The Name of All Things by Jenn Lyons
Publication Date: October 29th 2019
Publisher: Tor UK
Series: A Chorus of Dragons #2
Blurb: You can have everything you want. If you sacrifice everything you believe . . .
Kihrin D’Mon is a wanted man after killing the Emperor of Quur – and not in a good way. So he heads for Jorat, to find the fourth person named in prophesy, who will either save or damn the world.
He meets Janel Theranon, who claims she already knows him. And she wants Kihrin’s help in saving Jorat’s capital from a dragon, who can only be slain with his sword’s magic. Unwittingly, Kirin also finds himself at the centre of a rebellion. One which puts him in direct opposition to Relos Var, his old enemy.
For too long, Janel’s battled the wizard alone – even betraying her ideals to bring him down. However, Var owns one of the world’s most powerful artefacts: the Name of All Things. It bestows knowledge, which Var uses to gain what he wants most. This is now Kihrin D’Mon – and the world may not survive the consequences.
I absolutely loved The Ruin of Kings, so to get an early copy of The Name of All Things delivered into my hands was a gift from the gods. The Name of All Things picks up pretty much directly after The Ruin of Kings, with Kihrin having found himself in Jorat after needing to leave Quur because he maybe, hypothetically, technically killed the Emperor. But it wouldn’t be the Chorus of Dragons series if Kihrin caught a break, soon enough he finds himself roped into killing a dragon – among other things.
“If you hear my dying screams, avenge me.”
Star shrugged. “Not sure how. You’re the one with the fancy sword.”
Though we do of course see Kihrin, The Name of All Things is first and foremost, Janel’s story. Having briefly met Janel is book one, we find out what she was doing during the Ruin of Kings, which eventually leads to why she needs Kihrin’s help to slay a dragon. Now I’ll admit – when I first realised this would be primarily Janel’s POV before she met Kihrin I was a little disappointed because I was so keen to see Kihrin, Teraeth, Tyensto & co again. However, it is impossible not to be won over by Janel. She is just amazing, I love her. She’s badass, refuses to take men’s shit and could step on me. That doesn’t mean we don’t see Kihrin’s snark though, he is a salty boy and we love him for it.
I love Jenn’s worldbuilding. What she has created in A Chorus of Dragons is nothing short of phenomenal. The Empire of Quur and it’s dominions are brought to life. Two of the things that I love most about it, is that 1) she confronts Quur’s colonisation and bloody history, and 2) we legit get a whole ass country where polyamory and gender fluidity is the norm.
I love fantasy, it’s my favourite genre but there are times, where despite the fact that you can have dragons and magic and anything is possible, it still ends up being racist, sexist and homophobic with empires – often without challenging those things. (On that note I will never get the people who don’t blink an eye at dragons but supposedly having happy gay people or whatever is unrealistic). In The Name of All Things (and the RoK) Jenn challenges these things. Quur is an patriarchal, homophobic and racist empire, who over the course of its history has invaded most of the countries on the continent but it’s not just accepted or left uncritiqued. We are also given Jorat where queer, polyamorous relationships are accepted and are the norm. Jenn said fuck your heterosexual fantasy worldbuilding. And it’s really wonderful to see.
Now let me tell you – the excitement I have for the next book is extreme. We will get to (hopefully) see Kihrin, Teraeth and Janel together. I need this like I need air, you don’t understand – I have never wanted to see a ship come together more. Please Jenn deliver us the polyamorous, badass trio we deserve.
The Name of All Things continues to cement A Chorus of Dragons as one of my favourite series despite the fact this is only book two of five. There’s disaster bisexuals, prophesies, dragons, complex and layered villains who, even if you don’t condone their actions who can understand – it’s just everything.
Find my review for book one, The Ruin of Kings, here: X
*I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own*