Read a full summary of Kingsbane, book #2 of Claire Legrand’s new series, right here! This page is full of spoilers, so beware. If you are wondering what happened in Kingsbane, then you are in the right place!
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The Empirium Series
***** Everything below is a SPOILER *****
What happened in Kingsbane?
Rielle is doing a goodwill tour throughout the realm to introduce herself as the new Sun Queen. She and Audric spend every night together, and it doesn’t take long for rumors to spread.
Rielle’s bored with the introduction ceremony that happens in every city they visit. But maybe she should’ve been happy with boredom and happy subjects because at one stop, a mother berates Rielle for not bringing her daughter back to life like she did for Ludivine after she was killed by a soldier.
It gets even worse when Rielle hears a familiar voice calling from the crowd. The man doesn’t bear a face she knows, but there’s no mistaking the fact that it’s Corien, who she thought was gone. Audric and Ludivine sweep her away from the scene on Atheria, the godsbeast.
Eliana wakes from a nightmare to confront one in real life. Navi isn’t getting better. Navi tries to attack both Eliana and Simon. He tells Eliana to back off because it’s not working.
Rielle is furious that Ludivine took control of her mind to get her away from Corien. Ludivine promises not to do it again unless it’s absolutely necessary.
The ladies and Audric run into Prince Illmyr and his twin sister Ingrid. They’re angry because of their sister’s death. The two groups argue. Rielle desperately wants to show them just how powerful she is. Her companions talk her out of it. They fly away.
Simon takes Eliana and her brother Remy to a council meeting, but they don’t get much respect there. Simon wants to leave the whole territory. Eliana says she won’t leave until Navi’s healed. Simon says she’s progressed too far. They part angry at one another.
The wraith Zahra appears and tells Eliana about a black market tonic that could help Navi. They agree to secretly go to the black market to buy it. But she will only take Eliana when she proves she‘s strong enough to defend herself and disciplined with her power.
Rielle fights off a wave threatening Ilmaire and Ingrid’s country. She’s exhausted when Atheria finally flies her back to Audric and Ludivine. Lu says that they must go to the angel Gate to see if it’s still closed. If not, that’s likely the cause of the natural disruptions threatening everyone.
Ilmaire agrees to send the three of them to the angel Gate on one of his ships as a thank you for saving his nation from the wall of water. Ingrid isn’t happy. Rielle asks to speak with Ilmaire’s council before they leave to see if they’ve been after her. Ludivine tells her she shouldn’t have requested this, but in Rielle’s head, Corien congratulates her for the idea.
Zahra takes Eliana to an unusual place to begin to train her in magic. Eliana feels a strange detachment from her body before her soul rejoins it. She sees many saints and even an angel. Eliana doesn’t understand why Zahra wants to help her after what the humans did to the angels. Zahra’s happy that she exists at all, even if only as a soul now. Humans have endured things just as bad or worse since then.
Zahra thinks Eliana’s mother’s magic that now runs in her veins could be enough to vanquish the Emperor. Eliana’s glad Zahra’s training her instead of Simon. Zahra says there are some things only Simon can train her in. When they return home, unbelievably Harkan is there.
Rielle wakes up a little less seasick, well enough to be in Audric’s arms. But then her consciousness shifts to a room where Corien dwells. She ends up in his arms, only to be disoriented and slightly disappointed when her world shifts back to reality with Audric. He guesses what happened. Rielle can’t even talk to him about it.
One of Ilmaire’s men recognizes what Ludivine is and shoots her with an arrow with a blight blade tip. It traps her angelic soul in the copper tip, allowing the host to die. Rielle vows to heal the body with her power. It’s harder than she thought it would be, but she does it. Ludivine asks Rielle to never let that separation happen again and bears a horrific, shimmering bruise. The archers promise not to shoot her again. Corien’s presence feels stronger in Rielle’s mind, praising her for her use of power. He loves seeing her at work.
Eliana tells Harkan everything that’s transpired in their time apart. He looks for another explanation for her powers at first but eventually accepts her truth. His touch doesn’t ignite Eliana like it used to. She feels guilty about it, just like she felt when Simon’s eyes met hers before he left her and Harkan alone.
Eliana hears a noise behind her at the end of her explanation to Harkan. Remy heard everything. All he can process is that Eliana killed their mother. He calls her a monster and runs from the room. He won’t speak to her.
Eliana buries her woes in studies in the library. She sends for Simon because she appreciates his tough love. She feels like it’s what she needs instead of Harkan’s soft, caring personality.
Ilmaire’s men take them on a winding path on the way to the Gate to confuse and disorient them. Rielle takes out on her own to find it and does so quite readily. She tries to repair the Gate, to no avail. The gathered group discussed their options. Rielle says maybe she isn’t strong enough now, but she believes she will be someday.
Jodoc of the order of the Obex says Rielle might be able to do it using the saints’ castings to draw power. He won’t let her use them until she proves she is worthy by finding each of them. He gives her one clue to start her search.
Eliana goes to get her castings made to contain her magic. She wants to use scrap metal and her necklace and turn them into small ovals for her palms, connected by looping chains. The necklace was not her father’s like she thought; it was her mother’s. The process of forming the castings is arduous, but she won’t let anyone help her. She allows Simon to hold her after they’re completely formed and cooled.
Rielle meets Ilmaire’s father. He slips into a vision before he dies, speaking prophecies from an angel to the group gathered.
A group of Obex arrive to give Rielle her first casting: Saint Grimvald’s hammer. She feels a little bad taking it without having to work for it as she was told she’d have to for each casting, but Corien urges her to take it.
Eliana begins her training. She starts in the Tameryn Cave with Zahra and Harkan but isn’t getting anywhere. The only two times her powers have surfaced, she was hungry, exhausted, and under extreme duress. She decides to subject herself to those same conditions again. She studies in the library with Simon, hoping to find anything else that might help her use her abilities. He hates to see her deprive herself this way.
After a long time, it finally works. Eliana’s able to catch the ceiling on fire. Zahra tells her she can recapture the flame in the same way she summoned it. Harkan looks shocked. He even flinches when she touches him with the castings on her hands.
Corien is bored even though everything is falling into place nicely. He’s tried to push his words into Rielle’s mind several times, all to no avail. He can see she’s with Ludivine and Audric, and it makes him jealous and furious, angry enough to want to hurt them.
Rielle and the group are welcomed home mostly warmly. She’s excited to see Tal. He’s angry, as she suspected he’d be. But he welcomes her with a hug before the scolding begins. He seems proud what of the Obex tasked her with: finding the old castings to search their memories for how to strengthen the Gate once again.
The meeting with Tal is cut short when the queen summons Rielle to her chambers at once. Audric is there, too, having just imparted the stories of their travels to his mother. She wants to hear Rielle’s version, too. Rielle requests information on where to find the other castings, but Queen Genoveve agress with what Jodoc told her: that she must find them on her own.
Because Eliana was able to summon fire, Zahra keeps her promise. She takes Eliana and Harkan to an underground market to get the antidote for Navi. Zahra senses another wraith nearby, so they have to move quickly. Eliana is weak because she continues to starve herself to keep her power accessible. She finds 18 tins of the antidote and takes them all.
Zahra is sucked by a metal net into a small copper box. Eliana grabs it and calls out to see who the attacker is. It’s the other wraith, Sarash. Corien speaks to Eliana through the wraith. Then all three of them battle. Without knowing what she’s doing, Eliana’s power unleashes on the wraith’s house as a devouring fire. Eliana and Harkan barely escape. The smoke suffuses the entire underground market, so they keep running and then swim back to Tameryn’s Cave.
Resurrection, the word Corien put into Rielle’s mind, echoes in her head constantly. Rielle goes on a prayer tour around the city, at a different church every night, to prove her piety to the citizens. But Corien invades her thoughts each time, seemingly close enough to touch. Rielle seeks solace in Audric’s arms to clear her mind, hoping Corien will hear. She’s so confused by the emotions that she goes to Ludivine to get advice on what’s going on Corien.
Eliana and Harkan return with the antidote for Navi and the box which now holds Zahra. Simon pulls Eliana aside to scold her for sneaking away. He reminds her how much her powers mean to the whole world. She’s their only hope, and it’s foolish to risk her life. Simon admits she’s his only tie to his true home, and he’s grown attached to her. They kiss and perhaps would go further, but Eliana is summoned to Navi’s room.
The antidote worked faster than they’d ever imagined. Navi’s sitting up in bed. She’s thin and weak but is going to make it. Remy soon arrives. He’s excited to see Navi but is disappointed that Eliana’s there. He continues to give her the cold shoulder. Eliana forsakes all others, even Simon, as she spends her next few days with Navi exclusively.
Rielle spends her nights in Audric’s arms until he falls asleep and then spends her dreams searching for Corien. After reading his thoughts, Ludivine tells Rielle that Audric is worried about her but doesn’t suspect what’s going on with Corien.
Rielle meets the young Queen Obritsa. At the royal feast, Rielle’s expected to make a speech. But Audric does it for her because he’s much better at it. Pride swells in her chest at his rich voice and wise words. Then she does what she does best: uses the empirium to dazzle the crowd, making stars seemingly dance in the air in the dining hall.
Eliana and Navi hear trumpets sounding a warning. They’re under attack. Eliana leaves to look for Remy. Harkan finds her in the hallway, begging her to leave with him at once. When she won’t, he puts a rag soaked with black orchid over her mouth, drugging her until she passes out.
Simon arrives at the assembly and discovers Eliana left to find Remy but never caught up with him. Everyone wonders where she’s gone. Then they realize who else is missing: Harkan. Simon asks Remy if he trusts him. He says yes. Then Simon whisks them both away before anyone can protest.
Harkan has booked them passage on a ship. Once the black orchid and seasickness wear off, Eliana has the strength to tell Harkan she’ll never forgive him for what he’s done. She hates him now. She also knows that she’ll always love him deep down, too, for the past they shared. She’ll cooperate with him during this journey because she can’t be fully alone.
One morning, a young boy asks Eliana about her castings, which are visible because she took her gloves off as she slept. He also leaves a tray of food with her. It contains a note requesting a meeting with her from someone who says he knows who she is. She and Harkan go to the meeting together. Harkan’s confused because it’s the man from whom he booked passage on the ship. Eliana knows him as something else: Patrik, a Red Crown agent she was with at Crown’s Hollow.
A female Obex comes with a message for Rielle. She’s wanted at once at the Obex’s temple. Audric and Ludivine accompany Rielle, who is silently astonished that the area the temple is in resembles what Corien has showed her in her dreams.
That night, after Audric falls asleep, Rielle calls to Corien in her head to see if he’s residing here. He is. He says to come find him and that she knows where he’ll be. He’s correct. She finds him easily and walks straight into his arms. She relishes his kisses until she realizes he knows everything she likes. He’s been observing her and Audric together. The thought makes her push away from him quickly.
Rielle makes Corien promise to let her be totally alone with Audric from now on, with no more snooping. Corien agrees. He continues to appeal to her attraction to him and to the power he wants her to have. He gives her the casting she’s come here to search for, the shield of Marzana. She’s shocked he was able to steal it from the Obex. He says it was easy. She asks him to stop invading her dreams so she can get some sleep. Corien leaves her alone to find her way back to the temple. She hopes Audric is still sleeping but finds both him and Ludivine waiting for her in her room.
Eliana has fallen into her role on the ship. She asks Patrik why he never came back for Hob. He says he knew he’d never carry out his duty if he saw Hob again. Eliana asks him if he can help her get Zahra out of the enchanted box, which she shows him.
Patrik shows her a creature they’ve captured and tied up: a cruciata that came through the Gate. Eliana asks what this has to do with Zahra’s box. Patrik says he’s learned that cruciata blood can act on metals that look like the gleaming copper of the box. He says he learned that swords made of this metal are used to trap angels. The only way to release the angel is to treat it with cruciata blood. Simon’s the one who taught him this. Simon has been lying to her about not knowing how to free Zahra.
Audric’s furious with Rielle for going out on her own to find the shield. She tells some of the truth, admitting that Corien drew her away to give it to her. Ludivine assures Rielle in her mind that Audric doesn’t know she kissed Corien. He’s just angry she put herself in danger and didn’t trust him enough to let him go with her.
Rielle is done explaining herself to Audric and is feeling plenty of guilt, so she dismisses herself to have breakfast on her own downstairs. In her mind, she chastises Ludivine for telling Audric where she was in the first place and asks Lu whether she’ll eventually betray her totally, including telling Audric how his father really died.
The ship arrives at its destination, an Empire outpost, and Eliana disembarks with Patrik to help complete his mission: rescuing sick refugees. Eliana thinks Navi’s leftover antidote might heal these people, too. The fighting begins, and as she’s helping, Eliana accidentally sets off a bomb with her own power. It helps their cause, and her old fighting instincts with her blade kick back in. Then she realizes the Emperor has been there waiting for her the whole time.
Ludivine visits Queen Obritsa, who she knows is a marque instead of a human. She tells the girl that the Gate is open and angels are coming in. She’s heard of disturbances in the north. She wants the girl to head there to investigate. Obritsa asks why Ludivine can’t go. It’s because she’ll be recognized while Obritsa won’t.
Patrik says Eliana and Harkan are free to go whenever they’d like since they helped him and fulfilled their duty. Jessamyn comforts Eliana, and then they hear something suspicious. It’s an attack by a combination of cruciata, crawlers, and adatrox, all sent by the angels or maybe even the Emperor.
Harkan tells Eliana she has to do something because they’re losing too many people. Eliana wonders who’s shooting so well from the far side of their contingent. It’s Simon. He’s arrived with Remy in tow.
A nearby village is burning and people are hurt. Rielle doesn’t want to delay saving them, so she pushes on ahead of Audric and Lu with Corien alone in her mind. She quenches the fire around her, and Corien says she can even save the burned man in front of her. It goes horribly wrong.
Ludivine pulls Rielle back to the present when she arrives on the scene. Rielle is surrounded by horrified villagers. Rielle chastises Corien in her mind for asking her to do this. He says she has to start learning somewhere.
Obritsa helps Rielle, Audric, and several others escape using her marque power. She won’t head out on her mission until she finds Lu and sends her behind them.
Patrik, Harkan, and then Remy are injured as they fight. Remy is hurt the worst. He’s on the brink of death. Simon says with the power of both her father and mother in her blood, Eliana can save him. Somehow she does.
All the remaining beasts flee or die as Eliana’s power restores Remy. When it fades, a time travel thread hangs by Simon. Eliana’s power has opened that back up, too. Simon holds onto the thread, but it eventually disappears. And then Zahra appears behind them. Eliana’s power also destroyed the blightbox that held her somehow, too.
Ludivine appears, apologizing for keeping them waiting. Audric is upset that Lu woke Rielle to send her into that fight, especially since it took her closer to Corien. Rielle is frustrated that he doesn’t think she can stand up to Corien. Audric says it’s hard for anyone to stand up to a being as powerful as Corien.
Amazingly, Atheria appears after a long absence. They fly home on her. Rielle goes to visit Simon and his father to get more birth control tonic. She spends a pleasant evening with them. Young Simon is fascinated by Atheria.
Eliana snuggles with a sleeping Remy, who has finally relinquished his anger toward her after she healed him. Eliana gets up in the middle of the night to use the restroom, and Zahra is there. They discuss why Simon didn’t tell her he knew about the blightbox. Even though she’s angry at him, Eliana longs to see him.
Eliana searches Simon out, and they discuss the day. She asks if she saw correctly, if she truly opened up his time travel thread once again. He says if that’s what happened, then things will change very soon. Eliana is too tired to think about it all now and curls up next to Simon to get a little sleep before they have to leave their camp.
Crowds are rioting outside the castle, chanting Blood Queen. She’ll need to journey to Mazabat to let the city’s ire against her calm a bit. Audric can’t leave his kingdom or his mother so soon again. Tal says he’ll go with Rielle and her entourage instead. His lover Miren doesn’t think it’s wise; she thinks he’ll fall to deeply into his thoughts in his search for God when he’s around Rielle. He goes anyway.
They arrive in Mazabat, but Lu looks weary from the journey. Her black scarring has spread at a rapid pace since they left home. Princess Kamayin approaches them to greet them, and Rielle notices she has castings. Lu reads her thoughts and says she’s harmless. That night, Rielle can’t feel Lu in her mind and gets up to check on her. Princess Kamayin comes out of the shadows and holds a knife to Rielle’s throat.
Eliana’s group arrives at the Keshavarzian manor, a family of Red Crown sympathizers, road weary and dirty. After bathing and eating, Eliana reads the latest reports with Simon. Astavar has fallen. Eliana‘s stricken, but Simon says it would’ve eventually happened whether she was there or not. There’s no word on Navi or Hob.
Simon walks Eliana to her room. Eliana wants him to stay but doesn’t ask because she knows they both need their sleep. He says they’ll meet tomorrow afternoon to begin their training. Eliana has been dreading this but knows it’s a necessity. Simon must throw her back in time to confront her mother and try to prevent this awful future where everyone lives in fear of the Empire.
Rielle talks Princess Kamayin down. She’s been told if she kills Rielle for the Obex, then they’ll release her friend Zuka that they’ve kidnapped. Rielle says neither one of them can harm the other or else their countries will go to war.
The storm picks up outside. It calls to her, not Corien but the empirium itself. Rielle says she’ll fly on Atheria’s back to rescue Zuka and look for the casting held at this temple. Tal wants to go with her, and she allows it.
When they arrive at the temple, they have to fight their way in. They turn over the boy they kidnapped, but Rielle wreaks havoc and kills them all anyway. Once her anger falls away and she comes back to herself, Rielle tells Tal they’ll use an excuse to cover her actions.
Eliana and Simon are training to try to hone their abilities. It’s slow going for both. Remy suggests they recreate the scene where they saw Simon’s threads appear: when Eliana was healing him. So Eliana attempts to heal some of Simon’s wounds. It works; his threads appear. Simon says these threads lead nearby, so Eliana steps through them to leave the forest and return home. Simon runs in shortly after her, and the two embrace with Harkan looking on. That night, Eliana wants to go to Simon’s room but can’t work up the courage.
Rielle returns home to crowds booing her. She freezes a man in place as well as the knife he’d thrown at her. But then she kisses his motionless brow and tells the crowd she’ll always show mercy until they finally come to understand that she’s the Sun Queen.
When Rielle makes it in to Audric, she asks about his mother. The healers can’t discern what’s wrong with her, but she’s not getting better. He’s worried about Ludivine’s worsening condition and spreading scar, too, especially because it’s interfering with her abilities to protect Rielle’s mind from Corien.
Audric tells Rielle that Lu’s brother Merovec is arriving soon. He’s not a fan of Audric’s or Rielle’s after Audric broke off his engagement to Lu for Rielle.
Empire soldiers are closing in on Eliana and the Red Crown contingent she’s with. They wish Simon’s powers were ready to send Eliana back in time to talk to her mother and that Eliana’s powers were strong enough for them to be confident in sending her. They just don’t know how Rielle will react, even Simon who used to know her. And they also fear the future that will be created if Eliana is able to change things. Will they even be born? If so, will their lives be totally different? Better or worse?
The imperial army will arrive for the Jubilee and masquerade ball in five days. Harkan volunteers to head up a group of scouts stationed at the city borders, waiting for the imperial army’s arrival. They’ll try to sabotage and delay them as much as possible. Simon and Eliana will secure a ship to leave on to move as far away from the city as possible. But they’ll attempt to time travel back in time to Old Celdaria before they leave.
Rielle uses her healing powers on Lu, and it helps her recover a little. Lu says she always knew Rielle would be the one to deliver her. Rielle finds this statement odd but doesn’t comment.
The dinner with Merovec and the whole royal party is tense. He confronts Rielle about those she’s killed. The verbal attack infuriates Audric. Merovec says Audric will defend her as long as he can sleep with her. Queen Genoveve rushes from the hall during the fight. Rielle runs after her, chasing her through the halls and into her room. Genoveve continues running until she bursts through the glass doors onto the terrace and jumps over the railing.
Rielle speaks to Corien in her mind because she knows he did this. He admits he played a part but says he had to do very little to push her over the edge. They rush below to see if Genoveve survived the fall. Rielle resurrects her. Her first words are that Rielle should’ve let her die.
Eliana can’t sleep and decides to head to Simon’s room. When she opens the door to the hallway, Simon is standing there. They spend the night together. Eliana wishes they would wake the next morning to find that someone else has saved the world so they don’t have to. She’d rather live a simple, happy life with Simon.
Corien enters Rielle’s mind. She tells him she hasn’t been able to sleep since resurrecting Genoveve. Corien recreates a scene he’s seen in Rielle’s mind and tries to take her to bed. She pushes him away, and he flies against the far wall. Ludivine enters because her mind is a little stronger after Rielle healed her a bit. Corien tells Rielle that Lu’s motives aren’t pure. He’s trying to save Rielle from her and from all of them that are afraid of her power and don’t want her to use it to its fullest.
Rielle awakes from the vision, and Audric is there to comfort her. Audric orders Lu away as Merovec comes in to see what the ruckus is about. He wonders exactly what Rielle is. Then Tal comes in to tell them that thousands of citizens are at the castle gates, yelling Blood Queen and Sun Queen, wanting Rielle to come out to them.
The army commander wants to use force to get them to leave. Lu doesn’t want him to because this will incite their anger further. She wants to enter their minds to drive them away. Audric doesn’t like this idea. She slips into Audric’s and Rielle’s minds, linking the three of them together, to try to silently decide what to do. Rielle tells Audric she thinks Lu’s idea might be a good one. Audric doesn’t like the idea of taking away his people’s freedom of choice.
Audric’s expression suddenly shifts to something terrible. He’s seen Rielle’s interaction with Corien from earlier in the night through their linked minds. He saw that they kissed and that they were in bed together. Rielle tells him that Corien had taken control of her thoughts and made them real, against her wishes.
Audric tells the commander to have the castle yard emptied in an hour and the streets emptied in two, and then he takes Rielle away for a private conversation. He repeats her explanation of her interaction with Corien and shows her mistake: that the events were something Corien pulled out of her mind, something that she had wanted. Audric handles her roughly. He tells Rielle that Corien just wants to use her, he doesn’t love her. Rielle knows this isn’t totally true but keeps the thought to herself.
Audric eventually handles her softly, more like usual, and asks Rielle to tell him she loves him. She says it over and over. They cry together.
Simon is afraid Eliana is sorry the next morning. She says she’s not sorry about anything that happened between them, she’s only sorry for what they have to face now. They jokingly say that they don’t love each other. The two of them work a little further apart from each other in the woods that day. Eliana heals Jessamyn’s injured leg and heals others in their party in the next couple of days. It comforts her to know she’s helping in this way.
Eliana approaches Harkan before they’re parted. He’s worried about how hard she’s working and says it’s hard to be friends with her now because of Simon in light of their past. Harkan tells her his team is assembled to face off against the imperial army, and they’re leaving in the morning. He says they’re all eager to fight for Eliana because she’s given them hope.
Eliana hopes Harkan knows she truly does love him, just in a different way now. He hugs her goodbye and says Simon is coming. Simon’s eyes are wild as he approaches. He finally did it. He travelled. Not very far, but he did it! Harkan and his team leaves the next day. Eliana sends Zahra with them to keep Harkan safe.
It’s time for Eliana to travel back, but Simon doesn’t want to send her when she’s so upset from telling everyone goodbye. But she says she must go now to try to reset time before she loses anyone else.
Rielle awakes with the feeling that someone’s watching her. She flies away on Atheria to escape it. They end up in a forest. Corien’s consciousness joins them there. He tries to convince her that those around her have ill intentions while he doesn’t. But she now knows the reason humans trapped and banished the angels behind the Gate. The angels had grown jealous that God granted humans control of the empirium, so they began fighting them. And Corien led the charge.
Corien senses something strange nearby and vanishes. It’s Eliana. She tells Rielle she’s her daughter. Even though Rielle can see both her and Audric in this girl’s face, she thinks this is all a trick. The two fight, and Eliana doesn’t get a chance to deliver her message. Corien enters Eliana’s head, and she doesn’t want him to see the future she’s come to tell Rielle about. Eliana knows she has to flee. She barely makes it back to Simon’s threads. She yells at Simon to close the gate behind her. He does, and she passes out.
Rielle thinks Corien was trying to trick her with this vision, but he assures her this isn’t the case. When she returns home, she doesn’t want to see anyone except her maid at first. She finally says she’ll see Audric, but she doesn’t dare share with him about the girl she saw.
Rielle’s going slightly mad with Corien and Ludivine always in her head and now with the vision of this girl. She’s also been feeling sick lately. She finally journeys to see Garver to see if her suspicions are correct. They are; she’s pregnant. She knows it will be a girl and that the two of them will be the queens predicted: the Sun Queen and the Blood Queen. She stays with Garver and Simon for dinner for a short time of escape before returning to the palace.
Queen Genoveve was deemed no longer to be of sound mind, so Audric is crowned king. He wants to marry Rielle, and she knows they must wed soon. She’ll now be a true queen in addition to Sun Queen.
Eliana awakes with Simon by her side. Her wounds have been bandaged, but she’s exhausted. He lays with her as she sleeps. He’s gone when she wakes, but she finds him once again as she searches for food. She asks about everyone’s well-being, and the one person who’s disappeared is Jessamyn.
In a chapter from Jessamyn’s point of view, we discover that her parents gave her up to the angels when she was young so they could gain entrance to the Emperor’s city. She’s a member of Invictus, the Emperor’s soldiers, and has trained under a man named Varos, who she sees as a father figure. Her love for him runs deep, as evidenced in the present, when she’s disappointed in him for seeming off kilter (smelling of smoke and alcohol) when they meet in the city for the Jubilee.
Varos says their instructions have changed. They’re supposed to board the Admiral’s ship and wait for further instructions. This came from one of the Admiral’s lieutenants, and Jessamyn questions the validity. She longs to present Eliana to the Emperor to earn her true name, but she knows that Eliana is the Admiral’s prey alone.
In a chapter from Corien’s point of view, we see him drunk and miserable after learning that Rielle is pregnant with Audric’s baby and will wed him soon. He wallows in self-pity until he feels a shift in the air. He realizes Queen Obritsa just stole a container of belluorum—a medicine used to keep his dragons docile—from his laboratories. He sees that she’s a marque. He wants her to take him to Celdaria. One of his angels enters Artem, her bodyguard and father figure who’s by her side, to make sure she complies.
Audric and Rielle are married in a very fancy wedding. Ever since that night he handled her roughly, their relationship has changed a little. It’s still fierce but different. In the weeks leading up to the wedding, Rielle mentions her fear that Corien will eventually make Audric hate her. He promises that’s not possible.
Simon orders Eliana to rest. She obeys even though she’d rather be picking Patrik’s brain for any reason he could think of for Jessamyn to leave them.
The Jubilee finally arrives, and Eliana and Simon both get cleaned up and dressed up and look quite fancy and different. They’ll make an appearance at the party and will escape away with their guards to meet Remy and the others at their ship, which should arrive during the party.
Before they leave, they’re intimate again. Simon seems worried beforehand and bleak afterward when she teases that she still doesn’t love him. He only says he needs her again, and Eliana hears a strange darkness which she takes for desperation in his voice.
As Audric and Rielle dance at their wedding reception, blissful in their happiness, Rielle senses Lu’s complete absence from her mind. And then Lu enters the room, running toward Rielle. She falls into a trance of sorts, and begins uttering a conversation from long ago. Soon, the entire scene is playing in the mind of everyone assembled.
The scene is the awful one in the cave that Rielle never told Audric about. It’s when she accidentally killed both of their fathers and another man when her power was new. She was trying to maim or kill Corien, but she didn’t have control of her power and kills the other men instead. And she kept this terrible secret from Audric instead of admitting her weakness.
Audric pulls Rielle and Lu away from the crowd after the scene ends for a quiet conversation. He cannot handle her betrayal. Lu tries to explain, but he won’t hear it. Rielle tries to explain that the scene was just part of the story, but Audric doesn’t believe her.
Lu warns that Corien is coming and they should talk about it later, but Audric is in too much of a rage. Rielle says she knew Corien would make Audric hate her. In her mind, Lu begs Rielle to tell Audric about the baby to change his mind, but she refuses to.
In one last desperate attempt, Rielle tries to explain it was an accident. But Audric says they’re still dead regardless, and he begins to name the others she’s killed. He says their love has been built on lies. And after they buried his father, she promised she would never lie to him again. He mentions she’s not even tried to apologize. He says he’s defended her for far too long. He says she’s the monster that’s been foretold as well as a traitor and a liar.
Rielle realizes Audric’s right, and in that instant, she changes forever. In her mind, Corien tells her she’s not a monster, and Lu begs her not to listen to him. But Corien’s words are a balm to her, and Rielle leaves to find him. Her despair turns to anger.
When they arrive at the Jubilee, someone approaches Simon with a message: their ship is delayed by a few hours. Eliana has no idea how they can wait that long, especially how Harkan and the others can hold off the angels for that long. But somehow they must, and Simon and Eliana dance at the ball to pass the time. The Admiral asks to cut in, which Simon allows when he tells Eliana who he is. They dance for the space of several songs, and then an explosion erupts. Eliana finds Simon, and he says it sounded like angel fire. They’ve arrived, and Harkan and crew haven’t been able to hold them off.
The streets outside the palace are chaos. Simon sees in the distance that their ship has arrived. He wants to quietly make their way there and leave on their own, just the two of them and the crew. But Eliana won’t leave until she finds Remy. They begin fighting their way to the docks, with Eliana flaring her magic to clear a path and calling Remy and the others to them.
Jessamyn finds Eliana and begins fighting with her, easily besting Eliana. She hears Simon call out in a language she doesn’t know but recognizes as angelic. Then she realizes he’s slaughtering their own people. Someone, likely Simon, finally levels Jessamyn. The assault on Eliana stops. She fills someone lift her battered body and carry her away.
Harkan is mortally wounded, and Zahra finds him to spend his last living moments with him. She asks him if he remembers. It takes him a little while, but everything comes flooding back: their valiant fight, ending with Simon attacking them. He’s the one who sank the knife into Harkan’s belly. Then Zahra reminds him of happy memories of his younger years as he dies. He asks Zahra if Eliana loves him. She says she never stopped.
Rielle escapes the city, toppling anyone who stands in her way. She feels utterly alone and knows there’s only one person in the world to turn to: Corien. She finds him, and Queen Obritsa and her bodyguard are with him. Corien opens his arms to her and apologizes for everything that has happened to her.
How did Kingsbane end?
Bastien and Nigel begin to scuffle, and Bastien ends up mortally wounded. Nigel escapes just as Nicodemus and members of the Court of Lions begin arriving.
Eliana awakes on a ship that’s already out to sea. She’s bound, and her castings are gone. Simon walks toward her. He’s dressed in an Empire soldier uniform and is dragging Remy along with him. Remy’s sobbing. Eliana says Simon won’t hurt him, but Simon quickly dispels this idea in a voice that’s like his old Wolf persona once again.
Eliana asks Simon why he did this, but he won’t respond. The Admiral approaches and says the Emperor has ordered that she be held in a cell on her way to him. She doesn’t have to be treated kindly, and they will harm Remy any time she disobeys or tries to escape. Then the admiral reveals that he’s Ioseph Ferracora, their evil father, now with angel-dark eyes.
Eliana is taken below deck to her cell. She sees Simon’s silhouette in the doorway once she’s inside. She asks him why once again, but he doesn’t respond. He just closes the door, locks it, and then turns and leaves.
Audric is fighting his way through the chaos. He pushes all of his power into Illumenor, his Lightbringer sword, and it doesn’t disappoint. Lu finds him and tells him Rielle has left them. She’s physically gone, having left them for Corien, but she’s also left them forever mentally. Corien has blocked Rielle’s mind from Lu. Lu shows Audric his conversation with Rielle from her eyes, when he called her a monster, traitor, and liar, and he feels the desperation and hopelessness she felt.
Audric wants to go after her even though Lu says it’s a lost cause. He says he loves her and was out of his mind when he said those things, but Lu says it’s too late. Audric won’t relent, but Lu says Corien will kill him when he gets close.
Audric asks Lu about the saint’s castings. She says Corien’s operatives stole all the ones they’d collected. Tal approaches, saying Merovec and his men are taking the castle. Some of the city guard have joined them. This had obviously been planned for months and is well orchestrated. Tal and the others tell Audric he must leave because after what Merovec saw tonight, he’ll kill him as soon as he finds him because the crown has been corrupted. He’ll escape through the mountain tunnels his father had him memorize years ago in case he was ever forced to flee the city.
Audric leaves Tal’s lover Miren behind as a spy. He’ll take Sloane, Lu, and the Sun Guard with him. They’ll flee to the queens of Mazabat, who he knows will give them asylum. Atheria arrives, and Audric flies away on her toward the mountains.
There you go! That’s what happened in Kingsbane. We hope you enjoyed this Kingsbane summary with spoilers.
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