow him his freedom. In a desperate attempt to keep his secret safe, he leads them to the witch, not knowing that all consequences are dire.

Torture, Wonder, Truth and Retribution collide in the fifth installment of The Ferryman & The Flame.

Blurb and cover from Amazon

4 out of 5 stars

It’s alright, I wasn’t using my emotions anyway. Just go ahead and stomp all over them like last year’s leaves, why don’t you?

While Mercy remains my favorite, this book was pretty darn good, too. As I had hoped, there was more reference to the Land of Beasts and the Land of the Immortals, there’s even so more of Avristar in here. It ends in the closest thing to a happy ending that we’ve had since the end of the second book, but don’t start hoping for that HEA for a bloody second.

The plot:

I thought the plot had less clearly defined goals and direction than Mercy, but I feel that was due in large part to Kaliel’s loss of essentially her will to exist. There were lots of shockers (Pux is WHOSE son?!), “we’re all going to die” moments, but Paille went and threw in a few scraps of happiness to breathe us poor readers back to life.

The characters:

It is kind of hard not to feel horrible for Kaliel. After losing Krishani again in the last book and regaining her memories of what she did, her human family treats her like crap, her human friends treat her like crap, the other Flames and immortals alternate between treating her like crap and trying to torture her whilst Pux has gone AWOL. I got mad at her when Krishani came back, but, yes, I’ll admit her standoffishness was realistic.

Krishani takes a bit of a backseat role for the first half or so of the book. Back to being a Vulture, he’s enslaved to the Valtanyana again as he will be for eternity—or will he? Pux also takes a bit more of a less-visible spot for most of the book, but when Krishani turns up, there’s a lot more interaction between those two than there has been before. If nothing else, it was interesting to see their dynamic when Kaliel was out of the equation.

In case you were wondering, Tor still deserves to be hit in the head repeatedly with a brick. I have no idea exactly what that cad is planning, but it involves him, so I don’t trust it. That weasel.

This time around I actually empathized with Shimma—Shimma! That blonde succubus who wants to steal Krishani from my baby Kaliel. I even started to feel bad about all those times I wished she’d drop headfirst down a well. Poor thing.

In closing, Ishtar has earned himself something horrible alongside Tor. Klavotesi kind of has the right to be angry, but he still needs to calm down a bit. If we can’t off the whole of the Valtanyana, then we should at least find somewhere to lock them up in a deep dark mine for eternity.

I really, really want Chaos and the author has promised me a happy ending to that book. It’s been a heartbreaking, but worthwhile ride with these characters and when that time comes, I’ll be sad to see it end. (But happy if they’re happy. They’ve been through so much horribleness, poor babies.)

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