Friday, January 29, 2021

Heart of Black Ice


The final entry of the late Terry Goodkind’s Nicci Chronicles opens with the antediluvian wizard Nathan Rahl observing the vast army of the formerly-petrified General Utros, recently reeling from the incineration of thousands of his soldiers, although his forces still remain formidable. Meanwhile, the lands of the Old World under the relatively-recent jurisdiction of the D’Haran Empire will ultimately face a secondary threat, the Norukai navy spearheaded by King Grieve. Among Utros’ army, Adessa adores the severed head of one of her antagonists, with Nicci in the meantime encountering the strange, shadowy people of the city of Orogang.

Bannon finds himself a slave to the Norukai, and Nicci encounters hostile enigmatic entities known as the zhiss. Whilst the former Sister of Darkness seeks to help Orogang’s Hidden People against the bloodthirsty zhiss, she simultaneously fears that General Utros’ army will overrun the city. Nicci and the teleportative sliph also find themselves at odds, and the general’s military eventually clashes with the Hidden People in Orogang. The freedom fighters of the Old World find themselves fighting on two fronts, the land against General Utros’ forces and the sea against King Grieve’s.

The nautical folk known as the selka also have a brief battle with the Norukai ships, and Nicci soon receives the news from Lord Richard Rahl that the New World will not send reinforcements to the Old, although she receives a tiny artifact that plays a significant role in the book’s later events. Nicci and General Linden prepare Tanimura for battle on both its fronts, and things truly intensity towards the end, and while the fourth Nicci Chronicle was advertised as the conclusion to the sequel series, a good one at that, the ending still leaves room for future stories, likely never to come to fruition due to the author’s death.

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