By: Jenn Lyons
Genre: Epic Fantasy
WARNING: There will be spoilers for the first 4 books of A Chorus of Dragons
“Khirin had work to do and a last game to run. The stakes were everything, the odds were grim, and there would be no second chances. His opponents were both geniuses who wanted to either rule the universe, and both had the power to make their dreams a reality.
Though no one could see it, Khirin smiled.
It was time to start the most important con of his existence.” Jenn Lyons, The House of Always
The Discord of Gods is an epic conclusion to a brilliant series, A Chorus of Dragons. I am actually sad that the series has ended, as I would love to read more of Khirin, Janel, Tereath and all the other amazing, complex characters Ms. Lyons developed over the course of the five books. It is like saying goodbye to old friends. As I read the last book, and as I write this review, I look back on the genius of this series. The world building was phenomenal, with Ms. Lyons creating vast worlds, that were realistic and engrossing. The sheer number of characters was nothing short of amazing, and each was thoroughly fleshed out. Not only did we have characters in the present, but past lives played a very large part throughout the series. Now as I come to the end, all the pieces have fallen into place, both past and present, to create an exciting page turner of a novel that was full of twists and turns I could never have predicted. I truly believe that A Chorus of Dragons will become a classic in the fantasy genre for the magnitude of complexity of this series, that built a multitude of realms, beautifully developed characters, LBGTQ representation, and various narratives, all woven into a unique and compelling story.
Vol Karoth, who is now Khirin, is free from his prison. Very few know his true identity in order to set in place the events to stop Xaltorath and Relos Var from re-making the world. Relos Var’s ultimate goal is to rule the universe and he truly believes his version of his world would be best, and he will do it at any cost. The demon Xaltorath, who has the same desire, must also be dealt with. I loved how this book was like a chess match, each making moves that will ultimately end with one of them winning, which, I of course, will not disclose. Neither Xaltorath or Relos Var know that Khirin is free. They still believe Vol Karoth is a powerful, but controllable entity, which is part of Khirin’s ultimate con. Ms. Lyons had Khirin come full circle, as he now calls upon the skills he learned when he lived as a thief in the poorer quarters of Quur, using them to try and outwit Relos Var and Xaltorath. Relos Var might very well be a genius and the smartest man in existence, but some things you just have to learn by doing, and he was no back-alley thief. Khirin has yet to control his new found power, as anything he touches, he can destroy. To avoid destroying anything by accident, Khirin stays on the moon, Jhyr. As we know, Vol Karoth was S’aaric, Relos Var’s brother and a remnant of, though corrupted, sun god, stemming from a magical ritual gone bad. The ritual was conducted by Rev’arric, S’arric’s brother in a past life. This past connection between the two is essential in the present. Once again, Relos Var needs Khirin-Vol Karoth to complete his plans.
Ms. Lyon’s approach to the narrative varied with each book, which was extraordinary. To have the talent to have the books told in a different narrative worked so well throughout the series, each being necessary to the story. In The Discord of Gods, it is told in the present, with narratives from each character who has a role to play in the ultimate game of chess. Chapters focus on not only the perspectives of all the main players, Khirin, Janel, Teraeth, Senera, Thurvishar, Tyensto, Talon, but many others as well. It was never confusing, and it is one of my favorite narratives. The chapter ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, and I look forward to getting back to the story of each character. What also worked very well was Khirin’s narrative was always in the first person, and the others in the third person. For this last book, given what they are trying to accomplish by stopping Xaltorath and Relos Var, it was essential to know what each character was doing. Khirin, being the main player, we needed to be “inside his head” as he battles for control with the power inside him while still trying to remain Khirin.
The love between Khirin, Janel and Teraeth was truly a highlight. It was heartbreaking in this book for Khirin, not knowing what was going to happen, and if he will be able to spend his life with the two people he loves. Because he is so powerful, he cannot touch them, but can be with them in their dreams. Their love is not conventional, but it is beautifully told, and the relationship has become one of my favorites in fantasy. It was wonderful how much they loved each other, and how Janel and Teraeth are doing everything they can to bring Khirin back, hoping what they are all doing will accomplish their goal. Having LBGTQ relationships in fantasy is appearing more, and I think it is a very important inclusion. Ms. Lyon tackles quite a bit of representation, and does so with a gentle hand throughout the series. It continues in The Discord of Gods, with other relationships developing between characters. There are few explicit scenes in this book, but I found them essential to the narrative to drive home how the characters truly loved each other.
The pacing and prose were excellent. It was so engrossing reading about each character, and the story moved forward at an even pace. There was always something happening with each character, but it never felt forced nor rushed. It was edge-of-your-seat excitement throughout. There was never a time where I felt the story dragged, or parts that were not necessary to the narrative. Ms. Lyon’s prose is genius. I loved her writing when I started Ruin of Kings, and loved it to the end of the Discord of Gods. In this book, there were battle scenes, character interactions, different realms and worlds, demons, monsters and, of course dragons. There were so many exciting twists and turns, and none of them were predictable. It was all woven together to build the wondrous tapestry this story was.
The Discord of Gods is truly an amazing and epic conclusion to Jenn Lyon’s masterpiece, A Chorus of Dragons. This book ties everything from the previous four novels together in an exciting, page turning story, rife with battles, dragons, the magical artifacts, and the ultimate show down between Khirin and Relos Var. The pacing was superb. There was always something exciting happening to have the pieces all fall into place. I love Ms. Lyon’s narrative in The Discord of Gods. Chapters are designated to different characters, which is always moving the story forward as they all plot what they are going to do. Her prose is truly excellent as only Khirin’s story is told in the first-person narrative. All the others are in the third person. It is essential that it is told this way, given the nature of how the story must proceed. The love between Khirin, Janel, and Teraeth continued to be a strong and central theme, as Khirin desperately wants to spend his life with them. It is certainly an unconventional relationship, but it is also a beautifully told love story. It flows naturally between the three of them. LBGTQ representation is present throughout the books, and continues in this final installment as well. Character relationships are delved into, and it is handled with grace and care. The Discord of Gods is truly the perfect ending to this series, with twists and turns you will never anticipate. I wish it didn’t end as I would love to see these characters again. Over the course of the books, they feel like old friends and I cared about what happened to them. I highly recommend not only The Discord of Gods, but the entire A Chorus of Dragons series.
Summary (from NetGalley)
THEIR CONFLICT COULD END THEM ALL.
Relos Var’s final plans to enslave the universe are on the cusp of fruition. He believes there’s only one being in existence that might be able to stop him: the demon Xaltorath.
As these two masterminds circle each other, neither is paying attention to the third player on the board, Kihrin. Unfortunately, keeping himself classified in the ‘pawn’ category means Kihrin must pretend to be everything the prophecies threatened he’d become: the destroyer of all, the sun eater, a mindless, remorseless plague upon the land. It also means finding an excuse to not destroy the people he loves (or any of the remaining Immortals) without arousing suspicion.
Kihrin’s goals are complicated by the fact that not all of his ‘act’ is one. His intentions may be sincere, but he’s still being forced to grapple with the aftereffects of the corrupted magic ritual that twisted both him and the dragons. Worse, he’s now tied to a body that is the literal avatar of a star — a form that is becoming increasingly, catastrophically unstable. All of which means he’s running out of time.
After all, some stars fade — but others explode.
My sincere thanks to NetGalley for an eBook in exchange for an honest review.
Find out more about Jenn Lyons on her website: https://jennlyons.com/
Purchase The Discord Gods on Amazon
Purchase The Discord Gods at The Broken BindingFollow Me on Social Media