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Steles of the Sky (Eternal Sky, #3)
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Eternal Sky > SotS: Part 4: Chapters 22-27: ACHTUNG! FULL SPOILERS!

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Robyn | 150 comments And here, we may discuss the last section of the book and include full spoilers. Read at your own risk!

Lindsay | 545 comments So. Much. Awesome.

I will digest and summarize tomorrow.

Lindsay | 545 comments So Hsiung's monks (500 odd) turn up at Dragon Lake and Hsiung himself, although he has been studying the books of Erem again and he is nearly blind on top of being busted back to novice. There is a Song princess with them and her advisor turns out to be Hong's male lover from 30 years earlier.

Yangchen and Anil return to Tsarepheth (still mounted on yaks) and things have much improved. Meanwhile Saadet and Ümmühan become firm friends, although ultimately this doesn't seem to factor in to much.

Temur tries to see the Dragon of the Lake alone but gets accompanied by Hrahima and Edene. His claustrophobia from the events in Danupati's tomb makes sense. The revelation that the Dragon's are actually creatures of Erem is interesting and that they are radioactive ("slow poison") is cool too given the Erem daystars. Temur gains a map of the Ways of Reason but Hsiung has to give his sight to read it, and they plan to use it to get the ghulim to flank al-Sepehr's army.

Lady Diao gets a brief mention, but this is one plot thread that gets left hanging. Temur never marries her.

Temur then uses Bansh to retrieve the holy horses of Mother Night, but is told that there is a cost and he acknowledges it will be paid. As he leaves the battle is about to start.

On the eve of battle Edene bargains with the djinn and ends up getting both her son's true name and the djinn's freedom as well as the removal of the Green Ring of Erem which gets given to the ghulim who still offer to fight.

The battle begins with a charge of indrik-zver that is foiled with explosives and then the battle is joined as Qersnyk fight Qersnyk. Meanwhile Tsering has reached Tsarepheth to seek Rasan reinforcements. On the battlefield the old Caliph raises his banner and calls for Kara Mehmed's forces to switch sides to their rightful ruler and is wildly successful due to the negative propaganda that Ümmühan has been spreading.

The ghulim successfully flank al-Sepehr's army and the heavens open to reveal spirit horses galloping down from the clouds to Temur's Qersnyk to use for mounts. At this the al-Sepehr commands the Rukh to kill and you get this:
A cream-and-emerald blur from the right of his field of vision hurtled across the sky and slammed against the Rukh, knocking her spiraling. Afrit! And on his back, wielding the wall of her wards like a battering ram, all in black armor—rode the Wizard Samarkar.
All through these books you get that phrase "the Wizard Samarkar", basically preparing for this.

And then Hong joins in:
Suddenly, Hong-la rose beside Samarkar, his petaled skirts blowing wide in the wind that lifted him. One big hand slapped, as if he issued a challenge—and a buffet of wind hurled the Rukh back, wings trailing, as if a giant had punched her in the breast.
So cool.

Then the glass demons attack everybody and then the al-Sepehr calls the blood ghosts and they attack. The armies join forces to fight them while Hong and Samarkar battle al-Sepehr in the air with magic. Then, just as the wizards arrive en-masse and destroying the demons and ghosts, Temur is shot in the back by Saadet. Temur dies and Hrahima is the first to his body, and then she finally embraces the Immanent Destiny and uses his soul as blood ghost and blasts it at the al-Sepehr at around the same time as Tsering turns up on the back of a mist dragon brandishing the bones of the Sorcerer Prince.

In the midst of all that Edene kills Saadet brutally and the crying of Saadet's child makes Edene's milk let down so she demands him from Ümmühan and thus she has yet another child.

Finally, the steppe vulture (the soul of Temur's grandfather) that followed Temur across the continent and back lands and says Re Temur Qutluqh's true name allowing his soul to fly free.

The book ends with Bansh flying into the sky with Temur's body to form a new constellation.

Robyn | 150 comments I almost cried (which is saying something for me) when Temur died. *sniff sniff*

Great summary, Lindsay. I really loved this book.

Justine (justinejustine) | 318 comments I know it had to end that way, but really, did it HAVE to end that way? I'm with you, Robyn, I'm not generally a weeper, but this one had me wiping my eyes.

I liked how the women stayed together to form a family at the end; that seemed right to me. I'm glad everything worked out for Edene, too, because she deserved a good ending after everything she went through.

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