Siri has always been the superfluous princess – her eldest sister, Vivenna has been betrothed to the God King of Hallandren since birth, her middle sister Fafnan, had become a monk, and her brother, Ridger, was the heir. Hallandren had long been her country’s enemy, and Vivenna had trained her whole life to be married to their king. But when the time came to send her, their father sent Siri instead.
In Idris, her home, Siri had been the rebel among a people that believed that flaunting themselves was against their god’s will. Hallandran is totally different –a realm filled with color, where certain people return to life with extra of the Breath that gives everyone life and power in this world. These Returned are considered gods, and Siri is completely out of her depth dealing with them.
At the same time, Vivenna is now bereft of a purpose to her life. Always the poised, controlled sister, she impulsively travels to the city of T’Telir to rescue her sister. The third important focus of this story is Lightsong, one of the Returned. He does not believe in his own godhood, and struggles to figure out his place among the gods.
What follows turns out to be an incredibly complex story, full of history – the two countries are enemies because of a terrible war in the past, which is still having repercussions today. Siri and Vivenna travel much different paths in their new lives, and Lightsong’s journey to find himself is equally as fascinating. It’s really hard to explain everything that’s going on without giving things away, but I will say that Sanderson continues to impress me, and I enjoyed this book immensely. He is definitely one of my favorite authors.