Thorn has managed to find her space in Mineral City- her efforts to save the city have largely won over a lot of the… wary residents. They’re not all her utter fans… but she has her place there
But she’s certainly not safe. She has come to the attention of her old Mage Enclave who have sent their own ambassador - with their own agenda.
But beyond politics there’s always the shadow - and one of the Greater Darknesses are stirring; a power more dangerous than anything Thorn has faced before
I love this world - the world building of this series is amazing and layered (and, frankly, born to be an RPG). I love the layers of different supernatural elements: the apocalypse, the seraphs, the angels of the host (in all their diverse forms - and the level and variety of mythology and examination of the different angels of the host is fascinating and involved. There are so many more than just men with wings. And we’re reminded whoever wrote the Bible with three headed angels with a gazillion wings and just eyes, eyes, everywhere was a very very creative person) and the ongoing consequences of angelic rule alongside battling the dark: what it is like to have an ally who may be every bit as dangerous as the darkness they’re fighting - who may decide to dish out their own judgement. And that’s on top of the complication of the Seraphs having destroyed the majority of the Earth’s population to begin with - do you trust them? With allies like these who needs enemies? And there’s still the ongoing question of whether the angels are what they claim to be. Then there’s a whole lot of religiosity - because end of the world etc, but at the same time they have enforced religious tolerance.
Throw into that a post-apocalyptic ice age with lots of implications as to what that means for society, with technology and society adapting to that
And then we have the witches - the unforeseen, soulless, with powers and a whole history of prejudice and their own community and traditions which are so very different to what humanity has built - and there’s a real effort to give them a whole culture that is very distinctive to them. Not just magic but also their lack of soul and their greater speed and smaller stature. The world building is just exquisite. I love it. I want a thousand stories in this universe to wallow in it.
Thorn herself is an excellent character - a perfectly produced character out of place. She’s lived so long among humans she no longer thinks entirely like a witch, she’s ignorant of so much of her culture and power and traditions - but she’s also intensely aware of her own lack of soul, holding onto a faith (which is so important in the human community she lives in) while also being intensely aware of how, as a soulless being, she’s intensely outside of the trappings of that faith. She faces prejudice from those around her but also a proud acceptance by many after what she’s done. It’s complex and layered and comes with some excellent relationship with powerful friends - and their own complexities
What I don’t get is Rose. Or the prophecy that makes Thorn and her twin so special. I mean, I can get Thorn being upset about her sister being missing because, sibling obviously. But there’s the whole prophecy and power and ominousness around it which I never quite got - and I never really invested in Rose because she just didn’t seem to encroach much in Thorn’s life so it felt kind of pushed in and intruding on the main story