If you had told me before I started this series that I’d enjoy Tris’ instalment the most I would have never believed you. She was the most frustrating character in the Circle of Magic, always snapping at everyone and making things more difficult than they needed to be. Four years later, she’s still got a quick temper, but she’s much better at recognising and controlling it.
From the very beginning, this story was much more interesting than the rest of the series. An older student with newly discovered magic and complex history, living blown glass that is complicated and unexplained, and a city with a serious caste system that’s allowing a serial killer to take out their lower class because cleaning away the stench of death is more important than the lives of their people.
Surprisingly, Tris is an excellent teacher, especially considering all of the variables here. Her student is older than her, doesn’t really believe she knows more than him, and is afraid of her lightning. She knows when to be forceful and when to be lenient and let him discover his own limitations. And the Glaki storyline is heartbreaking and a serious redemption arc for Tris.
No one is more surprised than I am, but this is one seriously good addition to the Emelan universe. Niko and Tris work off each other well, both being massive brainiacs and mild loners. Tharios is a unique city in Emelan and it sounds absolutely terrible. And even though Keth can get self-righteous and annoying, he’s still the most interesting new student mage in this series.