I guess I didn’t remember the ending of this book as well as I thought. I thought there were more chapters, too, but last night after I finished playing chess with Spock I went to write my blog, once they finished installing the waterfall, and there was only the one chapter left, so here we go…
Miles and Roic return to the embassy to hear the news about the escaped prisoners, but just then they have a visitor, Mr. Wing’s assistant Aida…except that she pulls out a nerve disrupter, takes off her mask, and it turns out that’s actually Cavilo! She arranged to whole thing to lure Miles to Kibou-daini, and now she wants revenge for his screwing up her plans in the Hegen Hub. She takes Miles and Roic hostage and locks them in the back of her van, but when she goes to drive off she’s attacked by Jin’s bird and knocked unconscious.
The back of the van is opened by Jin, who reveals that he’s really an Athosian telepath, who’s been planted on Kibou-daini with a family who were all given false memories, and he’s been trying to breed animals for telepathic powers, with some success. He tells them that they’re needed on another planet in the system, and takes them off on his spaceship, where he’s already picked up Mark and Kareen.
It turns out Taura is there too, still alive! She hadn’t really died, just slowed down her metabolism enough that it looked like she was, until she could undergo her transformation. She is the real successful result of Mark’s longevity experiments, and she’s also now a telepath.
They fly in the spaceship to the other planet in the system, which is in a highly eccentric orbit that results in extreme variations in climatte; it’s just about to enter a long winter period. Jin tells them that the inhabitants live in a low-technology state, most of their history wiped out in the first long ice age, and they’ve been strictly sequestered and kept secret, but now Miles needs to help them.
They head down to the surface in a shuttle that’s camouflaged to look like a large black flying lizard, following a homing signal, until they reach a primitive city full of ornate pyramids; there’s a large arena where a short man who looks a lot like Miles and Mark is about to be killed, so they fly inside and Jin distracts them with file while Miles slips out to help. A white-haired woman in rich clothes runs up to the shuttle, and before Miles can get back on board, it flies away with her carried underneath.
Miles meets the other man, who calls himself Tyrion, and between the two of them–and with Taura’s help, since she also turns up a few days later–they manage to help secure the rule of Queen Daenerys and repel the invading forces of the two other cities. Daenerys returns with an army of horsemen and marries Tyrion, and then they fly with her dragons to the icy northlands and melt the army of ice-men, changing the planet’s orbit back so that the long winter stops. Then they reconquer the Seven Kingdoms, capturing bad Queen Cersei, who’s been secretly working with Cavilo the whole time, and they manage to clone Ned and Robb Stark and fix Catelyn’s brain damage, and give Jaime a new hand, and everybody lives happily ever after.
The story took a few unexpected turns, but I was happy to finally see Miles and Tyrion meet, which the authors have been hinting for years was going to happen. Cavilo turning up was a bit of a surprise, but in retrospect the hints about Jin’s true heritage was really obvious, especially in his own POV chapters. The bird always did seem too intelligent. I would have liked to see more Ekaterin, but she only showed up for the wedding at the end. There were some hints that they might foster some of their children with each other, so maybe in the next book we’ll get to see some of that.
I’d like to write more, but maybe later, because it’s really quite late, and I just wanted to get this all down before I forgot it. If I get a chance I’ll edit it later and add more. But good night for now, and happy first day of April…