The Crimson Vault by Will Wight
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Damasca and Enosh find themselves preparing for war. Simon is torn about who to side with, Alin or his fellow Valinhall Travelers. As all this is happening an even worse threat emerges, the Valinhall Incarnation is free and intends to kill the king and anyone he deems unworthy.
The Crimson Vault was a solid sequel to the House of Blades. It suffers from being the middle book in the series as it's trying to set a lot up at once. The most disappointing part is the increased point of view time from Alin, Leah, and some other travelers. Alin is a spectator for the majority of the book which leads to the reader learning seemingly all of Enosh's plans. Leah is important, but I find her uninteresting. I wanted to see more point of view chapters from Simon, Indirial, and any of the other Valinhall Travelers. I came to see them and got too much of Alin, Leah, and some random characters.
The book took on a quite political storyline. Two opposing sides each with useful points, but unwilling to cooperate. The Damascans bound the uncontrollably powerful incarnations at the cost of 9 lives a year. The Enosh found that detestable and wish to free the Incarnations in order to stop the sacrifices. Yet they don't consider the possible devastation a single Incarnation could cause let alone all 10 of them. Neither side seems totally right or wrong. Either way people will suffer and die.
The strength of the series continues to be the Valinhall Travelers. Simon and Indirial are the two characters I found myself being most interested in and concerned about. Kai is strange to put it mildly, but interesting. The book doesn't show enough about Denner to get a good feel for him, but he seems like a solid character when he appears. Honesty I would have enjoyed the book more if it was told entirely from their point of views.
The Crimson Vault wasn't what I had hoped for, but it was good enough that I will be reading the next book shortly.
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