To Ride a Rathorn (Kencyrath 4) by PC Hodgell

Stars: 5 out of 5

I continue to be impressed with this series. The complexity of the worldbuilding is staggering. Every book adds a new piece of the puzzle to the bigger picture of creation. I am fascinated and I want to know more.

I also really like Jame as a character, and I think that she grew and evolved a lot since the first book where we saw her emerge out of the Haunted Lands. She is finding her stride and her own worth in this world. She is finally making peace with her powers and her destiny, even though, in true Jame fashion, she will follow that destiny on her own terms. I think she is beginning to realize that family isn’t only blood. That it’s also the connections you create or the creatures you bind to yourself (either intentionally or not). And that you are responsible for that family. Speaking of that, I am not happy with how she treats Graykin in this book. Hopefully, she realizes that and course corrects in the next book.

It’s also interesting to see that Jame is already performing her function as Nemesis, albeit in a small way. She is like a hot knife puncturing old abscesses everywhere she goes. Things hidden for decades come to light, horrible crimes committed in the past have repercussions in the present. And Jame is in the middle of it, whether she wants it or not.

Speaking of old crimes. The more we find out about what happened 60 years ago with Jame’s family, the more I feel for both Jame and Torisen. No wonder they are so broken, coming from so much pain, misery and death. No wonder their father went mad. Sounds like his life had been horrific. 

As I said, I think Jame had a lot of character growth in this story and became a better, and more stable, person. My complaint is that Torisen didn’t get that chance. He seems stuck in his soulscape, constantly listening to the poisonous words of his dead father, doubting himself and his sister. He needs to open that door and face what’s behind it, the sooner the better. He can’t afford not to, if he wants to remain the Highlord and save his people from the moral corruption that seems to have infected the Kencyrath. 

I also loved Jame’s dreamlike travels through Rathillien’s countryside and her interactions with the local Gods, Mother Raga especially. And I’m glad that her and the rathorn colt didn’t kill each other. 

I will definitely continue with this series because I want to know more about this complex world and I want Jame and Tori to finally vanquish their demons and become the twins they were destined to be.

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